Archive for the ‘Sketchblog’ Category

Presenting the Thousand Sketches – a work in progress

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

I wrote in the last post that Thousand Sketches was a completed project. Sort of. The 1000 are done. However they are not all printed! Printing is a form of presentation, and…

presentation is the art


I am thinking about the warm-up to a presentation. Naming. Description. Artist statement. I am really thinking art! Creating the aura is art. How to be fully present with these sketches, how to honour them, help them be seen for what they are, no more or less.

I want Henry to come along and make a link! Links are a form of art. Curating is an art. Criticism is art.

I was thinking when I looked at this one how easy is for one sketch in a 1000 to get lost. But I like it! How to present it?

There is plenty to work on:

    this blog

  • thumbnails don’t work properly
  • add “simple Viewer”
  • selections
  • folios

The categories are fine, but I’d like to do more of what I have done with Earth Crosses, select the best in a series and build on them.

Michael Leunig Wisdom

Friday, December 7th, 2007

The Michael Leunig Website

His confession is a great little essay. I link to it here because it resonates so well with my experience doing the Thousand Sketches. I don’t have characters, but I do have stuff that appears off the end of the pen.

I have developed a deep affection for my abiding characters and symbols, they nourish me greatly. Many times since the duck and teapot revelation their strange antics and adventures have anticipated the course my life would take. I respect their integrity and eccentric ways to an absurd degree. They appear off the end of the pen, at that wondrous point of connection and delight, and place themselves freely in my drawings. They ask for things and do what they will. They surprise, disturb and inspire me. I observe them with bemusement and respect. I let them be and eventually I hear what they are telling me.


Subway Crows

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

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#0980 Subway Crows
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Completing one I began in New York. These are bronzsz just casually placed in the subway. I don’t know the artist, if someone does please let me know. Tiny sculptures are easy to stumble upon in the New York subways, wonderful!


Sunday, November 11th, 2007

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#0979 Gracefield
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Home, looking out of my office window.


Thursday, November 8th, 2007

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#0972 Up
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Back Up. The disk failures have not been in vane. I now have a backup system par none. I am enjoying the word too… up. Up. Better than a back down.

If you are interested in my backup strategy, read on.



Friday, November 2nd, 2007

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#0964 Backup
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I have had more time doing PC backup stuff and fixing crap than sketching. I was thinking of the early novels, Richardson, all made up of letters, which became possible because of the speed-up of the postal system. The speedup led to the conception of letters forming a whole. In those epistolatory novels the letters themselves are part of the plot. OK, self reflective stuff. So this is a bit like that. So is the next one.

The Heart Garden

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

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#0957 The Heart Garden
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I am reading the book by Janine Burke, the Heart Garden about Sunday Reed. I have just got past the intro with the details about her upbringing, and now about to learn about a few Australian artists, including one of my favourite, Arthur Boyd.

Pencil Case

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

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#0956 Pencil Case
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Morning Coffee

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

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#0955 Morning Coffee
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“I would like to place my mind inside the bowl.”

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

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#0954 Bowl
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This morning I thought I’d have a good shot at moleskine style sketchblogging. There is a tradition here I semi-tap into and is close to what I aspired to at the start. Sketches. I got a bit carried away and that is OK. I think I am finding style in this genre that I may be able to perseverw with for a while, especially once the 1000 are done.

The title “I would like to place my mind inside the bowl.” is not sketchbloggy at all, but a quote from the Thai Buddhist artist Montien Boonma who did bowl sketches as a meditation.

Art talk & artists info follows.



Thursday, October 25th, 2007

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#0921 Bush
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I have not been well today, lay on the deck sleeping and occasionally looking up at the bush!

Playful, discerning, courageous eye.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Creativity & roles.



Sunday, October 21st, 2007

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#0901 Hills
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Driving home from Mt. Lyford – miles of hills. Home.


Sunday, October 21st, 2007

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#0899 Vegies
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Pre-dinner sketch.

Mountain Window

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

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#0898 Mountain Window
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Spring snow. Yes that is snow on the deck.


Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

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#0851 Backyard
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I have been posting up a back log, but here is one from today! great.


Monday, October 1st, 2007

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#0832 Cup
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Just because I have no pen does not mean I can stop! It has taken three days of installing 7 running around to get a PC that can get these images up. Now I am doing them. I must say, frustrating as it is doing this with a mouse, I am learning something. One thing is that I clench the mouse, I could let it flow more. Another is that I could emphasise the simple lines. See how one thing leads to another.

ArtRage 2.5

Monday, October 1st, 2007

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#0863 ArtRage 2.5
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A quick doodle in ArtRage 2.5, which I have just downloaded – still no pen, so this is a mouse sketch. This is a break through interface & functionality. I have said it before perhaps – I wish Corel had an interface like this! All the extra functionality in Corel X takes so long to learn, and the interface, apes Photoshop and someone needs to break away from that anachronism. I wish every kid had a Tablet with this on it. Are those $100 PCs tablets?

I have often, in ArtRage 2.00 wished for this or that. All the enhancements I wished for are here in this version. Layers work like a dream. The new default location of layers is fantastic. There will be more to discover… when I have my pen back!

An admin note about numbering follows:



Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

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#0811 Mouse
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More follow:


New York New Zealand

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

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#0793 New York New Zealand
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Sunday, September 16th, 2007

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#0783 Alchemy
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Art of the Nation

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

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#0775 Art of the Nation
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I went to Te Papa and had a look at the national gallery, Art of the Nation. There are a few favourites there. Worked on the blog for a bit in the café, and sketched what was in front of my face, John Britten’s bike in front of the Art of the Nation sign.


Saturday, September 15th, 2007

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#0771 Bridge
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Walked under a bridge on my way to Brooklyn Bridge, not sure what it is called now, worked on this in New York but just finished it off here. Whatever finished is.


Saturday, September 8th, 2007

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#0750 Lines
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The last abstracts were all with an idea in the back of my mind. Decorative. Taboo. Illustrative, taboo. My current racy enthusiasm for Richard Diebenkorn suffered a moment, a speed bump, when I read the word ‘decorative’ about his art somewhere. His fantastic ocean park works are decorative. If I had the right house they would decorate it well.

So I have been emphasizing the decorative, deliberately confronting my notion, my sense, that being decorative is not on my agenda. I looked at these lines and thought they were quite decorative, but too empty and stark. This led to thinking what if this were a figure? I then returned to some earlier sketches from my life drawing. I made them more decorative? (They are coming up in the next two posts). Id like something with more of this one but with a hint of the nude that is coming up.

Mark Rothko (wikipedia)

“Since my pictures are large, colorful and unframed, and since museum walls are usually immense and formidable, there is the danger that the pictures relate themselves as decorative areas to the walls. This would be a distortion of their meaning, since the pictures are intimate and intense, and are the opposite of what is decorative.”

Free from the past

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

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#0732 Free from the past
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This is not a true negative. It just feels like one to me.


Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

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#0731 Free
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Another in the Ten Zen Seconds series, (I am free) (from the past).

The idea of making a negative image continues… next entry.

Richard Diebenkorn

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

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#0730 Richard Diebenkorn
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A sketch from a photo in the book I am reading: The Art of Richard Diebenkorn. Great book. Reviews on Amazon say a lot, and say good things about this book.

I was struck by the Diebenkorn paintings in San Francisco – at the SFMoMA and at the De Young. I sneaked a picture. I will go on to say more about this artist & the Bay Area Figurative school. His work and a Matisse follow:


Mt. Lyford

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

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#0722 Mt. Lyford
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Back at Mt. Lyford and sketching from life, sitting inside, looking out. This is the saddle. Here is the first of a few I did yesterday.

North Wester

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

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#0721 North Wester
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Driving up to Mt. Lyford yesterday we had a spectacular NW sky. To red to be believed, and over the top.

Here is how it looked though! I put it here as another sky led to a satisfying set of images, though not all as satisfying as the best of them.

Train View

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

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#0719 Train View
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I put the view inside the picture.

Playfully … after Matisse

I like the idea. Not only windows but paintings, computers & TV. Some of my portraits show bits of TV, so that is a start.