Layer Tunnel Pattern

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#0835 Layer Tunnel Pattern
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In a lot of art it is integral that one can see the process, in the strokes, or even in the glimpse of the studio. The tools are showing here!


Still don’t have my Tablet back. Do have a new disk from the crashed HDD, has a lot of good stuff rescued, but not the missing 10 days sketches. Yet. Back to the HDD Dr. tomorrow.


Far from feeling curtailed today, I am stimulated by the process of the technological and human failures (failed to backup those missing days – I was moving around too much to reconnect the external drive, so Second Copy would simply say “Drive not found” and go back to sleep.)

One good thing was a synchronicity while surfing. I found some digital art I liked. There is so much, and so much of that leaves me neutral.

Somehow they also got me sketching, thinking.

Here are 2 images I saw & liked.
Continue reading “Layer Tunnel Pattern”

ArtRage 2.5

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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:

Continue reading “ArtRage 2.5”

Mondrian R2

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#0828 Mondrian R2
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Look no pen! This originated on the Mondrimat site. I did a bit of post-production in ArtRage 2 and also in ACDsee. Piet Mondrian is just one of those people I was thinking of who was cutting edge. Arrangement, composition even when there is very little else to go on, or especially when there is little to distract from the abstraction, counts. Not a new idea, but he made an art form out of that simple idea.

The software uses his rules, even though I don’t know what they are. So there is a bit of original Piet Mondrian in this! Though I confess to thinking Diebenkorn as well.

Related: Pollock’o’matics.


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#0824 Curtailed
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I can think “arm move” and it does. There are people who have lost or never had that ability. I have lost the ability to sketch on my screen like I used to. Temporarily, frustrating rather than a tragedy. I have also possibly lost the last few sketches – and the originals of a few more, I’ll hear tomorrow.

Firstly more about this sketch which was done with a pen on a digital pad, and then some reflections on evolution.

Continue reading “Curtailed”

Black White Blue

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#0816 Black White Blue
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This is still part of the repeat process in the previous two images. My mother in law Marg, a landscape Gardiner, looked out at a row of cherry blossom trees in full bloom in Hagley Park, each tree had a dark tree as a back drop. She said, thy have followed a principle here I always recommend: “When you are onto a good thing, repeat, repeat repeat.”

That gave me permission in a way to repeat older ideas and of course there is repetition within these images as well.

Some ideas of making this one physical follow:

Continue reading “Black White Blue”


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#0802 Henry
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From a video, a documentary called Who Gets to Call It Art? by Peter Rosen. (review) This is the Henry who was …. well what? Some sort of mentor to Andy Warhol and David Hockney and a whole bunch of N.Y. abstract expressionists. Will write more here, and post work from both of those artists of Henry if I can find it, and hopefully one by Alice Neel. It is such a male bunch, but there were women and she must have been one, as well as Lee Krasner, they still fall away in the gender gap.

Have found some more:

Continue reading “Henry”


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#0796 Break
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I explore lines quite a bit. And circles and crosses, more coming up. A line is a lot. It makes a break between this & that. Boundaries. Gaps, barriers. I like lines. I am safe with a good line. The Thousand Sketches is a line and a circle, it is a boundary around this project, makes me work hard, but I know it will stop.

Lines, I have fiddled with this one, made it gray, this felt very blue. And widened the gap! Will post results later.


I just read an interview in The Christchurch art gallery Bulleting 150 Julian Dashper whose exhibition in Christchurch I saw. Here he talks about circles:

  • l notice that circles recur often in your work, not only with your records but also in your repeated use of drum sets and the (0) paintings. What is the significance of circles for you?
  • I first started working with circles circa (smile out loud) 1992. Another older artist had suggested to me that a circle was really the hardest shape to work with as it totally dictated itself. It’s difficult to paint a budgie inside a circle and for it still to look good, I guess. I just immediately thought,‘Gosh a painting that makes itself’, and rushed our and bought a compass. Circles also echo ideas in nature For me, and you can’t get more perfect than that (nature, I mean). Actually, the thing is, Peter, every artist has to start somewhere and I figure a circle is as good a place as a railway station.

    Born Digital

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    #0765 Born Digital
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    Had a great conversation with my friend Brian about the relationship between info and objects. He summed up an idea that has been bubbling in my blog posts with these words “born digital”. That is a central realization in the Thousand Sketches project. Art is either born physical, and then described or photographed to be digital, or it is born digital and made physical, it can have many physical forms.

    One more image, followed by lots more and more TALK!

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    #0765 Born Digital
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    Continue reading “Born Digital”

    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.”

    Bring the Troops Home

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    #0759 Bring the Troop Home
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    Still with the lovely thought that I have a question every day; what about politics and art? I thought, if we have protest songs, why not a protest sketch.

    All this sketching is happening in 2006 -7. Years of imperial war. Oil war. Invasion of sovereign states by the USA, Australia and GB. And New Zealand is not innocent. New Zealand is in Afghanistan for no good reason other than sucking up to the USA.

    I am glad that somewhere in these 1000 sketches I have said “Bring the Troop Home!” that seems the simple action that the invaders need to do. Nothing else is enough.

    Print as many of these as you like.

    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.

    Untitled 1b

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    #0753 Untitled 1b
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    I have just reinstalled Photoshop, it seems I need it to print. Printing is what I have been doing for thre days, or rather not printing, but fiddleing with profiles and software. Troubleshooting. I am so pleased to have reinstalled all my R2400 software, seemed needed after an upgrade of driver did not work. Then found the ICC files for Hahnemuhle paper, needed Photoshop for the use of those. Done, looking good.

    In the process, experimenting with Photoshop again and these just poped out. They are very computery, but there is something quite endearing about them too.


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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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    #0746 Meaning
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    This and the next are in the incantation series:

    1. (I am completely) (stopping)
    2. (I expect) (nothing)
    3. (I am) (doing my work)
    4. (I trust) (my resources)
    5. (I feel) (supported)
    6. (I embrace) (this moment)
    7. (I am free) (of the past)
    8. (I make) (my meaning)
    9. (I am open) (to joy)
    10. (I am equal) (to this challenge)
    11. (I am) (taking action)
    12. (I return) (with strength)

    From Eric Maisel’s book Ten Zen Seconds.

    I use these! It works for me. Right now # 3 is (I am) (posting in my blog), and I want to get all the completed sketches up, and even more, today’s insights which are buzzing & will go with the next ten or so images!

    The next image is part of the duo.

    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.”


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    #0689 Caligraphy
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    My friend Charles coined a phrase “Calligraphy of God”

    the Renaissance notion of “reading nature as a book” — or what
    one might term “meditation on the calligraphy of god”.

    He quotes Gyorgi Kepes to explain the idea.

    Seen together, aerial maps of river estuaries and road systems,
    feathers, fern leaves, branching blood vessels, nerve ganglia,
    electron micrographs of crystals and the tree-like patterns of
    electrical discharge-figures are connected, although they are
    vastly different in place, origin, and scale. Their similarity of
    form is by no means accidental.

    He was reminded of this notion with some of my sketches, and asked for more in the style of “Drumbeat”, which is one of my favourites. (I have more in the style among the “Abstract” Category). At his request here are a few more.


    More thoughts on this follow, with quotes from Pollock, Kandinsky and Harold Rosenberg on Action Painting.

    Continue reading “Calligraphy”

    The prints are cairns pointing the way back here.

    One thing leads to another. Reading William Gibson’s Spook Country & thinking about Thousand Sketches as an exploration in cyberspace has led me to this: The prints are stones that point back to this blog. The blog is a cyber-stage where the sketches originate & live surrounded by conversation, it is their home. Prints phone home.


    I found this: Nicolas Bourriaud:

    …relational art seeks to establish inter-subjective encounters that literally take place – in the artist’s production of the work, or in the viewer’s reception of it – or which exist hypothetically, as a potential outcome of our encounter with a given piece. In relational art, meaning is said to be elaborated collectively (p18) rather than in the space of individual consumption. Relational art is thus conceived as the inverse of the privatised space of modernism as articulated differently by Clement Greenberg and Rosalind Krauss: rather than a discrete, portable, autonomous work of art that transcends its context, relational art beholden to the contingencies of its environment and audience. In some manifestations of this art, such as the performance-installations of Rirkrit Tiravanija, viewers are addressed as a social entity, and are even given the wherewithal to create a community, however provisional or utopian.


    I have been looking at sign-posts all day, physical objects that manage people flow, much like cairns on mountain tracks that guide the walkers. Skyscrapers are piles of rocks. They are that, and merely house the socius. Times Warner across the road would exist, building or no building. World Trade still goes on.


    All art is relational, so I am diverting a bit from Nicolas here, he is right, but the expressionists had Clement Greenberg, that was part of their relational context. I looked at lots of paint on canvas today in the MoMa. Saw beautiful stuff! Was it paint on canvas? They were signposts to times and places, to people and ideas, to battles won & lost, to deals done, to the names on the walls like Rockefeller. None of it would be there but for its hermetic quality. They are all Divine & Mortal Children of Hermes.


    Interestingly Rirkrit Tiravanija (mentioned in the quote above) is a modern day Moreno, creating a stage for spontaneity.


    Hermes derives his name from piles of rocks that travellers used to guide their way, known as Herms. They are really an early form of Google. They are links. My prints are links to this site…

    ah! Physical links to a virtual place… eversion!



    What I am reading, looking at…

    Blogging on the Progressive Grounds in Bernal Heights. Lovely place.

    Met with Eric Maisel here to talk over creativity coaching and such matters. I got some good tips for walks in New York. Art links:

    Walter Benjamin
    “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” – On Josh’s recommendation.

    John Molyneux with a post on Tracey Emin. Following on from a discussion about the YBA.

    Emily Prince And More from Emily. We stayed with Emily in Alta.

    The Creativity Coaching Association. Eric Maisel pointed me in that direction.



    Loved this artist at DeYoung


    Josh’s recommendation.


    Just looked like it explored well the life drawing I have been doing. And found an old edition hardcover one of this across the road in the Red Hill Bookshop.


    Which I was recommended at the San Francisco drawing group, and browsed art Emily & Shawn’s.

    Been sketching here too.

    Preparation – Life Drawing Tuesday Evening – Mission

    Another go at life drawing. Good to do. Hard. Learning lots. A lot of sketches… basically I sketch for three hours solid with many poses, it is like entering another world. I’d like to do more, might look for something in New York and in Christchurch, however I feel like such a beginner and different with my tablet there while they all have charcoal.

    I began at lunchtime with some preparation, exploring textures. Inked in a few from the last time, but that felt wrong, that led to pencil. Finished up using mostly pencil ecept for the large patches of black, used pastel for that. Everything is done in Artrage II. I am putting them all up in two pages. Exploring textures is the first page. Here is one of the sketches, done in one of my favourite San Francisco cafes “Roasters”.

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    #0641 Ritual
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    See more explorations here

    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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    De Young – Bay Area Figurative – Richard Diebenkorn

    On Friday We went to the De Young. I like the building. I even like the mesh now. There was one flaw, the top viewing deck is “elevator only”, ridiculous. We met a friend of Amy’s Joe Mangrum. Does ephemeral art. I liked the Hiroshimo Sugimoto exhibit, the suble siplicity of the seascapes and the art about art idea is present in his long warrior photo.


    Continue reading “De Young – Bay Area Figurative – Richard Diebenkorn”