One file many expressions.

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#0763 One file
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Years ago, one of the explorations in psyberspace led to the insight that the end user (and that was still a strange word then) could do what they liked with your layout on the web or in an email. The creator used colour perhaps, but the user could set everything to B&W for example, or green and orange.

Is that participatory art?

Sort of. It came up very early here in a conversation about the diversity of these sketches. The user can unify! In a way that is what Michel Allen has done by selecting 14.


There is an A4 limited edition of 25 on Epson paper of this print. Now imagine in addition:

  • The image printed on 1.2 meter wide canvas
  • A meter square lightbox
  • Printed by Adgraphix onto 2,500 tiles
  • projected onto a screen
  • video in you tube
  • a postcard
  • a postage stamp
  • a book cover
  • a Button – (Josh, can you make one?)
  • T-shirt, mouse-pad, mug etc at café-press
  • Fridge magnet
  • Sticky labels

None of these things need to happen physically of course. They already have in our mind.


The notion is well established in contemporary art.

Look: at the Dia in Beacon:

Continue reading “One file many expressions.”

Is this a sketch?

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#0755 Is this a sketch?
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Thursdays conversation with Dan. I told him about my experience in Nevada with Shawn & Emily, Shawn looked at my sketches and said: “What is your question?” Dan responded with something I found right and affirming, “You have a question every day, you are questioning all the time.” Yes. So it was hard to answer Shawn. If he had asked “What is your question today?” no problem. Dan & I continued to chat away about decorative and digital, cyberspace, and matters psychological. One question of the day was “what is a sketch?”

Thanks Dan for suggesting this one! It got me started on a roll.


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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.”


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#0741 Lyford
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I want to keep moving in this direction, beyond this. See the triangles? They are really there (out in the world I mean)! Yet to make them more mathematical and hard edged would be wrong. Getting that landscape down is a goal, though this one is a good start.

Richard Diebenkorn

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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:

Continue reading “Richard Diebenkorn”


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#0729 Portal
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I had to re enter the process. These are ones that I am doing as I read about Richard Diebenkorn – and they are derivative. But then Diebenkorn derived his Ocean park series from a Matisse, and took it a long way on! More later I’ll try to find some images for the next post.

Allen Gallery, Chelsea, New York.

While in New York I made an arrangement to have some of the Thousand Sketches prints for exclusive sale in a Chelsea, Manhattan Gallery!


It began when I stumbled into the gallery not far from where I was staying and saw some prints and originals by Zoe Mac on show. I liked them and I was impressed by the printing process she used, not unlike mine! It turned out it was her opening the next night and I was invited. From there it led to Michel Allen selecting 14 prints that she will handle from New York!

This is a good development for me & this project. It is the first of what I hope will be several galleries that choose to be the exclusive outlet for some of the prints.


I am pleased to make this announcement, I would have done it earlier but I wanted to have the link to the prints in place first.


Found some old sketches, from right at the start of this project. Here is the initial doodle, followed by my taking it through various processes. I am now pleased I learnt how to do that. I don’t rely on filterin to do the job, but many of the sketches get a little post production.

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#0710 Base
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I’m Home! Things are coming together.

Night Life (from NY):

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#0701 Night Life
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Hardly night life I had, other than going to nice places at night for a meal.

I am back after a 24 hour flight.

On the plane I did a lot of reflecting about where to with the sketches. And it is interesting to post this one that I had already done. Read on.

One thing is that I now want to return to the local, that makes sense. I also want to work with the memories and the thousands of photos from San Francisco and New York. I’ll do both. So that is content.

From a process point of view here is the idea I had on the plane: Make the abstracts more figurative and the figurative more abstract. Bring it all together. Integrate.

And a little further than that too, I have drawn a hard line for myself: No real media till the project is done. Now as I come closer to the 1000 I am thinking real media more and more. Here is the move I am plotting: Explore a greater variety of paper. For example use pastel papers for the pastels. Perhaps use the background colours for the digital ones here and then explore printing with that layer removed on the appropriate medium.

Use the larger formats more, perhaps for canvas but also board and for A2 sheets of watercolor board etc.


The thought was there a matter of hours ago, and now posting this I see I was already, more unconsciously integrating various styles.

I have put this in the Abstract category and also in Cafes. I have not done that before.

And yes this is in the New York and the New Zealand category. It is process and Sketchblog. Things are coming together.

Kee Krasner, art talk.

First a sketch, then some art talk.

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#0696 Lee Krasner
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This is from a self portrait. She looks young. I like Lee Krasner. She is of course well known and associated with Pollock, and I have a sense that they were together able to become as creative as they were. Relationships count. Unfortunately she is not as easy to spot around as Pollock. I hope I have bought out her strength in this sketch. I loved what I saw of her work at MoMA though. I have some shots I can add later.

I splashed out & bought a beautiful catalogue of a recent exhibition of her later work. I think it is about the best thing I bought on this trip. Found it in a secondhand book shop in Brooklyn.

More talk & Images follow.

Continue reading “Kee Krasner, art talk.”

From plein air to abstract landscape in Buena Vista Park

I walked to the top of Buena Vista Park just above Height today. Saw the people & their dogs. I had a glimpse of the park yesterday and the first sketch in this series was from memory of something I’d like to do when I walked in the park.

Here is the final image – I will put that here, and link to the day’s work all on one page. There were also some “combinations of “layers” I found striking, so I have added them in.

See all nine Buena Vista sketches.

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#0633 Buena Vista IX
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Life Drawing Group, Saturday 4 August 2007 San Francisco

Now that was a very interesting new thing to do in my life. What a lot of learning. The sketches are mostly looser & rougher than I put up and all from the one class. They are all part of the project. One ot the things about doing these 1000 sketches is that I do want to sketch and this event gave me “permission to do that. I want to sketch lots to explore, loosen up, and discover my hand. Another few of these events will help. I will also give the same 2 min approach per sketch a go NOW for some still lifes.

Below is one, and the link to the rest.
Continue reading “Life Drawing Group, Saturday 4 August 2007 San Francisco”


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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.

Continue reading “Duchamp”

Thumbnails for May 2007

Here are the sketches for may 2007. One thing I notice is that quite a few are part of an art exploration month. That hisorical exploration has intensified. Even that blue circle is a reference to Yves Klein. (Though I only discovered that yesterday) This month has been a month of work on non-sketching. Preparation for the sabbatical.

Approaching half way. I want a little party at 500!


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#484 Wine
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11″ x 8.5″ image on 13″ x 19″ archival matte paper.

I am trying to learn to “paint” in Painter, but it is hard! I don’t really like the interface & its complexity. ArtRage has that licked! But the functionality is in Painter if you can find it! After trying paint brushes for a while in this sketch I went back to pastel & ink, that seems to be ok. But I am studying the manual, and have the Painter magazine coming each month. Tutorials. I’ll get there.

And I have added this to the SketchBlog category, I drank that wine! And the reflection is my notebook.


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#480 Café
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Over a fifteen minute lunch break I did a 2 minute sketch. I have pushed it through my file management system & made a blog image and the larger image. When I post this I will see what it looks like!! This is one of the fantasies of my 1000 sketches to sit and do this for hours not minutes. I could then do 1000s. Some sort of perfectionism has crept in. These images are on show! people see them? I am visible. what does that do to me?

Interview with Eric Maisel

If you have read my recent posts you will know quite a bit about Eric Maisel, creativity coach and author, he is here now on Thousand Sketches on a tour to promote Ten Zen Seconds, one of his current books, yes he has three that came out this year.

The focus is on the tension between shadow & light, so if that is of interest, read on, and please join the conversation in the comments.


Walter: Hi Eric, thanks for visiting my blog on your world tour. How are your travels so far?

Excellent! It has been interesting to see how each host has personalized the process. And the tour has helped to sell out the first edition of the book in its first month, which is unusual … and great!

That is inspiring! A blog tour is a creative project, how did the idea originate?

I put out a monthly newsletter and I asked my readers if they knew of any out-of-the-box ways to publicize books. One reader, a small press publisher, told me about the successful virtual book tour that one of her authors had recently completed, the idea intrigued me, I asked for details, and decided that I wanted to do the same.

So the creative step is to connect with your readers. I hope you enjoy your virtual stop here with the Thousand Sketches project and being here (again) in Christchurch, New Zealand. As a psychotherapist also have a psychological blog but I think this is the right place for you to visit as you have such a focus on creativity, and the artist.

Yes, much of the writing on creativity isn’t very psychologically astute. It tends to be more like cheerleading or spirituality-by-a-different-name. I’ve been interested in looking at the real processes that affect creators, like depression, anxiety, addictions, and so on, along with what really helps to deepen the creative process.

What is Ten Zen Seconds all about?

It’s actually a very simple but powerful technique for reducing your stress, getting yourself centered, and reminding yourself about how you want to live your life. It can even serve as a complete cognitive, emotional, and existential self-help program built on the single idea of “dropping a useful thought into a deep breath”.

You use a deep breath, five seconds on the inhale and five seconds on the exhale, as a container for important thoughts that aim you in the right direction in life—I describe twelve of these thoughts in the book—and you begin to employ this breathing-and-thinking technique that I call incanting as the primary way to keep yourself on track.

Where did this idea come from?

Continue reading “Interview with Eric Maisel”

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.

Continue reading “Ralph Hotere”

give it a title

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I dreamt I provided a social service. My usual copyright is modified for this sketch. Anyone can sign it, and name it, provided money from sales go to a New Zealand registered charity. I will do my usual 25 prints, I will call mine NOT, they can be purchased & money will go to suitable cause arranged with purchaser. I do not require a percentage from re-sale.

Prints are in pigment ink on 13 inch by 19 inch archival paper.

Later: Saturday, 29 December, 2007
I really hoped Helen Clark would take me up on this. Of course it is not too late, though paintergate is a long time ago..


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Intense Blue Circle

One more circle. I could not have done this at the time I did those circles at the Montessori school. They had to be yellow, my self imposed discipline, even now it feels strange to do a blue one. I wanted to contrast blue with the colours I have been using, thinking of colour, exploring the shade of blue. It looks how I want it on my screen, and I will print it to look right too.

Yuri Gagarin first circled the earth. ‘It’s blue,’ the Russian cosmonaught reported back to earth, on his crackly radio. ‘An intense blue.’

Matthew Collings “TMA” p174

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#460 Blue Circle
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Thumbnails for April 2007

Here are the sketches posted in April 2007. I have included the ones that I posted just after midnight, as they belong with the closing theme for the month.

Click on the image to go to the blog post.

Click on the image again for the larger version (use back button in the browser to return to the blog).

Use the Thumbnail link on the right to explore all images.


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#0450 Circle
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This one is the last of the dozen “unnamed” ones, and I just named it, it is unnamed no longer. After doing these circles I went back and deleted some of the layers, and I prefer the minimalism than the tones in the previous one. What do you think?

Have I posted the “emerge and enhance” post… don’t think so, will do so. That is what is happening here I doodle & let something emerge & then enhance it. I think of it as nature & human collaboration.

It is not just that this doodle was enhanced (on this occasion by deletion!), something in me that is more than 5 decades old that is being noticed & enhanced. See “Montessori

Circle: wholeness, unity, eternity, world, earth, globe, fullness, emptiness, connected, crucible, completion …


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This circle is featured in the June 2008 Walter Logeman: Gallery