Monday, February 20, 2012
PRESIDENTS’ DAY BOREDOM
It’s a pretty dull day when I turn to contemplations of boredom, but over my past twenty-one years of art making, boredom has become a useful friend. On this pre-packaged, two-for-one presidential shopping sale holiday, I thought I’d share some artwork steeped in boredom or its process. Last week I pulled out another of my 89 daily bathroom mirror portraits of feelings. This photo was Day#1–Bored, and with it the embroidered hankie version. Not much life in these two, but a valid lack-of-emotion worthy of depiction. Last week I painted an oil stick portrait of my boring face–a winning trifecta of feeling dull.
When inspiration escapes me, I’ll often use the method of boredom to break through to wild mind. Here’s how it works. 1.Pin up a dozen or more sheets of paper on the wall.
2.Spread out a variety of drawing and painting media at easy reach. 3.Determine a subject to draw and stick to it. 4.Set a timer for a few minutes...maybe 5 or 10, and hit the start button. 5.When the alarm rings, I must move to the second sheet of blank paper, reset the alarm, start a new drawing, and so on until I am thoroughly bored, and frustrated with the short time-frame, and the repetitive subject. What invariably happens is I begin by drawing familiar images, or sometimes small, controlled and logical images. As I am forced to leave each piece when the bell goes off, I grab different media and gradually begin to try new approaches and more daring colors. Usually by the last sheet, I’ve moved out of the area of boring to a bigger field of creativity by just surrendering, and letting it rip. I did not invent this. Someone explained it to me in the early 90’s. I am indebted to their boring brilliance.
Here are eight drawings of holes or tunnels that I drew last summer using my breakthrough boring method. I’ve numbered them 1-8 so you can see the progression of loosening up. It works better than a glass of wine. My question to myself is, do I like the first one, last one or someplace in the middle?