Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stars not where they seemed or were calculated to be, but nobody need worry.

I finished reading "The Hunt for Vulcan" this morning.  The book follows the trajectory of the theory of gravity and how it relates to the celestial bodies in our solar system.  For approximately a 100 year span it was believed that the imperfect calculations on the location of the planet Mercury were due to another small planet named Vulcan.  The book covers the empirical research of perhaps a dozen different scientists, culminating with Einstein, who disproves the existence of the additional planet. Towards the end of the book, Levenson, shared the original headline from the New York Times, which stated, "Stars not where they seemed or were calculated to be, but nobody need worry."

This statement is such interesting poetry to me.  In the same sense that I've been determining that my failures are in fact necessary for my growth, this is a wonderful illustration of how it took a number of different scientists to figure out what seems to be a relatively well accepted and understood idea now; the number of planets in our solar system.  In order to arrive at Einstein's final steps, however, it was imperative that he modify Newton's theories, which was a sort of Physics Holy Grail for a couple centuries.  These were laws, information that could not be altered.  It involved a number of very stubborn people who believed, but did not know that there was a planet closer to than the sun than Mercury.  They believed that Newton's numbers had to work.  It was belief versus a search for truth.  As I spend more and more time trying to learn to draw again, it dawns on me that in a sense, we have come to believe in the theories presented to us in art over the past fifty year.  We believe modernism and post-modernism to be the lens that we need to search through because everything has been discovered, we have seen in before.  But here we have a science that didn't quite figure, that was accepted for over 200 years, suddenly come shattering down because one person was willing to put the work in.  I'm not sure what I'm after, but as I was reading about Einstein and his penchant to be alone, thinking and working, I felt akin to him.

I am not for a minute claiming the genius that was evident in Einstein, but I do feel the singularity in purpose that he exhibited.  I feel drawn to artwork; the studying, teaching, and making aspects all.  I feel inclined to avoid close relationships, blow up romantic relationships, and focus on my work.  I feel a definite similarity to Mr. Einstein there.

I am wondering what to do with my sketches.  I am not sure that I have made any that I am eager to make into any large scale pieces as of yet.  It used to be that I would grow so excited about my ideas that I would have to put them down on paper instantly.  I am not feeling like that anymore.  I am very much into the idea of creating some figurative pieces with compositions referencing famous artists.  Currently I have most interested in works by Gauguin, Goya, Cezanne, and Sargent.  I love Sargent for his ability to make all of his subjects look remarkably noble.  I enjoy Cezanne and Gauguin for their abilities in abstraction.  Goya seems to me the master of transcendence.  His works elicit such a vocal response from the viewer.

With that in mind, I think my plan is to stick to making drawings.  I cannot make pieces that reference famous masters if I do not believe that my drawings belong in the same realms as said masters.  I have essentially determined that I will learn how to do all of the parts of my artwork that make me uncomfortable.  I thought that graduate school would encourage behavior like this and I think that that is what I most wanted out of that experience.  It didn't end up being the case, however. I have, on the other hand, realized that where I used to think I didn't have enough time to complete everything that I wanted, that I now am more interested in working as often as I can rather than worrying about how much I create.  These undue stressors only make my work more claustrophobic and constipated.  I am looking for a freedom in my mark and I think that I am getting closer to it.  I merely needed to reject the idea that learning how to draw very well doesn't necessarily mean a break with the current trends and goals in modern art.  It is just my journey.


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