It wasn’t easy:
Isolating myself, for an extended period of time, away from the sounds of the city. The Village was alive with a constant, free-flowing, deluge of clamorous noises; everything, from air-braking delivery vans, to the street-vendor hawking of the near-homeless, reached my ears.
The solitude I’d craved was in desperate dispute with my environment. Every time I tried to see beyond my four walls, something nearer would stun my perceptions.
Unknowingly, I was getting even closer to an Ideal I’d desired in my Work.
I’d transformed my living space, making it as bare of clutter as I could. The couches were pushed, flush, against one wall; and, the central living area was cleared of all chairs, tables, and knick-knacks. In four hours time, the bare floorboards were gleaming; my Work-space created.
Looking backwards now, I can claim, there wasn’t anything forced in this solitary confinement; it was completely self-imposed. I had assumed the full role of “The Hibernating Artist” like a Monk of Old. I began, feverishly, with the preliminary sketches; envisioning, and revising, multiple aspects I’d hastily disregarded the first time around. Nothing stayed my hand. My pencil glided across the sketch pad. I was now in another space, another place; all of it, more deep in tone and form. The results, were like nothing I’d ever done before.
What had emerged as a small detail, in those first sketches, grew greater with each flight of suspended attention. The sketches produced seemed born from new attitudes; lighter and brighter.
Days flew by. I did nothing, but drink cool water and sketch. Things became fuzzy, adding a playfulness to my drawings, as they neared completion.
After two weeks with the sketches, the time had finally arrived to begin painting. Of all, I could count thirty preliminary sketches; I would work off of each one, in my zeal, fine-tuning each nuance, upon a fresh, blank, canvas.
[Paint, man. Paint.]
In shutting away the world, I’d reached a turning point; a new direction. And, fragmented as all this may seem, I began to paint again. Truly paint.
Four months: Quiet, solitude, and the sound of my own breathing. I couldn’t trust my voice; didn’t hear any other. No telephone or television. Only the painting sustained me; only, the picture itself.
TO BE CONTINUED...