Monday, October 09, 2006

The Farther In You Go

“The farther in you go, the bigger it gets.”
- John Crowley, Little, Big

For awhile now, many of my drawings have evolved in what’s become a fairly predictable way: Growing first larger, then smaller again as I explore possibilities, discard those that don’t work.

Editing has always played a large part in my process. I like cropping, exploring ways to clean up, strengthen, focus a composition. I want the result to be at once comfortable and arresting to my eye; every element should contribute, none detract.

The drawings continue to evolve as usual, through exploration and discovery, trial and error. But I’m finding that I’m retaining more of what I’m reaching for, and more of the drawings’ interim stages remain in the finished image. Still editing judiciously- I don’t imagine I’ll ever stop working that way.

But then, that’s another of my goals: I want to imagine more, and in lots of ways. For one, I want to continue to sketch things I can’t wholly capture, bring to a level of finish that satisfies me- Yet. Hopefully, my reach will always exceed my grasp, my aspirations exceed my skills.

The more I reach for, the more I find; and in trying to capture more of what I can only glimpse at the moment, I continue to learn: How to work more efficiently; how to trust that part of me that understands more than my intellect about what I’m trying for. How to avoid habitual responses; how to further, instead, the flow of what’s happening.

Every now and then, I realize that I’ve gotten a lot better at something I’ve been working to learn, that I’ve reached some goal I’d set for myself awhile ago. Usually comes as a pleasant surprise, and I marvel at this a little.

And then I get back to work, and begin again.

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