This individual is actually a very complex and densely dimensional person. Running through the convoluted channels of his life, though, is a spritely joy for life that inspires. Plus, he has a thing about attracting rocks...
Click on this image to find the real size of my 3"x5" drawings.
Yes, they are still difficult to see, for older eyes.
Magnifying glasses are recommended for anyone over the age of 40 who is not lucky enough to be nearsighted.
I began doing this tiny imagery when I noticed the audience at a Faberge exhibition was not looking closely at a certain egg, and therefore missing the point of the whole creation, the exquisite likenesses of the Tzar and his family, each image no bigger than my little fingernail. In fact, I couldn't see these portraits, either, but luckily I borrowed a second pair of magnifying glasses from a friend. I put them BOTH on, one on top of the other, and the fabulous world of Faberge and the Tzar's family came to life. I could actually imagine the family members looking at each other, having everyday feelings for each other!
My little drawings are obviously not direct portraits... But hopefully their abstract symbolism has a resonance with the audience... but you might have to pull out the magnifying glasses to get to the essence of the story lines.
Below is the same drawing. This time when you click on the image you will see it enlarged into a form where the details become more clearly objects, actions, and progressions.
Such is life: We can look at it from far away and it appears to be one thing. Or we can look at the details and see something quite different, perhaps even motivations for why things are happening.
Two drawings of the same lifeline. The storyline is of someone who grows from childhood into a man who craves material success. After years of stress in trying to fit into this idealized system he gets on his bike and races off into his future, finding a satisfying sense of harmony in his love for nature and his adoring family.
It is disappointing to not get it right the first time around, as this man experienced in his life. It is ironic that this drawing storyline is the one I flubbed the first time around as well. Perhaps this second version is also a flub. The way life keeps shifting, I think reevaluation is a constant.
(What was that you just whispered... "change"...?)
(Update: the second drawing pleased the recipient, so "take two" is a "go!")
Try to see this lifeline from varying points of view: Imagine yourself taller than the quilt shape. Then imagine yourself as small as the tiny objects at the bottom. Is there a change in your perception about what the drawing means?
To my mind, this drawing illustrates the mindset of artistic creation: the creator takes what is tossed around as normal, rethinks it, and makes it into something enlightening to experience.
Many people are artists at living life. It is never an easy process, but usually the complexities of love are sewn in there somewhere.
Here is a group effort that is pulling in the talent and hearts of many.
The concept was originally inspired by Lisa, above, when she lost her mother.
(Click on this detail of painting to see it better.)
Speaking about breaking things up, in order to see things freshly anew, I just detail cut up one of my paintings (no, not literally, just photo chopped) and have been sitting here spacing out on the meaty inner part detail. I have not painted in a while and I can't wait to get in there and do more of this work. I want to stick my head into the middle of this scene and look all around everywhere!
I used to call this painting "Confronting Brown" but I think I am feeling more kind lately. I've been thinking it more of a case of "Enveloping Brown." Adds a touch of hope. Maybe I'll do another painting with this in mind.
Once out there in the world, our work takes on a life of its own.
I am pondering a piece of art I once did that used to be one thing, someone collaged into another thing, and it became something new in the process. The original intent is gone but a sliver of former truth remains.
Of late I have been revealing a little bit of what I think about when I do my drawings. I generally don't want to share too much because I'd like the viewer to have his/her own relationship with the piece. This is risk taking, because every individual brings to the viewing unique limitations alongside their insights.
I recently viewed a museum exhibition on Bonnard and was amazed at the simplicity of description I found on the informative labels. It was as if the curator wanted to discuss the most superficial of interpretations, and make mystery out of the obvious. Meanwhile, down underneath, was a subtle depth of consciousness that was aching to be described.
But maybe that deep stuff isn't describable. I am finding that we humans do not think the same, none of us. Obviously we have different abilities to think quickly and with wit, but aside from that we have different abilities to take in different kinds of content. This ability to take in information varies as we travel through life.
It is for this reason that I am interested to see how an artist's art changes as this person grows older. What kind of relevance can be found in the manner with which that the artist changes the art... or doesn't! I am skeptical about the inner meat of art that doesn't change over time. This feels like design more than art. On the other hand, design and art go hand in hand. I am thinking it is important to know what we are dealing with, and then appreciate what it is for what it is (once we know what it is)... until we change our perspective, which might be in one minute from now.
Therefore, I don't tell people much about what goes on in my head when I create art. It is always shifting... taking on new perspectives... as are the minds of the viewers.
Some of us seem to find answers more quickly than others. AC, above, appears to do very well at making his way through the sticky glue/muck/slung mud of life. Perhaps he knows that glue often combines with matter to create beauty; muck might be decay that can fertilize the new; mud is where seeds of poetry can be sewn.
When I was 20 I saw the work of Stephen De Staebler and didn't understand the questions, much less the answers in his work. Ten years later I saw his work again and was floored by my previous lack of connection to the humanity and sense of history expressed... not to mention the elegance of form, texture, and balance that is more often described.
Now I am older than a half century and I am realizing that I just now truly understand the relationship between Henry Moore and Gustav Klimt.
What a cheeky attitude life has of making me wait so long to really get it! And what a delightful hoot that I will continue to play this game of allusions/illusions on into the future!
Such a little drawing, above. Who is Chaz? Why have I drawn him so straight and tall and really quite simply? Does this drawing appear thin and light to you? Is there strength, even within the thinness? Why? What complexities of life go into making the shape of a sun person? Can we ever assume that we know the insides of anyone?
I met Chaz decades ago, at a younger time. So much has happened since, and yet, there he is, tall, solid, and full of a sun energy that beams out even onto those who are merely standing near him, not knowing him at all.
Humans are so complex. How can anyone be described with simplicity? I try to get at an essence of something with these drawings. Our lives do have story lines to follow. So here is Chaz, and the story of his resonance with thought and positive energy, some of which he controls, and some of which is his natural state of being.
I am a visual person who draws and paints about life, viewing the world from a variety of perspectives. Since I have one foot in civilization and one foot in nature, and my head isn't afraid of deep caverns or dizzying heights, I end up in some pretty interesting places. ~ ~ ~
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I have two blogs. Toldileigh.blogspot.com muses about the world through the lens of my art mind. The second blog, Maybeperhapsifyouwill.blogspot.com, is a bunch of nonsense I create by harvesting characters from my artwork and giving them dialogues.
All art/writings in blogs copyright Leigh Toldi unless otherwise specified.