Balancing Rock

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#0566 Balancing Rock
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11″ x 8.5″ image on 13″ x 19″ archival matte paper.

This is an art work by my friend John H – which I took a photo of and now sketched. The digital version will survive this ephemeral creation. Rocks are balanced by feel – feel and more feel, an act of love & concentration, a meditation. Balance more rocks!

This particular one with its heart shape reminds me of works by Jim Dine. See the image below

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Silver Spoon

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#501 Silver Spoon
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I did this one blind (almost). It is a sketch. I coloured in the spoon rather carefully and with metallic silver… not sure if it prints that well though.

One reason it is here & not deleted like a lot of others is that I like the background, and the added painterliness, something the earlier autopix did not have.

If the silver does not print well, then I could always add it in some other way. John Badcock uses gold plate in some of his. paintings.

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#487 Duchamp
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11″ x 8.5″ image on 13″ x 19″ archival matte paper.

I have a lot of time for Duchamp. I recall the controversy when an exhibition came to Sydney, must have been late 50s? I was a kid. I thought it was stupid. But now I can see it more clearly. Art looking at art. Art asking what is art, art art. And here is a sketch, hardly art, but a little portal into the question what is art.

It was Duchamp who came up with the idea of recapitulation art, he had a go at all the styles before him, I can see how that leads to thinking about what it is all about.

One thing that it *is* about is the process, the idea, the concept. Was he the first who really got that? Maybe the first to make that idea into art.

How does it tie in with Thousand Sketches? Simple, the idea in the form of the blog + digital images (all open source & on the web) plus prints for sale is the idea that comes tied into the wehole thing. The prints have the Thousand Sketches # on them – they are a physical portal to the site. Buy one now! (or just download one but it won’t have my signature on it.

That was another thing that Duchamp bought into focus. Found objects – signed. Signing something makes quite a statement.


An earlier post, with a podcast I made that quotes another podcast on Duchamp


Animated images related to Duchamp’s Nude (images of that follow!)

Images follow, all by Duchamp.

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Andy Warhol on TV

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#486 Andy Warhol on TV
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As the American art critic Dave Hickey explained in Ric Burns’s excellent Warhol documentary, “He wanted to be very famous. It was very important to him. To succeed. It was a mode of survival. He was really driven. I don’t think he spent an hour of his life without thinking about how to make it work.”


Available in a limited edition of 25 prints, pigment ink on archival paper.

This print is available exclusively through the Allen Gallery in Chelsea New York. If you would like to purchase a print please contact Michel Allen.


See prints from the Thousand Sketches exclusive to the Allen Gallery

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Vonnegut – the prints

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#485 Kurt Vonnegut
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11″ x 8.5″ image on 13″ x 19″ archival matte paper.

I am reading Bluebeard – a novel and also a profound commentary on art. I will add art quotes here as I go.

The interesting thing is that Kurt Vonnegut is also a print producer, I say is, because new work is coming out posthumously through his screen printer collaborator.


Kurt Vonnegut, Novelist Who Caught the Imagination of His Age, Is Dead at 84: New York Times


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Working hard, movie, Flax & Marcel Duchamp

Working on the new website for – it is almost done & will look a lot fresher & be up to date & hosted on a cheaper server. But in the midst of overdoing that my eyes have got very sore – strain? Infection? New drops. Does not stop me from looking though.

Saw the movie As it is in Heaven feel good type movie but with an edge, I liked it a lot, and the music too. I thought how I would like to make images like that music!

Then to keep going with my flax sketches I took some photos, flax photos & some from a video -> -> ->

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Eric Maisel interviewed on …in my spare time.

I have now read the interview with Eric Maisel on Jan’s …in my spare time another down-under blog, from Coff’s Harbour in NSW, Australia.

I was impressed by how many books Eric has put our & has on the go. Inspiring.

Another question for Eric emerges, same theme as I’m my last post… the eastern ideas of enlightenment, and the psychological ideas on positivity seem to go against the notion of the unconscious, Jung’s notion of embracing the shadow in particular. Eric, what do you make of that?

And another question: I am curious about how you learnt this stuff Eric. You almost seem to say, here are the answers I learned the hard way so you don’t have to. Do you think there is struggle can be bypassed?


Let me say how I enjoyed looking Jan’s blog. Creativity, books, GTD, coffee… we share a few interests. Jan is doing a series of paintings for each incantation in the Ten Zen Seconds book. Here is the first one, (I am) (completely stopping) Jan can I pinch that idea? One sketch per incantation, I’ll do it too! Look at this painting:

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Eric Maisel & Ten Zen Seconds on the Thousand Sketches blog

Dr Eric Maisel is an amazing man.

He has initiated (perhaps invented?) the world blog tour. He will be here on this blog Tuesday, 8 May (San Francisco time)

I found him while exploring sketches on the net (blogged that here). I found Danny Gregory, and liked his sketches a lot! That led me to a A Writer’s Paris, which I bought for the sketches as much as anything, then loved the essays. I delight in that book even now, a few month’s later. One theme of that book is that it is good to have a time & a place to write, to warm up to it, and to commit to it. To do it. And Paris is a place that will get the creative juices flowing.

I quickly saw Paris as a metaphor. Christchurch is Paris. It is a great little city the with cafes, galleries, a rivers, squares, churches, gardens, beaches and hills. A writer’s paradise in the South Pacific. And for me, right now, writing is sketching.

Then I learnt from his website that he is a creativity coach. Fascinating. I can see how people need that, I do. I sometimes want help with my sketching, but mostly it is simply connecting around the process of creativity I need. In fact too much input on sketching distracts me from what emerges.

Then I got hold of he other book: A Writer’s San Francisco I suppose San Francisco is a metaphor too, but not for me, I will be sketching there for 2 weeks in July and then for two weeks in New York.

As promised mid April, Eric will stop over here on Tuesday this week to chat & promote his latest book.

Ten Zen Seconds

The book

Right now I am catching up on his other blog stops, see the list here.

I am particularly interested in seeing that he was in Christchurch last week! He visited Catherine’s blog, Still Standing on Her Head, and I suggest you have a read – it is a very comprehensive interview and explains the process we will be talking about.

Ralph Hotere

A sketch of Ralph Hotere, one of my favourite artists. I was at a Papergraphica the day I did this, learnt about their amazing work place, looked at a bunch wonderful work including Hotere lithographs.

Got immersed & that prompted me to sketch from a video I had out.

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#0463 Ralph Hotere
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I thought I’d said more here about Hotere at the time, but, no. I will add more. Firstly some images. And links.

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Worcester Gallery & Alison Ryde

Right opposite the Arts Centre Café is the Worcester Gallery. In the early 80s we looked at buying this house, but bought Chester Street instead, as this one had too much work to do on it. All that work has now been done. I had an hour or two free & decided to pop in before doing some work in the café. I knocked on the door & was delighted with of the works in this gallery in a boutique little hotel.

I particularly liked the works of Alison Ryde, a Christchurch artist now working in Italy.

One of hers I like follows:

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I visited Papergraphica the gallery & Printmaking place that is just around the corner from where I live. They had beautiful stuff on the walls. They collaborate with artists!

Situated in Christchurch, New Zealand, PaperGraphica is a printmaking studio that specialises in fine lithographs, woodcuts and etchings.

Artists travel to the studio, generally staying for a week, and work with master printer Marian Maguire and her team on single images or suites of work.

Each printmaking medium has its own characteristics and it is the response the artist makes to their chosen medium that enlivens the work. All the images produced at PaperGraphica are limited edition original multiples. They are not copies of previously existing artworks, and both artist and printer work intimately with the process.

Some images follow.

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“A Writer’s San Francisco” – Eric Maisel – author – Paul Madonna – illustrator.

I wrote a post while back about a book I read by Eric Maisel. Yesterday I received two more books written by Eric. A Writer’s San Francisco and Ten Zen Seconds

Let me talk about the first one. What a beautiful hard cover book. The production values really sine through. Click the Amazon link above & see great reviews, I agree with all those five ***** star ones.

Not that I have read all the essays yet but I love the link he makes with his Paris book. What makes Paris akin to San Francisco? Nothing except that there is attraction to the bohemian life. As it sais on the web blurb:

Every writer needs a simpatico environment to be productive, and what better place than that mecca of creativity, San Francisco?

It is a “Guided Journey for the Creative Soul” His focus is writing but I read sketching.

And like the Paris book there is the encouragement to bring forth.

If he is a writer he will write, whether atop Nob Hill or South of market.

This works for me, whether on my trip to San Francisco or right here now!


I like the sketches by Paul Madonna. Article about him with links to video.

Nice little image off his website:


I am really looking forward to reading the book, all part of an up coming visit by Eric to my blog. Yes! It is part of his world blog tour to promote Ten Zen Seconds.

Here are some images from his “all over coffee’ strip & book. I could not find any of the more colourful ones in this book.

Continue reading ““A Writer’s San Francisco” – Eric Maisel – author – Paul Madonna – illustrator.”

Lantana – sketchblogging, inner stirrings, paint & inspiration

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#416 Lantana
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I think that is what is is called, it is among these that the body is found in the movie Lantana (Great Movie)

This is the last one from the Sydney trip in this batch, we now move on to horses a week later in New Zealand – that is the trouble with mt journalling here – I can’t just post up as I go, just too busy. So the journal is all out of chronological order.

Never mind. Even if the chronology is messy there is are journeys running through this year of the sketch:

  • Lots in New Zealand & Christchurch
  • Some trips to Wellington
  • Christmas I did a real sketch trip to Aoraki – Mt. Cook, this was a good warmup to more travel sketching
  • Then Napier, but just did not manage to sketch much at all – too much NZAP Conference work.
  • Australia for a week, late March 2007, beaches, bush, cityscapes, flowers & wildlife – more to catch up on.


The sketchblogging is important to me, I like it & will keep going with it post TS.

The recent line & wash suits that – a sort of sketchbook style.

It will stand me in good stead as I go to San Francisco and New York in July, August.


I feel something new coming up though. More focus on something within combined with more explorations of paint, digital paint.

What follows are a few samples of the sort of painting by others I am enjoying . Inspiration – other people’s work follows:

Continue reading “Lantana – sketchblogging, inner stirrings, paint & inspiration”

Trumpetvine Travel Sketchblog – have a look!

Trumpetville Travels.

A lovely sketchblog I have just added to my links. I have added it because I like the sketches and also because I like the travel sketchblog notion. My Thousand Sketches include some of that & also will lead to my sketchblog later in the year.

I like the line & wash in Martha’s blog, all in real media! I can learn a lot from that, as I “emulate” the medium.

& thanks for your comment Martha on my last post.

Edward Hopper

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#382 Edward Hopper
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I am looking at a lot of paintings & painters so they are appearing here. Not in their style but mine. This one is copied from his self portrait. The main thing on my mind as I did this and also the next ones I am posting tonight is not art but technique, learning to use Corel X.

I have liked Hopper for a long time. Ever since I was given a calendar about 20 years ago of his work. My psychotherapy rooms are in a very Hopper like building.

See his paintings



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Reading a book, A Writer’s Paris, by Eric Maisel

I bought it because I like the sketches by Danny Gregory but the book is lovely in its tone. It is totally relevant for me at this moment – substitute sketching for writing (unless you call this writing) and Paris for anywhere and it is the right book for me now!

It is helpful on such things as discipline & freedom, getting in the mood, how to get unstuck. I think Eric Maisel is a psychotherapist & he sounds like a good one to me!

Ordered his book on San Francisco on Amazon.

Sketches by Danny Gregory follow for Inspiration
Continue reading “Paris”

James McNeill Whistler

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#363 Whistler
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This is from a painting of him as a young man, which was then shown in a movie, made into a video, snapped off my TV with a camera and then sketched by me.

Great video, great painter.

Wikipedia on Whistler with plenty of images, including the one this sketch is from! I just noticed. But I used a photo I took!

Whistlers Mother


This print is in a limited edition of 25 Giclée prints on A4, 21 cm x 29.7 cm archival paper. The image size is 17.5 cm x 12.5 cm. The next available print is: 1/25 Purchase Print


Image of the painting this is from follows.


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Paula Rego – Painter

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

#317 Rego
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This is from an image of Paula Rego from a video. I loved seeing her work & story in that film. What I learnt was that paintings could be very like a Psychodrama – with multiple time frames and scenes that deal with & resolve the past. Surplus reality as Moreno called it. Maybe that is on the agenda here, but then again the whole of Thousand Sketches is a Psychodrama – look at the previous post for example.

This portrait was consciously influenced by Alex Katz work, who I blogged recently. In the post about him are a lot of images – I have not looked at them since I made that post – there is something for me to learn from him.

I have also been inspired by Laura of LauraLines who is working on a project to do 101 faces.


This print is in a limited edition of 25 Giclée prints on A4, 21 cm x 29.7 cm archival paper. The image size is 17.5 cm x 12.5 cm. The next available print is: 1/25 Purchase Print


This post has my sketch above & what follows are 2 images I snapped from the video, and more from the net.

Continue reading “Paula Rego – Painter”

Playing Pollock 1

Click image to go to the Playing Pollock 1 image on the Thousand Sketches site

#306 Playing Pollock 1
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This and the next few were done using a really funny flash animated tool on the web: Here Have a go! I confess, in the past, having some disdain for splashing paint as Pollock did. That changed in two steps. One was seeing an original in the Dunedin art gallery about 5 years go. It was quite a small painting and the texture was created with small splashes. The painting was subtle and finely executed, notions I would not have associated with Pollock through my media fed ignorance. The second thing was the Ed Harris movie. Maybe he was more unlikeable in real life, and his wife may be more instrumental in the development of the form than portrayed, but the one thing I love & it is shown well in the movie, was the way he danced his paintings into life, he moved with grace, Ed Harris took years to learn that for the film.

So, here are a few playfully splashed, using the Flash toy. Thanks to whoever made the software.



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Love Me Tender

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#0258 Love Me Tender
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On the way I stopped at the Ashburton Art Gallery to see the Llew Summers collection. Good to do, an impressive variety of New Zealand art. Outside the gallery in the part were two Llew Summers sculptures – this one and Butterfly, the names and the moods are tender and fragile, the sculpted people are very heavy & round yet they capture the moods they portray well.


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Quote from Jorge Luis Borges

I am back from the Mt. Cook trip and will put up stuff soon, but before those mountain pictures I though this was a pertinent quote.

A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.

From here – more about Borges. here