Posts Tagged ‘mules’

Friday Morning Greeting from The Gallery at Redlands

September 17, 2021

Early Friday Morning Opening in The Gallery at Redlands

Albrecht Dürer, did after all make the well-known remark: “For in truth, art lies hidden within nature; he who can wrest it from her has it.” “Wrest” here means to draw out the rift and to draw the design with the drawing-pen on the drawing-board. But we at once raise the counterquestion: how can the rift-design be drawn out if it is not brought into the Open by the creative sketch as a rift, which is to say, brought out beforehand as a conflict of measure and unmeasure? True, there lies hidden in nature a rift-design, a measure and a boundary and, tied to it, a capacity for bringing forth–that is, art. But it is equally certain that this art hidden in nature becomes manifest only through the work, because it lies originally in the work.

Martin Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”

Thursday morning was splendid because I knew there was nothing on the calendar until evening when I would be doing a watercolor talk and demo before the Tyler Palette of Roses art association. I decided to spend some quality quiet time propped in bed with coffee, some Heidegger reading, and plenty of journal scribbling. When I came across the text above, I was immediately arrested. I paused and stared straight ahead for awhile, then read the passage over several more times, then began scribbling my journal response.

“Phantoms” 16 x 20″ framed watercolor. $400

I suddenly sprang out of bed, dashed up the hall to Studio Eidolons to retrieve the watercolor I had started recently, put it on the table at the foot of the bed, then climbed back into bed to gaze at it from across the room. I had stopped working on the painting when I resumed classes last Monday and Wednesday (much time was required to prepare and write the lectures for presentation). I thought I was only about 60% finished with the watercolor, with plans to complete the reflections of the mule on the right, then look for ways to make the two riders “pop” more from their background, deepen the colors in the woods above and the waters below, complete the sandbar on the right as well as the tangle of roots to the right, etc. Details, details, details . . .

But as I continued to look at the painting and re-read Heidegger’s take on wresting art from nature, I felt a growing conviction that the painting was finished and ready to frame. I am convinced that any further work on the piece would only diminish the painting’s overall “look.” I signed my name later that day and framed it. Now it is in the gallery window. I like the painting’s freshness, its overall airiness. As for the reflections from the mule on the right, they are sort of there already, if you look (hence the title “Phantoms”). Perhaps a disturbance in the water, or reflected light off the water prevented the reflection from coming into view. And as for all the unfinished details, I believe the observer’s eye and imagination will supply those. My painting life is filled with sad chapters of overworking and losing a watercolor that showed so much promise in its foundational stages. Not this one. The most difficult part of making art for me is stopping before I have pushed the painting too far.

In the motion picture “Six Degrees of Separation”, Donald Sutherland (an art dealer) recounts a dream:

This is what I dreamt. I didn’t dream so much as realize this. I felt so close to the paintings. I wasn’t just selling them like pieces of meat. I remembered why I loved paintings in the first place– what had got me into this– and I thought– dreamed– remembered– how easy it is for a painter to lose a painting. He can paint and paint– work on a canvas for months and one day he loses it– just loses the structure–loses the sense of it– you lose the painting.

When the kids were little, we went to a parents’ meeting at their school and I asked the teacher why all her students were geniuses in the second grade? Look at the first grade. Blotches of green and black. Look at the third grade. Camouflage. But the second grade– your grade. Matisses everywhere. You’ve made my child a Matisse. Let me study with you. Let me into second grade! What is your secret? And this is what she said: “Secret? I don’t have any secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them.”

Queen Street Entrance to The Redlands Hotel

I started this blog at 8:30 and here it is 1:25. The gallery has been busy all morning and early afternoon, which is good. I’m going to close before someone else comes in . . .

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.