Everyone is an artist – Joseph Beuys

I am thinking about art a lot. My art & where it is going. Some key words that stick: iconic – see the Buildings category for example. I want more of the iconic stuff. I need the Christchurch Cathederal. And people, I like to do portraits of people I am reading about or watching on video. Hand is another word, and Line. I like to see my hand in the lines, & I like strong lines, I try to return to more painterly stuff but keep adding lines.

Iconis is one of a list of words I have all pointing in the same direction, Kahn might say Monumental, Jung, archetypal, Moreno psychodramatic. In fact Moreno described the Psychodrama method as: “Exploring truth by dramatic means.” Here I explore truth by the means of lines by my hand. I don’t care if that sounds grandiose! I make no claims though for how successful I am, or that I am there.

Here is another I have just done, I have done about six, not sure which one to post:

Click to go to larger Beuys image

#469 Joseph Beuys
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This one best caught a look in his face that speaks to me.

I like the boldness & the social engagement. He had wacky ideas, everything is creative, everything is art. There is some truth in that, everything arises from a mysterious source. He seems to consciously make himself the work of art, by creating a persona. Now that is something I quite like, but it is not me. No pseudonyms, no new roles. I am tempted sometimes… I wonder if I could create an artist and do the art from that new role. But no, I just am who I am & that is OK. There are a couple of pictures here by Prince Charles though.

He was in the Fluxus movement as was Yoko Ono. I listened to her son Sean on a podcast the other day, and he spoke of how he was inspired by his mother – you don’t need to be an expert to do art, you can just go for it. He made a movie of his separation with his girlfriend, with her in it! I can see the links!

Wikipedia

Joseph Beuys Online Guide

Bunker 1

Click to go to larger Bunker 1 image

#467 Bunker 1
Larger Image.

Kate & I have been on some great walks in the Port Hills of Christchurch lately. Above Lyttelton are some old concrete structures, I’ll call them bunkers. The were part of the defences against the Japanese who almost invaded New Zealand in WWII. They are quite beautiful sitting there on the hillside. The remind me of Lois Khan buildings (though I have only seen pix) – and I want to draw more of these buildings with minimalist strong lines. Basic stuff. One Khan image done a while back – Salk Interior.

The sketches are from the photos I took, and here are some more pix, to contextualise the sketches.

Continue reading “Bunker 1”

Salk Interior

Click image to go to the Salk Interior image on the Thousand Sketches site

#327 Salk Interior
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Here is the interior I spoke about in the last post. Salk said to Kahn – build a building Picasso would want to visit. That is inspiring. I want to find a style that suits my interest in these buildings, it is not to be photo realistic, nor just to have fodder for abstract shapes. (the next one did spring out of a layer from this one.)

But what is it. I’d like it to be fast too! Watch this space.

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Purchase Print

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Forming, becoming & docking slowly into the landing site

Here is a quote from “Tarzan Presley” by Nigel Cox – enjoying it right now. Page 54:

Edgar Rice Burroughs once remarked, with reference to Tarzan, that a new thought was like rain – you can sense it’s on the way.

I’ve wondered about this. I think I know what he meant.
You grasp something, and your whole head lights up, it’s like your brain being born again. But then, if you reflect, you see that you had been aware of this possibility, this new arrangement of the facts of the world, and had cleared a space for it in your thinking. Like a mighty space craft, dewy from its long voyage across the dark, it docks slowly – shudders a little as it fits perfectly nto the landing site. As you study it you see that it’s been a long time oming.

I thought of of this project of course. The image of the spaceship fits. I like “long voyage across the dark”. It is taking me places and it is a big thing with its own momentum and monumentum!

The idea of “monumental” is strong in the writing & work of Louis Kahn, architect, whose book I was reading at the start of Thousand Sketches. I would love to see some of his buildings & may do so. I have been looking on the Net & sketching from a photo I did not take, breaking my rule. Monumental for Kahn means that it clearly speaks of what it is, a school is a worthy addition to the many schools that make up our notion of school, it is a strong statement in that conversation. These are my words to say how I think of monumental, but I think I get Kahn when he speaks.

My desire is that this project speaks like that in some way. My fear is that it does not. I would like it to slowly, but fully “dock”.

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My quote from Cox also applies to any one sketch.

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Process

I am, after four months, still captured by this whirl of art enthusiasm. I have been watching videos on art & reading books. I look at galleries online and offline. I look at art blogs & websites. I am immersed and enjoying the process. I am catching up on a lifetime of not doing this. I was searching for a word, suppressing, avoiding doing this art thing? Not really. I think it was incubating, biding its time.

A long post reflecting on process follows.

Continue reading “Process”

Sam 1

Click image to go to the Sam1 image on the Thousand Sketches site

#141 Sam1

Three of these coming up. Initially I thought I should not put the three versions up. The reason for that – I had a sense of cheating, and also that I do not want to use up my “quota”. But I slept on it and a few new thoughts crept in and now I post all three with gusto.

They look remarkably different, the exploration of backgrounds here is something unique to the digital medium, this is something to develop and fully realise. And I feel as if the media is asking to be used in this way… in the way a “column asks for a beam” to quote Louis Kahn.

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The Thousand Sketches project is fully launched

Last Friday we had the launch of the project, the real life physical one with food & wine. Many people came along, and I am very pleased, thanks for your interest & enthusiasm!

It was quite amazing to see all those pictures up on the wall – and to think that only a couple of months ago there were none! If you have photos from the night – please send, I was too busy to take any! I have a bit of video from the ending, I’ll spliced that together:

I was pleased how easily people valued the project as a whole and the way I am cooking up something. A common remark is: “I wonder what number 800, or 1000 will look like?”. One person said: “It’s a performance.” well observed, I do find my self unexpectedly on a stage. “It is not only how you are doing it, but what you are doing.” Right, very Louis Kahn. “At the end of alchemy is a miracle.” “Trust the impulse, return to the impulse.”

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“Surrender to the flame”

My friend Eileen’s response to the story of my project. Thanks Eileen!

Right now the flame is a glow, re-kindling after days of intense focus on my psychotherapy work with the NZAP council.

I have some air-port sketches. (I posted them already)

What does this flame want? Ideas flood in about the whole rather than the sketches. I am sure that online auctions & the market, are integral, not just a business add on. It began with the “sponsored links” on the sketch pages. There a desire, but also a wish to suppress. My way out of that tension – as I have already mentioned here – is Hermes. The very same impulse to crate a hermetic vessel, brings with it the notion of gold and trade, as Hermes is the God of trade… that is how it is in cyberspace.

Art is investment, it is trade, Hermes the trickster has a hand in it.

Make something out of nothing.

I think auctions are right! It is “what it wants to be” it may be me that is holding back, it hard for me to embrace. There is also a learning curve to auctions – and it is a bit much right now.

Khan’s platonism again of course. Here is a quote on the nature of the nature of things.

Get rid of this “thing”

I posted earlier about my relief that I had a new perspective on the website. I am reading Louis Kahn, and was struck by the similarity when he could not wait for the crane to leave hisbuilding site, and how later he came to see if as his friend,because it stimulated him to think of new forms. Interestingly hesees it as an extension of the arm, much like McLuhan. see quote.

Form is on my mind. I think of the blog as a new form… not that new, I think I posted that idea about 10 years ago. A new form like once the sonnet was a new form. it feels like cooking in this incubator is some sort of form emergence.

Duane Keiser on in his blog “On Painting” is conscious of the online world impacting on art – the blog is even has: “about painting and how the Internet is changing the business of art” in its title . There is something of a shift happening as he abandons galleries for eBay, much in the way My Space is impacting on the music industry.

It all adds up to that the medium is the message.

Don’t worry we’ll soon be dead

Saying yes to a whim presented by life is a good thing – but how was I to know it would kidnap me? All I want is peace – but no chance with the launch coming up and the pressure I have created here to work. Panic. Then Kate says “Don’t worry we’ll soon be dead” quoting back my idea that there is plenty of time for peace in the grave.

Today: Got the www.thousandsketches.com domain working! Now it is really messy. www.thousandsketches.dreamhost.com still has the blog, some links won’t work.

Messy!

Realisation: The site is a sketch too. Creating a site is a project and not just a preparation for a project! I have been trying to do it so that it is ready now! I have all the time I need, the line around a year does not apply to the site! The “gallery” and the blog are adequate for now but I have many plans for both, but there is no rush. Phew!

Conversations: Are good. But only while my main one is with www.thousandsketches.com – and it speaks only to me. See this quote from Kahn On Collaboration. The important thing is to distinguish between the “architecture” and the “providing a service” – I am still doing the first & later I can call in the plumbers.

Project – Sketches – Reflections – Louis Kahn

1,000 sketches might sound big, it does to me, but what I had not bargained on was the project, it is big. This month I have created a website, sampled and purchased software, explored printing, learnt about giclée, bought a printer, had dozens of conversations about art & the Internet, bought books, visited galleries, surfed the net to learn about art and had little sleep. Not because I am sketching!

The project has got me!

Continue reading “Project – Sketches – Reflections – Louis Kahn”

Julia Morison exhibition in Christchurch

I have been looking at exhibitions and loving the depth revealed when we see the few works shown from many years of delving into thematic material. The Julia Morison exhibition in Christchurch at the moment is a good example.

a loop around a loop

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The title says it all, a theme of themes all linked with symbols she has been working with for years. I loved her work, and I think it is great.

My problems with the “variety” (mess I call it) in my project came up when I saw her work. Is that ok? I am, more and more, with what it is. Here my work with the psyche stands me in good stead. The psyche is messy. I am revealing my messy psyche as it unfolds. It is the exposure of it all that is unnerving, sketches are what they are, they just pop out, they are evolving. I am curious where they will take me, they are taking me!

Continue reading “Julia Morison exhibition in Christchurch”