Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Old Lady Sits Chatting While Naked Twenty-Year Old Lounges On Floor: Keith Richards

Drawing Group last night, Betsy's apartment, Kat modeling. When I started doing art in '72, one of my stoned fantasies was that I was performing a psychological experiment in which I went from no chops to having some, and managed to explain how it's done. I also forswore graduate school and any hope of a career comensurate with my considerable intellect, based on another stoned -- albeit correct -- mental construct that graduate degrees are a kind of educational inflation, and right thinking young men didn't need them. Waddamaroon.

Where was I going?

Oh, yeah, last night was an off night, but my bad stuff is still pretty strong. I got chops. The thing is, when it's not going well, I still don't know what to do to get the good stuff.

And I couldn't -- nobody could -- teach you how to draw: "Okay, dampen the beta waves. Bring the alpha up a titch. Good. Now really pour on the thetas." It's probably even more specific than that, with this cluster of brain cells shut off, and that one cranked up. The unfortunate Jonah Lehrer talks about the part of the frontal lobe that needs to shut down for jazz solos, and a degenerative and fatal brain disorder that introduces itself in middle age as an obsessive surge of creative work.

What I could do is put somebody in the way of figuring out how to draw, assign exercises. Correct habits that look like they're going nowhere. Maybe get in close with techniques for measuring, compensating for physical weakness like tremor, or using media.

Janet was at Group last night, with her visiting mother. Janet has been reading Keith Richard's autobiography Life. I've been listening to the same on audio book. Richards is a fatuous rich son of a bitch, but he's got the governor turned way down on his brain. He's all accelerator, no brake.

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