For me, drawing is like entering another world, and leaving the old one behind. I get to relax, focus and deal with whatever comes to mind. Working into it, developing images, using my skills in a skillful manner, to crank out what can only best be described as a bunch of bullshit. It’s really enjoyable being in a place like that. Insulated from the outside world, but still being present in it.
Maybe it’s a bit like meditation. Not this New Age, Guided Imagery, Astral Projection happy horseshit, where only pleasant thoughts are generated whilst in La-la Land [I’ve been there before, the people are really friendly]. But the kind where you focus on the breath, watching and being present with the in-breath, and then the out-breath. Simple huh? Only problem is you can get distracted and witness whole worlds giving birth, living, and then dying; all between breaths. That’s where I tend to get off subject when I sit in meditation. Maybe because the content of all that thinking is really interesting and pretty juicy at times.
Thank god we don’t just inhale all the time, but exhale too. Gives me a chance to wake-up, and with it the realization that Wow, that was a good one. Wonder what’s gonna happen next.
I did a post recently about my use of color, and how using color, for me, was like how a child would color in a coloring book, being careful to stay within the lines. That way you get nice clean work which everybody will like and stick on their refrigerator. But what I failed to mention was, that from an early age, we are constantly being taught to ‘stay within the lines’, not to cross certain boundaries, conform, and by doing so will not only turn out better coloring book pictures, but will make you a productive member of society.
So basically, from an early age, someone is always fucking with your head. “Staying in between the Lines” is one form of mind-nookie. I can’t think of others at the present moment (too much else going on in mind right now), but there’s tons of subtle messages aimed at us to get us to buy into all this mental intercourse.
Thing is, it works! That is, until your actually try to get something accomplished. Then you are encouraged to “Think Outside The Box”. What? I thought we where supposed to stay in between the lines, and now you’re asking me to think outside the box? It can’t be done! What are you trying to do? Sodomize my sanity?
So ya gotta follow the rules, until you want something, then it’s okay to break em. Kinda sounds like all the financial fornication that was going on with banks before the Crash. Bending rules really worked well then. Didn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for breaking the rules. But I also don’t want the cops copulating with me. So I try to stay between the lines, but still keep ’em a little fuzzy at all times.
Maybe I’m becoming a little too self reflective or introspective, or am just checking out all the crap that’s makin’ me crazy. Maybe it comes with the territory as ya get older, and start to see the end in sight. It’s scary! I can see how people could obsess on death and dying. And how ya might just wanna hunker down in your bunker with a couple years worth of stored food and enough guns and ammo (gotta have that) to get you through till the end, because the world’s gone mad and you don’t want any part of it. [Thereby turning your bunker into it’s own little insane asylum].
Thing is, when I look inside myself, I don’t see an old man scared shitless, worrying about everything there is. I see a seventeen year old kid who still likes and enjoys same things he did since age twelve.
Maybe the above drawing reflects this. Maybe it’s just a drawing by a crazy old man hunkered down in his bunker.
Okay, the above nonsense was cranked out when I was feeling good. Maybe a little too good. But it sure felt good. I think everybody, and everything, wants to feel good. And, does exactly what is needed to feel so. Be it via alcohol, drugs, exercise, or sex (which is increasingly becoming more like exercise the older I get); all that stuff. We don’t tend to gravitate to things that make us feel bad; like, “Oh boy, I wanna feel some pain today, it’s been a while”. Hell no! Feelin’ bad is usually only a side-effect in our pursuit of feeling goodness.
Here’s a little secret. Those in charge don’t want us feeling too good. If ya did, you may never go to work again. So although you’d have a society of happy content people laying around all day enjoying themselves, they wouldn’t be producing a damned thing. And we wouldn’t be buying all the pre-packaged happiness those in charge are trying to sell us, leaving their shareholders very unhappy. Don’t get me wrong, they want people to be happy and feel good, but only if they buy it from them. Then the question is: How much happiness can you afford?
Their answer to that is: “You can afford a shit-load of happiness”, all ya gotta do is charge it to your credit card. Pretty cool. Instant happiness. All ya got to do is call that 800 number, or click on ‘purchase’, and happiness is on it’s way [I can’t wait]. Only problem is, if ya get too happy, you’re gonna end up paying for it.
I know. Big F-ing deal. But it’s kind of a trip for me, cause I haven’t been doing much with color lately. And thank God for short term memory loss; I forgot how much fun it was and am busy rediscovering it again. [Finding stuff that you’ve lost is always fun, especially when you didn’t know it was missing]. It adds a new dimension to my work: color.
I guess I stopped because I was gettin’ lazy. Like in “I don’t wanna do jack-shit” lazy. And although my crude pseudo-psychedelic drawings don’t look like a lot of work has gone into them, actually a lot has. Except recently when it hasn’t, when I’ve been content to just draw crude pseudo-psychedelic pencil or ink sketches.
Those ‘quickies’ are fast and easy, and don’t require a commitment from me, or mean I have to do anything else with them or see em again when I’m done. Adding color, for me, is like doing coloring books as a kid. Always had to stay within the lines. And oh, those hard choices ya had to make when ya had a deluxe set of 64 crayons. It was like being in coloring heaven. But it didn’t last long. I’d pick out the coolest pictures and have at em, and then burn out. [My god, that sounds like my career in Corrections].
So, when I add color, it’s like doing a coloring book, except I have to draw the whole book first before I can color it in. And if I want the pictures to look really good, I gotta first rough them out in pencil and then add details with ink (cheap ball-point pens), erase all the pencil work, and hit em again with colored pencils. I’ve left crayolas far behind; about the same time I started writing on bathroom walls.
Damn. That sounds like a lot of work. And just to crank out a crude pseudo-psychedelic drawing. I think the best part is the process. The end result…so so.
Okay. Some of you may have been wondering about my drawing style, which may be called ‘weird shit’, but is a more Surreal and a little psychedelic in nature. A common theme being making the real unreal; and the unreal very real.
I started drawing the way I do sometime in 1967. I had just spent the summer, home from school, working in a gas station for college money, and honing my drawing skills. I did many large pencil drawings that year, drawing whatever I could organize into a still-life, and rendering it as accurately and realistically as possible. Spend a lot of time just looking at stuff, it’s line, it’s form, it’s volume and how lighting affected it.
But a funny thing happened when I got back to school that Fall. Everybody was smoking Pot. Gawd damn, it was a new world. All my friends were smoking weed, and had just gotten “turned on” that summer like me. Things were beautiful on campus. Everybody was higher than a kite. Music sounded better, with groups like Cream, Credence and Hendrix blowing our minds; and even Bob Dylan was suggesting that “everybody must get stoned”. Wow, everything looked new, and was seen from a new perspective. Us students were “Feelin’ Groovy.”
Needless to say, I too got a little bit caught up in that craze. And soon developed a yearning for all things psychedelic. All that, and a passion for surrealism, had an impact on my work (I was an art major). All my artwork started to look like big hallucinations. I’ve always enjoyed figurative work and have kept it as one of the major focuses in my drawings. [Don’t do painting anymore].
The one above (and below) was painted in 1974/75. A fairly good likeness, especially if you’ve never seen me before. It portrays where I was at then. I painted it while wearing earphones listening to Led Zeppelin. I was into a high-fiber diet, and a…oh yeah…had a beard. Pretty trippy. You might say that this was one of Hansi’s earlier hallucinations.