The art that is write in front of me. That’s what I’m going to write about this morning. It’s Monday the eighth of February, 2021 as I write this and I feel like writing but don’t have a subject in mind. That’s why I’m going to write about the art that’s in front of me. Or whatever else comes to mind. Like fatigue.

I’ve had to clear the driveway of a lot of snow he other day so I’m a little tired. A week ago on Monday February the first I had to clear sixteen inches of snow. Even with my John Deere riding mower, which has a plow on the front, that was a lot of work. The next day I had to clear another four inches. The day after that another two inches. That made yesterday’s five inches seem rather easy. Five inches is a normal snowstorm for the lower Hudson Valley. Twenty inches is not.

Besides being physically tired lately yesterday was the Super Bowl. Being a football fan I enjoy the big game but it also makes me a bit pensive after it’s over. It’s the culmination of the football season and also the end of it. It’s almost like another New Year’s Day to me. A time to reflect on the year that has gone by. That’s a tough thing in this Covid year. So I’ll contemplate the art that’s in front of me.

I made a new big in drawing this Super Bowl weekend. I haven’t made one of those in a couple of months. I actually had a drawing picked out to blow up and do that size but the drawing has just been sitting there for over a month. I finally decided to make it this past weekend. But that’s not even the art that’s in front of me.

Like everyone else I don’t have as much room as I’d like to have. I make my big ink drawings on an easel in my studio. But when I finish a big ink drawing I really don’t have any place to put it. I have to scan it in before I tuck it away in a box or portfolio case somewhere but it’s a pain to scan in a 22×30 inch drawing. So I let them pile up. When I’m not working on my easel I put the pile of drawings there. When I am working on my easel I move the drawings onto my bed. When it’s bedtime I put them back on the easel.

As a consequence of all that I have a pile of drawings on my easel right now. I’m going to go over to my easel and count them for you. Twenty six. Including the one I just made I’ve got twenty six 22×30 inch drawings on my easel. I’m going to have to scan those all in sometime soon because that number is getting to be real high and any higher and the amount of work it will take to scan them in will be too much.

Out of the twenty six drawings only one of them can be in front on my easel or on the top of the pile when they’re on my bed. I change that one every once in a while. I get tired of the one on top even if I only see it as I move the pile from my easel to the bed and back. For those brief seconds I want to see another one in the pile. That’s why when I looked up at my easel this morning I was a little bit startled by the drawing I saw on my easel. I must have just put that one on top without thinking about it since it seemed a little new to me.

Yes, there are times my own work can seem new to me. As I said there are twenty six drawings in that pile which I made in the last year. Sometimes I did a drawing a week for a month. So a drawing I made eight months ago could get put in the pile after being on my easel for only a few days to a week and not been seen by me for months after that. I only lived with it for a short time. Plus I’m usually thinking about the next piece and not the last one.

“Pyramid Room” from March 22, 2020 is the piece that’s in front of me. That’s from the very beginning of Covid. Back when it seemed like it couldn’t possibly last this long. It’s one of my drawings with a large face in it and lots of geometric patterns. I think it has more patterns in it than the drawings I’ve done lately so it looks fresh to me. Somehow looking at something I did a while ago looks more fresh than what I made yesterday. That probably has to do with burnout. Sometimes I have to put something away for a while and come back to look at it with fresh eyes to appreciate it. I can get tired of a piece after working on it for days on end.

I really like the giant face on the left in this one. It speaks to me. It seems like a real face that’s looking out at me with a presence. It seems to have a sense of strength to it. The patterns are like armor and it’s well prepared to defend itself against all comers. I use the pronoun “It” because, thought the face seems masculine to me, there is an objectless to the face that demands an “It” from me. I draw many androgynous faces and figures and often assign them a “He” or “She” in my mind but not with this one.

The small face in the upper right looks scary. I think it’s the angle of the eye and lack of mouth but there is more emotion coming off this face than the stoic large head. It’s also floating like a magic talisman. I’m wary of it.

Speaking of floating that’s exactly what that giant eye is doing. Its a purely magical creature that exists in the atmosphere of the picture. It’s part of the great pattern of life. I think that eye is trying to communicate with us more than the other two faces. I can really get lost in the patterns in and around that eye.

I’m glad this picture ended up on top of the pile this morning. I don’t think I’ve looked at it since March and I’m enjoying seeing it now. It’s the art that’s in front of me.