Monthly Archives: October 2019

Condiment of Rhythm

A spot of decorative rhythm is a condiment for a drawing.

I’m reading that rhythm is being thought by some more as a decorative condiment for design than a principle of design.

I’m reading that rhythm is a tool to help set the energy of the piece.

I’m not sure that I’m seeing that in practice. What I am seeing is rhythms affect is much like that of color, it’s like a flower to a bee, rhythm is used to draw us in, and also like color, it can affects the temperament of the viewer much as the pacing of a piece of music can affect the body.

It’s a demonstration of the effect of vagal triggering. We are constantly scanning for patterns and unfamiliarity, quickly attuning to feeling the states of agitation, melancholy, sadness, joy, and ecstasy in our environment. These are energetic states are conveyed through energetic representation design principles (of color and rhythm.)


“We are able to appreciate a fantasy as fantasy when it’s not our own, when it’s someone else’s fantasy.” Unknown

Miss Brie

We add ourselves into the experiences of others, living through our imaginations, juicing a moment, claiming the shared memory as our own. A book, a piece of music, a work of art… the form, it’s line, it’s play of color and light. We step outside of ourselves to see ourselves through other people’s fantasy. More often than not, we genuinely prefer to accept as real the fantasy of others over the fantasy that is our own. Others create the spaces that we can’t imagine for ourselves, spaces to project ourselves into, giving us new ground for our imaginations to grow.

The take away is the fantasy of “the other” is more important to us than our own… while it’s our own fantasies that are needed by others.

Ground Up

There is no foundational hidden meaning to the arts. What you see is very much what you get, it’s fundamentally a subjective experience where the viewer themselves parse out meanings and rationalities. It’s existence is its justification.

There’s no need for truth in art. There is only the experience of art.

This assertion maintains that each person brings there own personal meaning to the experience, the truth that exists is the truth that is their own.

Post-it Note 19/24

We often accept our partner and their needs without accepting ourselves and acknowledging our own needs. Without acknowledging our own needs, we can’t do the self care that we alone are actually responsible for. We can’t even vocalize to our partners our own needs without this basic self understanding and in turn, they can’t help meet our needs as well. Hoping that your partner is a mind reader is an unrealistic expectation.

You need to accept your partner for who they are, and you can accept them for who they are whilst still having needs and asking for them.

Accepting a partner while still not having your needs met, is not acceptance.

Lateral Thinking

There was a concern a year and a half ago that one of the methods that I believed gave me, what I thought of as an edge, would essentially vanish with the abolition of drinking in the studio. It was how I was seeing in my mind how the activities of studio work, drinking, and problem solving were all tied together that created this belief, that by being my own biggest problem, I constantly created new possibilities simply by addressing the whimsical decision making of a functional alcoholic. A bit of an optimistic (and codependent) attitude that rationalized addiction… and even now, I don’t actually accept that I was entirely wrong.

What was normalized during that period was a comfort with a form of lateral thinking that prioritized novelty over adherence to group expectation. Much of that novelty needs to be born out of taking risks, making mistakes, and adjusting. I was concerned that all that decision making that kept taking me off trail would vanish once I sobered up, but delightfully, that hasn’t been the case. Apparently it wasn’t the alcohol that affected my taste in decision making, it’s my personality. The years spent pickling myself let me become comfortable making decisions that took me away from everyone else’s ideas of what “right” looks like and follow my own ideas of what “right” can be. After all, it feels like it’s supposed to be about what “can be” rather than what “should be”.  

…Lateral Thinking…

Post-it Note 10/23

Life drawing sessions are more and more often ending with a pile of work next to my chair that, while I’m enjoying the drawings coming off the board, I question whether I really should be showing the results rest of the room. (Yeah, I know… Why the fuck not?) I need the feedback, but what I’m getting instead are mostly silent smiles that slide away uncomfortably as people flip through the pile. No one is verbally pushing against the work. There’s a short list of possible disruptions, the shifting color pallet, compositional cropping in the drawings, vague adherence to details, wandering horizon lines… things I’m working towards rather than away from.

Granted, not everything is working. Out of a short stack of a drawings from a 3 hour session, usually it’s only 2 or three that hint towards a need to be pulled out and given more thought. Lately, a page or two more from each new session feel that they are worth another look. Maybe it’s the work simply getting more familiar… Maybe the drawings are getting better… and maybe it’s just wishful thinking. There’s no shortage of self-indulgent grandiosity in the arts and this could very likely be another example, but with that said, I enjoy what’s being made, and I’m glad when others choose to pick one of the drawings up off the pile and give it a look. It happens, and maybe the problem isn’t that no one is pushing back against the work, maybe the real problem is that I don’t take their smiles and occasional compliments as valid feedback without it being it accompanied with measure of criticism. 

Swing and a Miss

It feels like the tip of a larger idea is pressing aginst me with this. A truncated figure moving diagonally across the field. The background divided vertically. I want to see a game of operator played out with a victorial floral ghosted onto the peach background, letting the patterning spill into the green. Possibly with an open book coming into the field vaguely suggesting a figure resting on a bed. 

Be interested in your anxiety.

There’s a rush towards the acquisition of skill and the desire for things to “look” like what they are supposed to look like. It’s in that rush that something feels like it’s being overlooked. I think what’s being dodged is the anxiety of freedom. The freedom to make anything, and more pointedly, the freedom to make “bad” work. We conform to set standards with acquired skills. We hit a target rendering an agreed upon reality. A reality that’s often safe, maybe too safe. But I don’t think that’s what we find interesting, it needs to be acknowledged, there’s often an undertone of psychic energy in the anxious work, work that’s not afraid of being bad, work that freely uses the sensibilities and skills of an artist as a filter for the experience of subjective reality without concern about how or even whether it conforms. The anxious work is interesting by virtue of this freedom just to be… Go ahead, be interested in your anxiety, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll be interested too.