Thursday, November 10, 2005

This is about a week's work, with the most recent state at the top. I finally decided to quit working on the drawing, even though it is not finished, and just start painting. I was getting too wrapped up in making a beautiful drawing. Looking at my last post, I saw that the last time I worked on the drawing I destroyed the delicately modeled surface in order to dig into the action again. Looking at the the two states side by side I saw what I had lost and was furious with myself. But, but, but I also saw why I did it: the more delicately modeled version had started to look frozen, it had stopped moving. The truth is I'm not happy with either state and I want to go back and put in the delicate surface without losing the life. The question is: how to do this? Maybe the problem is I don't know what I want to do with the surface other than polish it. I have a clear vision of the big dynamic elements and the blocking and anatomy, but I don't know what to do with the surface. Now that I'm working on the painting I have the same struggle: I keep going back and forth between a painterly broken color surface and a smooth sense of skin and flesh; as soon as I've achieved one effect I'm dissatisfied and go in the other direction. Writing this I realize what it is I want: I want both in exquisite, heart-rending balance with each other. I went to a wedding once where very expensive chocolates were placed at each guest's place at table. I had never eaten such a chocolate: the outer coating was so delicate and fine that it broke against my tougue and melted in an instant; like a fleeting dream it was gone before I could grasp it. I think I want something analogous for my surfaces: an illusion of flesh and reality so delicate that as soon as the eye touches it it dissolves into color, light, and movement. Oh, that should be easy to paint!.

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