“Happiness is that brief moment between triumph and despair.” This is a quote that I carefully noted without recording the name of the Eastern European poet, for whom it was true. That it clanged resolutely in my own mind as being so true is revealing. There you have it.
Going through my life-sized (or nearly so) drawings, I recall the process that allowed me to finalize each piece. The only consistency in the creation of any of them has been the sustained effort necessary in pursuing the drawing process itself. Using specifically the female form as a vehicle for personal expression, I have explored an ever-broadening use of tools for making marks. I have salvaged fragments of figures—layering them so that they interact and create a rush of visual ambiguity, and in the best cases, mystery in the finished composition. Finally, every time that I believe I’ve landed on something of a “silver bullet” for making a great drawing, it becomes crystal clear that there is no formula for conjuring the ineffable. The lesson is simply that every drawing has its own life. Discipline and similar drawings can aid and inform a work in progress, but eventually, I’ll just be slugging it out with each drawing’s scale, light, composition, and viewpoint. There’s no dignity, no grace—just a push toward something not yet found. So often I just come up with a day spent in the studio confirming how mediocre I can be. The only thing that makes this drowning phase of drawing absolutely worthwhile is an infrequent resolution in a drawing that transcends me, my effort, my thoughts, my emotions, and just sings on its own with the complexity that makes life as rich and miraculous as it truly is.