Thursday, November 20, 2014

Think Stop

I find that doing lots is fine, but seeing that one is doing lots is self-defeating. Admitting to oneself that one has lots to do is, for an artist, tantamount to surrender of the immediate fact of what needs to be done, specifically, in particular, now. The analogy is in painting. Imagine if Constable had said to himself (and others) "I am painting Hampstead Heath. My God, it's so big," over and over, wondering in part how to get it done. We would have a painting then of Constable having worried about having to paint Hampstead Heath, instead of what we have, which is very particular, and elegant, and raw, and grand.

So I think consciousness is fine where it does some good, but otherwise it's a waste of time and opportunity. How it does good is pretty clear, where one senses inner conflict and is more or less forced to a fresh perspective. But if all you are doing is going on and on about the burden you bear, well, what good is it? Has any great poetry (or art) come from hand-wringingly tedious averments of narrow capacity? I think not.

So, I am doing some things, and tonight I will do them, and then I will do more. Let's have no more spiritual twistings about projects. Let's not! Let's do, publish, and do more.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2 Projects and a Mood Shift

Into two projects, something that occurs only occasionally. Well, this time is odd in that they both commenced at more or less the same time. One to be a book of visual poems, to be called The Drawings of a Tree, the other likely all block poems, to be called Director. I thought at first, airily, that the drawings would number 40 and take about 2 weeks to complete. 2 weeks. I had in mind a very clear idea of the form(s) of trees, taken from repeated consideration of the apple tree in our front yard. Director I thought would take 2 months.

The drawings are hard. Quite hard. I have tossed out a few and found the process and subject deepening, I suppose is the word. It's become complicated. Today, my energy produced one drawings. Then I found I had to do a painting to advance the idea... I haven't painted in 2 years and I have not missed it. In fact, I had a canvas ready to take a painting that had been sitting on my easel for that long. Credit to a clean work space and being prepared: I was up and running and finished in 10 minutes, and exhausted.

I am not in a good mood.

I really, really, hate painting. I hate it. lol! No, seriously, I really hate what it takes out of me, which is a lot, and it leaves me feeling like I have been woken at the edge of a crumbling cliff. I hate being in the world in the way art puts me, when it is hard. It becomes a fight, it is so physical. You fight the materials and your mind leads you, and the thing making it happen lays everything out in front of you like a dissected corpse, still pulsing.

You never leave the world in art, you enter it and drape it all around yourself. It is truly disgusting.

As to Director, well, that project has become unreal. Apparently, they have taken the turn of allowing me (is that's the word I want) to inhabit a film director's perspective, etc. It it, in a word, challenging.

I am in a better mood.

The problem with painting is finding a means to get outside the factory of self far enough to relax, to breathe. I find that difficult to do, even without the pressure of trying to establish any kind of reputation, etc. Art is a brutal practice, and poetry strings you out like nothing. So, doing both at once is, in a word, lovely.

No more complaints. Promise.