ON DRAWING by Ira Greenberg
"When I draw regularly, I am most healthy.
It’s both the process of physically making marks, a sort of concentrated dance, and the disappearance into a meditative void, a place between conscious intentionality and intuitive impulsivity.
First, I need to get lost and disoriented.
I don’t want to begin with any attachment or a priori objective; if I do it’s bound to be shit. Out of chaos and an almost complete uncaring for what I’ve created, I will eventually reenter the work, as a traveler viewing a destination for, hopefully, the first time.
It’s a protracted struggle between intentionality and detachment. The former needs to occur, but at certain very specific times, and the latter can become a false haven. The work must become less pure, even bad, to potentially become any good.
At some point the work begins to reveal itself, and I try to articulate ‘it’, more as a collaborator than as a single creator. There remain many pitfalls of ego, flights of imaginative fancy. I am experiencing the work for the first time, even though my hand created it. There are moments of exaltation and pure joy, (but I also know some of these are missteps/delusions and will need to be redrawn or erased.)
The middle process can go on for a very, very long time, years even or longer. Of course I want the piece to resolve itself, as soon as f’n possible, but this process can’t be forced or rushed. There are also times when the work happens quickly; I just never know.
Once the work is complete, or abandoned (sometimes the two end states are indistinguishable), I can view the piece as an independent work, as if I had collected it rather than created it. I won’t know for a long time what I truly think about the work, and maybe that’s not really my business to know."
Ira Greenberg, March 28, 2023