Monday, March 2, 2015

Henry Miller, Apollinaire, Louis Armstrong, and Changing Courses

Last week I sat down with my journal in studio while listening to a Louis Armstrong tape that I've had for many years.  The course of thought that struck me was that a tape cassette is an imperfect, temporal object.  Much like the human memory it is crisp in the beginning but as time wears on it becomes less and less comprehendible.  It becomes distorted, disintegrates and depending on care falls apart.

The journaling method is becoming more important to me.  I have determined that the process and the finished product are one in the same.  This years finished product is next years building block to next years finish.  Everything is a work in progress.  There is no real finish.  As such the journal becomes a way to organize the thoughts and chronology of creative decisions.  I am not as good with it yet as I would like to be but I am hoping with a little work it becomes something that I am more capable of doing.

I have been reading Henry Miller in tandem with working on this show of works for Bangor, ME.  I appreciate how his work is individual accounts of events which seem more or less disparate of one another but build into an elaborate account of his life on Big Sur.  It is this same interrelation, I think, that my work depends on, much like my "finished" pieces all adding together to make the newest finished pieces.

Currently I am working through some smaller works to go with my larger cross hatched pieces in the upcoming show.  I am mostly trying to find the connection between the moths and the tape cassette ribbons.  It is out there, or perhaps in there, but I have not been able to make any concrete connection as of yet.  Here are a couple images of the diptych which hopefully helps me find these elusive relationships.

I have also started to work on a couple more studies, like the studies of foundry buckets that I was working on before I started my large drawing of the bucket with ascending moths.  This piece of technology that I am working with is the train whistle.  There is something in function to the train whistle that seems very much connected to this whole process.  It is mechanical and creates sound.  That may be all that it needs to be to create the connection, but I suspect that there is another nugget of meaning in there somewhere as well.  Sorry for the crummy picture.  I took it in a room fully lit by 60 watt bulbs.  I'll post a better image later this week.

Lastly, I finally found a book of Apollinaire's poetry.  He was incredibly profound and I feel very pleased to be accompanying this body of work with some of his poetry.  There is a romanticism in his verse crossed with a literary playfulness which I attempt to create between drawing and painting proficiency and witty imagery and visual references.  Hopefully reading more of his work will sharpen my wit.


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