Tit For Tat

Did this drawing in a couple of hours, that is, if you don’t count the 6 months it sat as a scanned pencil in the “box”. Back then it was different, it was a 2-parter a front view and back of the “sitters” the former in a studio with an easel and painting of just the painter’s arm as we, the viewers, would see it if he were there painting. And the latter in a gallery this time with the couple looking at a painter’s self portrait on the wall.

As is typical, it worked me as I worked it. As I’ve/we’ve added the supine artist from another sketch of the threesome and put the back view on the canvas.

 The basic idea for the text came from that sketch too.  Was playing with words “amuse” “bemuse”and “abuse”back then. Adding the “don’t” and the comma as well as using color to allow for two readings happened only yesterday though.  They are “Don’t abuse [your] … muse” or “Don’t abuse [yourself], amuse [yourself]”.

amuse_abuse

Reverie

It’s all about me wanting to step back again. This and the drawing posted last weekend are the last of the pencils scanned in a while ago.  The current field circle-ers are from that stepped back view. Even this drawing and the one before were modified to be from a more distant p.o.v.

My first stepping back was in the ’70s. As an adolescent I drew icons, both in the religious and the Peircian senses but I didn’t know it then. I made objects to be kept near me that resembled objects I wished to be near but couldn’t be. But I stepped back when I felt this to be childish magical thinking; stepping back enough to include the artist (separating him from me) in my view, but to keep the unlikelynessof it all in mind I kept the scales different. The artist that was me, I kept small relative  to the objects. Yes the objects were and are all attractive women. I’m a guy, I can’t help myself.

The style of these arts changed, too, from small oil on canvases to marker on boards done large, some 30in. x 40in., three colors, neo-impressionistic with x-hatchy lines not dots though. Most are lost now I’ve got only a couple of them in the closet and some slides of others.

Stepping back again I now made us all the same size. Actually dating, marrying, divorcing, dating, marrying, divorcing, and dating again will change the way you look at the self and other(s) landscape. The cast grows; in addition to artist and icon there’s there the other man. The drawings now are smaller and black and white. Icon plays several parts; mate, model and muse. She’s sometimes naked, sometimes nude and sometimes in a little black dress. Other Man always wears a business suit; he’s her lover of choice as well as an icon/symbol of our corporate society.

But all of that was so long ago. My last marriage ended in 1992, last date was in 1995. So much has happened. My daughter is almost a mother herself and my career has peaked and is slipping away (my age, our economy conspired on that); Clinton, Bush2 and Obama. I’ve still got my clever hands and my wicked wit, but for how long, who knows?

Where was I?

I want to step back again. Two recent posts/drawings are evidence of this desire. “Why is he drawing …,” a couple of posts back,  is looking back, in it I put those x-hatchy/merely iconic things in a current drawing as a psycho-therapeutic gesture, a talking (drawing) cure. But really, Herr Docktor Blog, where does stepping back from stepping back get you?

In the previous post “Palimpsest …” I try to show the others as not simply coupled in opposition to the artist’s solo-ness (egoistic solon-ess, he failed the Turing test) but connected, as well, to the world at large. They all are both arm-in-armed and phone-in-handed. The artist is a sketch and a palimpsest at the same time. He’s both a shadow and a silhouette; an ideal and a caricature.

So what’s this one mean? We see the couple  “Both Sides Now.” look up those lyrics. “give and take” and “loves illusions I recall … don’t know love at all” to “old friends … say I’ve changed” she says “… life’s illusions’ and  “from win and lose” too, so life and love — stretching it a bit by calling clouds art, art too — are not tit for tat but zero sum. It’s a battle not a bazaar and our artist is a (self) conscious objector.

 

Advertisements