The Drawing that Will not be Done

The drawing wants to draw what is invisible to the naked eye.It’s very difficult.The effort to write is always beyond my strength. What you see here, these lines, these strokes, are rungs on the ladder of writing, the steps which I have cut with my fingernails in my own wall, in order to hoist myself up above and beyond myself.

Cixous, Hélène, and Catherine A. F. MacGillivray. “Without End No State of Drawingness No, Rather: The Executioner\’s Taking Off.” New Literary History, vol. 24, no. 1, 1993, pp. 91–103. JSTOR,
Mixed Media Drawing by Bill Hendricks
Drawing Without End Hendricks © 2021, mixed-media, approx: 5″x 5″

This drawing lingers for me. Not wanting to call itself done. Yet, even when I call it finished, it calls me back. A friend asked me what I was doing a few times when he called from New York, and I told him, “I am working on a drawing, and it won’t end.” He asked me, “How do you know when it is done… Don’t you stop?”
Well, no. You don’t just stop. Some might say I should. I am moving on, but it sits on my desk. Done for the moment. 

The Painted Work—What’s mine?


What I saw before me was the critic-in-chief The New York Times saying: In looking at a painting today, “to lack, a persuasive theory is to lack something crucial.” I read it again. It didn’t say “something helpful” or “enriching” or even “extremely valuable.” No, the word was “crucial.”

Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word, 1975
Drawing working with pen and ink
Experiment … Part of the Process, Mixed Media, Hendricks©2020

The quote above was written in response to an article in the New York Times, on Sunday, April 28, 1974, by art critic Hilton Kramer.

This blog is a journal of sorts, featuring my artwork and my ideas about art as I understand it. After 67 years of living, I now get to start practicing what I believe I am meant to do. That is to do art.

As I work, read, and reacquaint myself with myself through my art and studies, I seek a theory of me. It is becoming more and more apparent that I am emerging both intellectually and spiritually through my art.

I have never been keen on the significant art pubs or the art critics. Only because, through big words and lengthy explanation of what they see or how they interpret, the work often shuts out, divides, or disqualifies the everyday joe or mary from viewing, collecting, and enjoying art.

I guess part of objecting to the art authoritarians is that I never felt like I fit in being a blue-collar Catholic boy that is gay, not queer, dyslectic, alcoholic, and Quaker. So I often had to forge my own beliefs and codes of conduct.

That being said, I do believe there has to be some theory, some idea, path, or journey the casual viewer might need to understand my work or any artwork better.

Although, Wolfe is critical of Kramers’s reference to the “crucial” need for a perspective theory. Wolfe doesn’t say no knowledge is necessary. Thus every artist usually provides an artist statement for the viewer and gallery visitors.

I guess Artchangeslives(dot)com is where I work to find the theory of Bill.

Information about Bill Hendricks (Shadowmason)

About Me… William John Hendricks

I am what I amAnd what I am needs no excusesI deal my own deckSometimes the ace sometimes the deuces. 
~ Jerry Herman, Composer (Wikipedia)

Bill Hendricks, (Shadowmason)
Bill Hendricks, 2021, in my office at Minneapolis College.

I am a Minnesotan who has lived half my life in Los Angeles and New York City. I consider myself a digital artist. However, my work includes tactile work, such as printmaking, photography, drawing, and interactive installations. I have a print in the permanent collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, and several private collections throughout the United States. In addition, my work was included in a group show titled, The Intimate Gallery, which questioned and explored the existence of collective consciousness in Minneapolis at Gallery 148. 

My work was included in the New York City group show, Visual AIDS, Postcards From the Edge in New York City at The Robert Miller Gallery. 

I taught Graphic Design, Web Design, and fine art at Minneapolis College (MCTC) for 22 years. I also taught at Minneapolis College of Art and Design for a few years, where I earned my MFA.

After retirement, I am again pursuing a career as a fine artist. For the last three years, I have built a body of work that includes ink drawings, photography, and 3D modeling.

Currently, my work appears in Second Life in some galleries. Second Life Endowment for the Arts invited me to appear in a group show in January, where I exhibited digital prints and drawings. My work there appears using my pseudonym, Tap Quentin. You may view my work shown on Second Life Marketplace at Ephemeral Traces.

Stop, NO MORE!

Budapest Hungary, Trip to Remember

Dear friend Silvano and Michael my husband
    Before Budapest was Italy

Budapest is a new experience, so… It has been exhausting. Wonderful but tiring. In Paris, Italy, and Switzerland, I had a chance to understand what I was reading, what was on the menu, or what someone was saying to me. Hungarian is a beautiful language, and it is fun to hear conversations around you. Still, it is so different, with all the accented characters and additional characters… there is no hope. In all fairness, though, the people here are very kind and helpful, but it can be a bit of a struggle for them and us.
There are just so many things to see… I am glad we didn’t rush through but stayed a few days more. The city is so alive… and at night too. People stroll the boulevards and streets or sit at cafes. The Danube divides the city. Buda is on one side, and Pest is on the other. Pest is where our hotel is located. That portion of the city is flat, while Buda’s side is hilly. Buda is gorgeous at night from the Pest side. Don’t get me wrong, there is one city government, but you may talk about each area using its historical names.
We lucked out without knowing it… Budapest has a lot of activity this week as the city prepares for the Formula One Race that will run on Sunday. We got to see a practice or promotional event as they shut down Hero’s Square and fenced it off so the racers could use its perimeters; I think the event was designed to get the locals excited about the race coming to town. Another unexpected event in Budapest was a Rembrandt print exhibition celebrating Rembrandt’s 400-yr b-day. WOW! I was fascinated…, particularly by the multiple storylines he would include in most of his images. I guess … illustratively they would be the same as a sidebar accompanying a publication’s article. In tandem with this show, they curated another local artist exhibition and asked them to use the Rembrandt show to inspire their art for the show. The interactive and the video were both beautiful works. The videos were kind to Bill Viola’s work, and the interactive piece operated similarly to a periscope, but as you raised or turned the LCD monitor, it allowed you to see Rembrandt’s work and turned them into abstract or 3-D images. It was fun watching the viewers navigate the device.
In many cases, the viewers never touched the piece. For example, two older women stood before the device, reading the article describing the work but never touching it once. Another event is the billboard event that is running now; it started on August 3 with an open-air concert. These boards are assembled and run for a couple of blocks; some are replicas of actual boards that ran… the event must have open submissions because many of the panels there are in English. There seem to be several categories as well… ranging from art to social commentary… and political statements. I’ve included a few shots.

The most telling show I attended was across the square at the Müsarnok Kunsthalle… when I saw the work of Dan Perjovsch, a Hungarian political cartoonist… He entered the museum with a few Sharpies and a keen wit. The newfound political and economic systems that accompany all don’t appreciate it. He addressed it in his work, but I was also stunned by the globalization that is taking place and how quickly the major companies have moved to Hungary with all their signage, advertising, and products. Guess the world can enjoy the Éspirits, Pumas while dining at their KFC.

Today we visited the Ludwig Contemporary Museum of Art… a huge Walker. There was one exhibit that we both enjoyed… a photographic essay by ten photographers, each assigned a new member of the European Market. Excellent show… each interpreted the assignment differently. Powerful show… if you have a moment, check it out online.

Then we went to the Terror Museum… DEPRESSING! The museum was dedicated to Hungary’s recent history from the 1930s until 1991, when the last of the Soviets left. It was so hard to see what people could do to one another. The museum was the building where so many people gave up their lives. So many might have been guilty of fighting against the Nazis or resisting the government or the Soviets. Still, it came through clearly that many weren’t involved and were taken and disappeared strictly to terrorize the citizens. One of the most challenging aspects for me is that the building was in a very upper-class area and neighborhood. So this torture was going on … in the Hungarians’ midst.

Overall, the food was good, the people incredible, the hotel comfortable, and the weather cloudy and rained a bit, but the Budapest portion of the trip was great. Tomorrow will pack again and are off to Praha, which is Prague. We are looking forward to seeing it. The folks we have run it at restaurants, and Budapest’s mineral bathes say we will enjoy our stay. It will be only a 6-hour train trip.

We are tired and will not go to Vienna … straight to Prague. We’ll be there for five days

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