Words are always symbols, never immediate, always representations.
I’m avoiding representations in my coloring work. Mrs. ___ said a swath of yellow looked like a banana. OK. Sure, if you say so. I mean, that’s what it reminds her of, that’s what it matches up to in her brain. My brain figured out the bottles left on my porch were acid (or base) bombs pretty quickly last Saturday. …
Representations—recognizing a pattern— … how I didn’t think of the possible meaning of bottles at first—not immediately, or I wouldn’t have picked it up. Well, actually, I had sorta recognized it, but thought I’d be OK, I guess. But still, it was a radical change of context, from passively watching a movie inside to figuring out what to do (being active) outside, in a dangerous situation. But my brain did adapt pretty quickly, you know. It apprehended the anomalous, odd, unusual situation: the doorbell, nobody there, car down street, bottles, stay away, bottles blew up, car left.
And as I drew/colored last night …, I followed my eye, my visual sense, and my feeling of what should be/could be done next to the page.
Do our art teachers encourage abstraction? I sorta doubt it—they’re mostly about representation, kids starting from an idea and carrying it out. How tedious that seems to me—though maybe I should explain the larger context of my creative writing assignments to those kids—how I don’t really have a large theory to teach them, just the idea/attitude/posture of openness, and a willingness to follow impulses, to try whatever idea comes—follow whims. There’s my creative philosophy, my instruction, now let’s try different things.
[From journal of Fri., 9 March 2012, Journal 154, page 133-4]