ar enough north of Los Angeles, at Cal Arts, the smog doesn't reach my bronchia and aggravate the asthma born of New York's terrible air. Napping, after a complete reading of Howl, the cement and aluminum vision of Ginsberg comes to me and I have the solution for a cover drawing to that special edition.
Cast in 1976 into homelessness by the workings of Hollywood, the small works begun last summer became the only possibility to continue working. Sitting in a kind friend's tiny apartment in Venice Beach, waking at dawn and working while coffee water boiled, I found the power of my eyesight increased hourly, the page brightening before my eyes, hour by hour and unbelievably, continued, even after noon as the light slowly fades, and beyond sunset when it would grow too dark to see, and I'd have to stop or turn on lights. How can it be that the reality of increasing morning light can be internalized to replace, as it seemed to be doing, the waning light of afternoon.
The use of frottage again, here, as a possibility of psychological exploration, was based in part on the legend of Pollock's works for his psychiatrist, I decided it was time to make a trip to my own interior. I decided the stained papers would allow me to do this, in a group of works large enough to accommodate such a journey and to cohere, along the way, in my perception. I would begin a drawing gradually so as not to introduce contrasts which would lead my eye away from discovery in faint differences between grays. As the work continued--now I was working on them from dawn till after dusk--I began at first glance to see the realized finished work already there to be developed by my pencil.
Not too far into this 'safari', it became apparent to me how dependent my life had been upon art; that possibly, I'd had no life outside Art. Definitely, I'd learned most of what I knew, before its walls. That I had found myself in Art. My being had needed growth Spokane does not allow, so that Art and mind had made a space for it to grow. Later, I realize how important it was that my seventh and eighth grade teacher, sister Dolores Marie had lifted me out of that world and planted me in more fertile territory. She was a great and dedicated teacher, still alive, so she must have been quite young then. Certainly a smart idealist who shared her knowledge by preparing her charges to learn from more advanced teachers.
Definitely, it was happening to me. Parts of figures from known or unremembered works would recombine themselves; a leaf I'd draw would remind me of one I'd noticed somewhere in someone else's hand somewhere in history and my mind would decide with a marvelous new freedom to draw each new leaf a new way, effectively (if intuitively) cataloging all the leaves I'd seen in the world and in Art. And learned to read my own hand 'writing'.