soulless technique and blame


     Here’s some crap from early college.  Mainly concentrating on technique more than content, although it seems I was partial to black lines on white paper form an early age.  I remember being very proud of this at the time.  I even made a couple more versions with different colors and textures and matted them all nicely on some black card stock with the careful use of spray adhesive.  My narcissistic young self admired these works and thought them fit for framing at the time.

     But now…  Now, I kinda hate them.  I look at the above image and what I see is all the excitement and raw content of the Sharpie craze and nose bleed trapped inside a kind of soulless technique.  I know I was young and still learning but I can’t help but hate this.  I fucking hate it.  Those straight lines and unimaginative use of still life objects.  Sure the contour lines on the leaves are nicely done but there’s absolutely no self-discovery going on here at all.  Funny…  this isn’t the first time I’ve been way too hard on myself for crimes committed in college.  I know now that I needed help and encouragement at the time but I still have trouble fighting the impulse to blame myself.

4 thoughts on “soulless technique and blame

  1. You're being too hard on yourself. Intentionally or not, you've already got the wacky perspective thing going on — the almost-missing table leg, the corner of the room behind the table especially. If you hadn't done the careful lines on the shells and leaves then, you wouldn't be where you are today, technique wise.

    Yes, this work is amateur night for you, but it's important because of history and context, ya dingdong. It shows what you have accomplished ever since escaping the clutches of art teachers like that “Nice Penis” Rex guy.

  2. Thanks, you two. I guess it's a good thing to have people pointing out my self-harshness. Might help stay my hand the next time I get the urge to flog myself.

  3. I will also ditto Stacia, because I can't offer anything better than that. You need to listen to that smart lady a little more often ;)

    I understand where you're coming from as you compare your old/current work, but for what it's worth, I actually like this. I wouldn't say it's my top favorite of your oldies (that would be plank flower), but it's visually appealing to me. Not sure why. I think it's the variety of angles/textures competing with each other. I especially dig the leaves on the plant. Look at them! They are quite lovely and somehow perfect in a simple way. Quitcherbitchin.

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