Thank you, the Whitney & Ming Smith

With art it’s cerebral, but there has to be a time to let go. In any craft, you learn the basics. And then you just go. An opera singer or jazz musician run scales all day and when it comes to performing they just sing or play. So photography was like that, you learn about lighting. You have the rudiments of the craft within you and then you just let it flow.

Ming Smith, member of the Kamoinge Workshop by way of an email from the Whitney Museum, NYC

Perfect timing! Just received an email from the Whitney, as I was examing the importance of intentionality. I believe it can be divided into at least two separate and distinct areas. Craft and knowledge of media and the artist\’s intention, whether it is to express an idea, story, subconscious muse, emotional outburst, an inner feeling.

My intention as an artist is evident. As clear as it was in grad school, a study of reality and perception… in short consciousness. Craft, on the other hand, I don’t know if an artist ever ceases to study the craft and technical aspects of producing art. I told a friend this morning that my retirement feels as if I have returned to college.

This semester has been a mixture of theory, dabbling and learning Blender, drawing, exploring the media I wish to use at this moment, learning more about color, and studying anatomy as taught by Loomis. I am seriously concerned about my grades this semester. LOL.

Two drawings created 2020
Left: the reverse side of the right side, Right: work in progress, 5″ x 5″, Hendricks©2020

Thank you, the Whitney & Ming Smith

What for? How come?

Color is like cooking. The cook puts in more or less salt, that’s the difference! ~ Joseph Albers, (Sensational Color)

Color Swatches done with ink and  colored pencil
Teaching Color is not Akin to doing Color, Hendricks © 2020 

Concerned with the practical intent, I mean by choosing a width of a pen, or the softness of a pencil, or the shade and color of a pencil and how it reacts to a substrate. I set about doing a series of studies using the media that I am fond of at this moment. I stumbled into some articles discussing the intent of the artist. Yes, the intent of the artist is important, but… is it important to the audience. Does the work have to be explained by the artist? 

I know why I am drawing and studying the various software that I am, but I am on a path… and as a great hike, I don’t know the adventures, disappointments, wonderful sights, and joys  I will enjoy along the way. I know that in some way, it is a spiritual quest, one that will give me insights both in the conscious and unconscious realms.  

Whether or not it is important, I have to reveal; I believe in something, maybe you can call it God, that is up to you. That belief and my current self combines and presents itself in my artwork. If you have followed my work, you know that I have studied and learned to question what reality is, and I know that we as humans only experience a minute fraction of that reality actually is. For the moment, I am focused on Creation, Chaos, and Order and letting that present itself in my work, as feeble as my efforts might be to let that occur, I hope you both enjoy and allow yourself to explore what I see. 

The Retirement Adventure … Continues

It is enough to say that the Greeks thought it was Chaos who, with a massive heave, or a great shrug, or hiccup, vomit or cough, began the long chain of creation that has ended with pelicans and penicillin and toadstools and toads, sea-lions, lions, human beings and daffodils and murder and art and love and confusion and death and madness and biscuits.

Stephen Fry
Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold
Colored pencil and Sakura Pigma Micron Pen drawing.
the Chaos Machine, 5″x5″, mixed media, Hendricks © 2020, all rights reserved

At least that is how it feels at times. I am whittling down options and getting to know media. I am still drawn to Blender, Procreate, Affinity Photo, Second Life, drawing with Micron Pens, graphite, and Color Ease erasable pencils. 

I have been reading Mythos, by Stephen Fry. I wanted to get to know Greek Mythology better. Stephen Fry does an excellent job, and it is written with humor I enjoy. The piece included in this post is called the Chaos Machine.

Creation, Chaos, and Order

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been concealed by the answers.

James Baldwin
99 Inspiring Quotations on Art, Creativity, Life and Livelihood
Mixed-Media Drawing
Chaos 2, Mixed Media Drawing, Hendricks©2022

Chaos II, Hendricks ©2020, approx. 5″x5″, Found paper, pen, and colored pencil

Continuing to work and play with both images and media, I find a path to prayer and meditation as I work. Prayer or mediation are words that I, as a Quaker, find a bit disingenuous. For me, I find in the silence, and I can open myself to my higher power. 

This quote is meaningful to me because this reality that I experience is experienced to me through my brain’s filters.  So the answers at times seem very clear… but it is the questions that are a mystery. In most Quaker meetings, there is an opportunity for individuals to ask for a clearness committee to help discern questions in their lives. I guess it is the art that I work with and enjoy that serves as my clearness committee. This committee provides questions to the answers and provides questions to explore to seek further clarity to the existing answers.

Perception—No Brown

There’s no such thing as brown light! The color brown doesn’t exist in the external reality, but only in your internal reality: it’s simply what you perceive when seeing dim orange light against a darker background.

Max Tegmark, 
Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality;
Good Reads
Triangles, an image drawn by Bill Hendricks
Triangles, 5″ x 5″ Mixed Media, Hendricks ©2020t.

Still fascinated by Perception Vs. Reality

I have been doing a lot of work, surprisingly. I am still coping with learning the new media and focusing more on drawing with more control, as tempted as I am to use straight edges and drawing(technical templates). I believe a hand-drawn circle is more revealing about the artist and skill. Not that skill counts a lot, even if the world disagrees.

I suppose a bit of art speak is necessary at some point. If I have to put it in one word right now, I choose Creation, if I need to provide two words, Creation and Chaos. If I must give the reader three words… Creation, Chaos, and Order.

My friends tell me that the found paper I am working with isn’t such a good idea. They say it must be acid-free and have the ability to endure time. I understand their reasoning, and I guess to preserve the value of the work. I have two pieces of art that I did when I was very young, and when I open a drawer and see them, I think how beautiful it is that they are fading and turning a warm patina of age. By not worrying about the paper’s acidic nature, I feel I am embracing nature and time as Stefan Sagmeister did in his ‘Lisbon Billboard (2009).

I am archiving my work. Being that my drawings are small, that is easy. I have been digitizing them as well, building a body of work. I am having an opening of sorts on Second Life tomorrow.

Stay healthy… Thanks for reading,

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