Posting a sketch here by L Laughy from Nithwave for inspiration.
I had a walk & talk with Kate yesterday and we were musing over our projects – her horse treks & my sketches. She told me the story of Jung’s dream with the candle. I found it really useful to keep me focussed here & today has been a busy Thousand Sketches day! No sketches, but podcasts & posts and a few good emails have come & gone.
“I had a dream which both frightened and encouraged me. It was night in some unknown place, and I was making slow and painful headway against a mighty wind. Dense fog was flying along everywhere. I had my hands cupped around a tiny light which threatened to go out at any moment. Everything depended on my keeping the little light alive. Suddenly I had the feeling that something was coming up behind me. I looked back, and saw a gigantic black figure following me. But at the same moment I was conscious in spite of my terror, that I must keep my little light going through night and wind, regardless of the dangers. When I awoke I realized at once that the figure was my own shadow on the swirling mists, brought into being by the little light I was carrying. I knew too that this little light was my consciousness, the only light I have. Though infinitely small and fragile in comparison with the powers of darkness, it is still a light, my only light.”
From: C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections.
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.
I realised that it is not immediately obvious that the images I do are created digitally. In fact it was not clearly mentioned in my About page till I added it just a day or so ago.
This is a project with minimal parameters – one is to do 1000 in one year, the other is to do them all digitally, which in essence means using my Tablet PC or Palm Treo.
The time frame creates a frame – not unlike the frame around a painting. It is a space within which to explore & see what arises.
Being digital is similar. There is diversity & choice – there is also a clear line.
It is obvious that I am looking over the fence, Yesterday’s post: colligraphy and today I found myself following up on egg tempera mentioned in Katherine Terrell’s post! There is media envy, and you cans see why – that crappy little pen is all I ever use!
At the launch I realised I like talking about this project. It energises me and it was great to see how people were enthused by it. I heard others thinking about what the “Project” might be in their life. People asked good questions !
I am happy to do talks! I can show prints and project the images.
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.”
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.
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.
About once per week I will write an email update about the sketches and how the project & I are doing together. I have a mailing list for that and you can subscribe here. You can also remove yourself at any time.
It is text based, with links to what I think are the highlights of sketches & process.
I have sketches on Trade Me. Still learning about this too! All part of the “archetecture”. A Web Gallery, a blog and now an auction room. Contrary to my expectations I like the more public viewing! The images have not been up long and there has been more interest as the word goes out.
I like a couple of things about this one. The silver & gold – as it looked to me – relates to the hills which have been stripped of their native bush – for commercial reasons. And I have worked this from rough sketches to this more definitive … sketch?
That is the trouble – this is beyond sketching. I wanted these things to be sketches in their own right – but this one wants to be a painting. It wants real paint too. Damn. Why is it a problem? There is no way I can do 1000 of these in one year. Ah!
Some of the sketches are having a battle with the project!! I hope they sort it out :)
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.
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.
“Thousand Sketches” brings together my interest in drawing, psychotherapy and cyberspace in a dramatic & dynamic way. I think of it as a conversation & I look forward to your participation. – Walter
It is good for the mind to go back to the beginning because the beginning of any established activity of a person is its most wonderful moment. For in it lies all its spirit and resourcefulness, from which we must constantly draw our inspirations of present needs.
It has been a busy time! I have just put up 15 sketches, and also re-vamped all the pages so that they now have a “Bottom Menu” – this is often off the screen – and this is to keep the opening screen as clean as I can. However it is a menu that will be on all pages and I can update it easily as there are more perspectives etc. Most of the links work right now, if not soon.
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.
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!
Some new themes emerging today. This is a fertile time my head is buzzing, with feelings, ideas about sketching, big questions. What is the psyche & what is at work here. What is modern, post-modern and how do I deal with all these feelings of passion, fear confusion & doubt. Love too – loving the conversations with Kate – challenging though they can be. Other questions too: what is a sketch? What is a line, what is a “canvas”. The variety in the sketches is also in me. The variety annoys me. I just made a thumbnail page and I see no focus there. And as this post shows, I can’t get focussed right now. Let me say more.
I said it – partially in the sketch – I just did it thinking of ketchup – or tomato sauce as we tend to call it down under. Felt frustrated in the digital media for the first time. I wanted to get into the mucking about with messy paint!
What is the main thing:
That this project has a life of its own, and that it is asking a lot of me. I feel burdened by it. I feel exposed.
Kate in the conversations today was optimistic. I am being called out to come to terms with all this and so be my true self more. Just as the project asks to have its true life. There is a symbyosis, I am more myself as the project finds its true self.
I hope so, but I don’t feel it. One thing is for sure, I feel gripped by this thing.
More from the conversation today: No focus on the outcome, if shit or gold are both gold, that seemed like a good stance I’d found. Then Kate said: that is just a way of coping with your fear.
Amy is a friend and artist in San Francisco. On the phone today she told me she was working on the blog for Public Smog she is one of the collaborators on Invisible 5 What is Public Smog: “built in the economic realm of carbon offset trading”. At least it is not built on sand, or in cyberspace like this project.
Amy was complimentary about the project, appreciated, thanks. What was of value to me in our discussions were simple off-the-cuff comment like “you have a good sense of line” (Marion Harvey told me that in 1970, same words) it is good to hear because I become conscious of line. Is that good? I am all for it, consciousness is OK. She said I had a sense of “restraint”. Restraint. I am not sure what that means yet. Dan just said I was flowing. Flow & restraint, probably work ok together. Perhaps it is something about a sketch as opposed to a drawing, restraint.
I am restrained in posting up stuff! I am am learning what I want here, and so holding back what I don’t like, does not fit with my process, the project process. I want to use the 1,000 for so many ideas, shapes & colours, soon they will be all gone!
Amy asked if she could put in a request. Sure. NZ landscapes. She is missing NZ. But would that be the wrong genre? The genre question was raised in the conversations with Alex as well. This is such an amorphous lot of sketches that anything can go in the melting pot. Anything. I’d like to do landscapes. I love a lot of NZ landscape artists – if you call them that, McCahon, and Marilynn Webb, she particularly inspires me at the moment.
Another great comment – on the genre question: “Draw your way out of it!” Thanks Amy.
Where this project is unified is through the conversations. So I will do landscapes. I’ve done one already in response to the request. (it is no good!) I told Amy I want to get the light right. She told me about the “Bay Area School” capturing the colour of the light – something to research.
We spoke of tag clouds, with a 1000 sketches there is unifying that can be done post-facto, by the user – now there is a word for people viewing art!
They are ads for those who want an ad. No doubt. But I am not calling them ads anymore. Sponsored links is ok. I realise that as they go they create a map. The first sketches sold will go to someone, somewhere. Hopefully the links will indicate a place on the globe? At least a place in cyberspace. As I post out prints I will have cities to post them to. I can map that. There will be a visual image of the distribution. So you could be an advertiser, or just love the picture, or, to put it quaintly, be a patron of the arts!
Audience participation. It creates a context for the images and prints. They will be part of a sociocorpus. Not only the map, the comments with each image will embody a flow of connection.
Just had the first comment come in now, from Bex, a quick response to the very Soft Launch.