They did a good job on the design!
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 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”
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.
I just updated a post I did in October Added an picture I said I’d add of a Frank Stella painting.
Finished up simplifying my image while I was there. Of course the original is still there in the original post, but here is the tweaked one:
This image is available printed in a limited edition. It is available exclusively on Felt, a New Zealand Art & Craft website.
I am reading about calligraphy in Herbert Read’s “A Concise history of Modern Painting”. (here is the bit) Calligraphy is (perhaps, I’d say as I don’t really trust any theory) at the root of Abstract Expressionism. What an insight! probably not for people with a formal ed in art, but it is for me. Why that is such a blast is that I am working away at getting the verticals right in my new crosses, and contemplating that line. I feel like some Zen calligrapher meditating on the strokes! It is a meditation. I delete 100’s and suddenly one will be right.
And the idea grabbed me because it is a strong theme that emerged in the Thousand Sketches. I wanted to get those lines right, that flow. I am quite pleased with how it went, there were a lot of doodles and slowly they were more in my handwriting as it were. This is one of my favourites. And the Abstract Expressionist ones that I blew up, my friend Charles called “calligraphy of God” I was most flattered.
In Read’s book there is a particular image that stood out because it reminded me of one I did. It is Drawing by Henri Michaux. (See image below, and also my image.) He is part of a few early painters that were influenced by the East & calligraphy. I’ll write more about them and where I am goin g with it all now on my other blog, this is the Thousand Sketches related part of the story.
#0995 Archon Arachnid
Archons are the baddies, viruses, mind parasites, beasts, devils. They are the ancient enemy of the earth. I am not sure what it all means really, but it made me think of the wonderful metal spider in the DIA N.Y. Beacon. Not sure of the artist or name of this sculpture but will add later.
Later: Wednesday, 2 January, 2008
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.
I listened to a wonderful talk by Wayne Theibaud (thanks Josh for the link to the podcast.)** He is a joy to listen to, and I would love to be a student. For a moment I was. How to learn to paint? Draw an egg. No eggs in the fridge, I did a lemon.
** if that link expires I will put a copy on my server.
#0958 Lee Krasner
I am attracted to Lee Krasner’s work. I think it is her struggle, and how she is in Pollock’s shadow. True, any drip painting by Pollock shines, but behind that light I see the Krasner shadow. Her statements about art are ok too. I have an earlier sketch of her from a self portrait, this one is from a photo in the Hobbs book.
More art talk & images follow.
The last two, particularly #0926 I thought might have been just a bit too much influenced by my reading the Krasner book. And no doubt it was, and is the better for it. However deciding to try one in other than black & white, the familiar returned, reminding me of others I have done, at least back as far as the 800s. Recapitulation, no doubt, but also something of my own emerging in this.
I have been reading a Henri Geldzahler interview with Ellsworth Kelly (he does the the advanced simplicity!). he said of his work:
I think the paintings are easy to like, but you have to want to like them.
Today I like his, and today I like mine.
More about Ellsworth follows.
#0918 Sun Cross II
Later: This image is now featured in the Walter Logeman: Gallery
#0917 Sun Cross 3
The place my cafÃ© doodles come from is quite different to my explorations like the crosses.
Reflections on this follow.
I have been reading Robert Hobbs, Lee Krasner
The Gray Slabs and the Holocaust
There may well be other, heretofore unexplored factors besides Krasner) difficulty of coming to grips with intuition that explain why most of her works during the years from approximately 1943 to 1946-47 so often end up looking like gray slabs of paint, which she referred to as gray stones.
As Krasner explained, “I went into my own black-out period which lasted two or three years where the canvases would simply build up until they’d get like stone and it was always just a gray mess. The image wouldn’t emerge… I was fighting to find I knew not what.â€
On another occasion, she referred to them as her “mud period.”
“I was saying, I paint. I paint every day. This is what’s happening to me.” Krasner said. I faced the issue very aggressively. I was having a rough time, and I didn’t care who knew it.”
None of these experiments with intuition now exist, because Krasner subjected them to a thorough soaking in the bathtub before scraping them down so that she could reuse the canvases.
A possible explanation for these dense, turgid works of the mid-1940s is that they were subliminal reactions to the mass murders of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, which were then being publicly acknowledged in New York.
I think she is courageous just to keep going for three years with stone slabs! That must have been agony. I felt the loss of those gray stone slabs. I wish she had honoured her process more and kept them. This one is in my sketch of that story. One layer has “1944′ written on it. The time Krasner was in this mud. Also the year I was born, in occupied Amsterdam.
Creativity & roles.
Reflections on the process, what I am up to, reading & thinking about.
#0900 Hagley Park Sunset
I have had this one, or something from this evening walk on my mind for a while. Those trees have more leaves now. I find it hard to keep up, I have more I want to do from New York, even from Sydney in March! However I like to do ones from right now, and now it is blooming with green everywhere. It really is spring, and while I don’t know really what sort of work I do, I know that I want to catch this growth! This shift from the bald trees to the new sprouting fresh green. Maybe a few earth crosses :) And it is #0900, so that is fitting, the end is in sight, but I can’t see it at all.
These images arose driving back to Christchurch from Mt. Lyford and being struck by the colour and flow of the hills. The first image took a while but then ad libbed more to do the next one and this one is an elaboration of a bit of the last one.
Landscape. Place. Wolf Kahn’s America : an artist’s travels has plenty of art talk to chew on as well as great pastels.
Here is one idea I like, gives a nice depth to landscapes & may lead to some integration.
These reproductions take me right to the times and places I want to remember. They serve also to document moments that the painter Robert Henri in his book The Art Spirit called “states of higher awareness.” Of these moments, Henri wrote, “The pictures are a witness.” It is dear to me that an artist’s pictures are thus the repositories of much more than what he saw before him. A picture represents more than what the conscious mind grasped – at the time – the so-called subject matter.
Late last night I pushed myself to let something emerge. The push was against simple exhaustion, it was late, I was tired and yet I wanted to get something out. I often do that, “one more!” The result looks quite harmonious to me. That is surprising, it felt like a battle and I called it Overwrought. It has no name now.
0875 Earth Cross
While it is satisfying to pursue this theme, I am conflicted. It is hard to be simple, its so minimalist.
There is a relationship in crosses. A cross is nothing if not a relationship. Relationships are not that simple.
There is the battle.
Reflections on variety & repetition follow:
#0856 All Earth
Down to earth.
Post on my visit to Wellington, process and insights and some links to artists follow:
I had a lovely conversation with Christine, a friend. After I’d been chatting about Thousand Sketches for a while she reflected back I had a fascination with form.
She is right, I had never seen that so sharply. I am more fascinated by the form than the content. I like the shape of a sonnet. I’ll sketch it now!
The canvas is a form. The blog is a form. The limited edition print is a form. (for all the artificial limitation in the digital age) .
Form is a wondrous thing. The medium is the message.
In two separate conversations recently the same ideas cropped up. That a core value of art is that it is directly from the self. And art is good if it is innovative, and taps into the zeitgeist of the now. Maybe there moments when those two seemingly opposite aspects come together. They need to be hovering close together.
Early hours. One more sketch – anything, before I sleep. I’ll doodle something.
But it does not work like that. I am in the midst of an exploration. I have been to New York. The doodle I swear is just a doodle. Yet there is synchronicity here. I did this a few days ago. I had a quick browse in a book on styles of art, and looked up Frank Stella, as I am just starting a chapter on him in Henry Geldzahler’s book. And there it was, my own doodle! It does give me a a good feeling, my recapitualtion is just about up to my childhood. Actually I think I am getting well into the sixties with the sketches, and the project as a whole – I think – is late 2007.
Can’t find it online. Will find it though & post a picture here. Now I want this book.
Later Monday, 24 December, 2007 :
And while looking at my image I just had to fiddle with it. Removed background – looks better IMO. It is on show: here.
Later: Friday, 25 July, 2008
And now look here, Lisa Rivas has made a stamp.
This sketch is one element of in the Thousand Sketches project. Sketches are only the start of it!
Completing the loop. (as my friend Dan called it)
So, maybe it is 2013. You have this print. You saw the number and the name: #0844 Green on it. And you read that line: Talk about green! And you got it! Google (to use that old fashioned gerund) “#0844 Green” and here you are. And being 2013, there are comments here, people talking about green.
And there is one thing you can say about green, unquestionable, green is good.
#0840 The art of art
My technical mess-up (the hard disk crash and subsequent temporary loss of pen pallet and canvas) led to asking again why I did not use real media to birth the images in the first place. That is an interesting question. Even if I wanted a website, why this digital constraint? I have answered that in other posts in a sketchy way… exploring the psyche in cyberspace. It is good to state it again as it is central. I have for years past thought about what has happened with the psychology of text as it has become digitalised. See my other blog: Psyberspace But images and art, not text on my mind now. The image is the stuff the psyche is made of.
I like art to exude some sort of consciousness about (a phrase I just picked up here), “the art of making art”. Art, in its important and interesting moments is partly (but not wholly) about art.
The shape of my work is becoming clearer. I am pleased with a bolder line in the concept. It is not a new line, but it is firmer today. Not having the PC helped to see why I missed it. I need to do every sketch digitally. Physical sketching is fine, but it is not in this project. It would be as if Piet Mondrian switched to landscapes.
I am on a narrow path, for all the diversity in the sketches, they have to be digital.
And what is the central line on that path?
To do digital sketches? Surprisingly no.
To make prints from those sketches? No.
I work with the relationship between the virtual & the physical. It is in the RELATIONSHIP – it is all in the relationship!
The whole 1000 are a negative, a template, they have a relationship with their children, their physical children, the prints or other objects still to be born. The children can phone home, each object has a number and name. Google that to return.
Relationship between the virtual world and the physical is the punctum, that is where I will do my obsessive sticking to the point.