Soft Launch

I have started telling a few friends that the site is live. Until today it has been private, now I will send out a few links. It is one month into the project. A moment of birth.

As Kate just said: the virus has been released.

Conversation with Kate – Shit or gold ether way is ok.

I talk to Kate every day about this. She is very enthusiastic about my efforts. What is good for me is that she listens well & I get to hear myself.

In the conversation yesterday I heard myself saying that from a creative point of view the outcome of this project does not matter. If it goes well and it is celebrated in cyberspace and in the world with a spread of the prints then there will be a similar look & feel to the prints. If on the other hand things go flat. Expect an exploration of “flat” (Such a theme is on my mind, after all every drawing has a surface. More later.) If the project goes dead, expect explorations of death. See what happens when I will fill my ink cartridges with blood & shit.

OTOH if it flies, we will see air and flight. If it flows, we will see water and if prints go well on ebay – expect golden images.

Either way the project will go on & have integrity.


Conversation with Johnathan Smart

Here is a report on a conversation that I had about two weeks ago. It had an impact, and sent me into a reticent mood, so blogging it now, two weeks later.


I like Johnathan, and I like his gallery, and on the first of September I popped in for a look. Chatting about the project was not really on my mind, I did not have many sketches up and no computer with me, or prints. However we got chatting & I showed him the sketches I had online on his computer. About five at that stage. He was interested and liked the project, the concept, the aspect. The project.

I felt my cringe factor creep in with sketches of the horse & the cat. That conversation led to me thinking again about what I was doing. The project. I felt down, but it was a good conversation. I look forward to more.


Today I embrace that aspect. This is part of my much bigger life-long project of “Exploring the Psyche in Cyberspace” in that field I am in my element.

Perspectives on the project

What does 1,000 look like? One thousand sketches. One month in (almost) and the site is up, and there are 40 images online. Plenty more on my machine awaiting further conceptualising, refining. So here is one perspective, a view on what has been done:

Sketch map

From there you can link to the Blog Post map. Being able to visualise what is happening to this project as a whole is … a sketch in its own right.

Is that an oxymoron?

It will be interesting to develop more perspectives. Pie charts… visitor data, and so on.


Borders count! One reason for the A3+ size printer choice was borders. I can now make them bigger! Here is sketch, # 31 Nut positioned on its A3+ sheet. I have a whole new feel for that picture, especially in tones that surpass what I saw on my screen!



I love the feel! I love the colours, they are rich and deep and dark.

I am pleased. As I write, I’m making prints that I like! Nothing I’ve done till now has worked as well as a new printer I bought yesterday. An A3+ printer, it can do 13 inches by 19 inches. It uses pigment ink stored in eight cartridges. I am printing on archival paper and these prints will last! Best of all they are beautiful!

The transition from bits to atoms is being made.

People so often talk of going digital. For me it is a delight to go physical on this occasion. I need to change the website again, some prints will be in A4 others in A3+. These prints are nice! It seems to me that some sketches suit the A4 size and others blossom when bigger. I will make the call on this and offer the editions accordingly.


From photographic production to ink-jet

I am updating this post by adding yet another intro. I now print my own using Archival paper & an Epson R2400 printer. This is creating bigger and better and more durable prints than I have been able to outsource.


History follows.


Here is what was in the terms page until today:

When you purchase the print of a sketch here is what you get.

A minimum 10×8 inch print made on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper (matt). All the prints, even when they are landscape mode are printed on paper in portrait mode with a wide white border. So the images may be quite small.

But it has changed. I will use an ink-jet process using high quality papers & pigment based inks that pass the durability tests. I will out-source that through a third party, I have several I am trying out. The prints look better in ink than in the photographic chemicals. Eventually I will get my own printer, I want that creative control. I’d get one right now but the one I want is not available in NZ. More on that later.

The photographic images might be of use for some things. I will leave open the possibility of a range of media, but ink-jet A4 will be the default.


I am bursting with sketches, ideas, plans, things conceived and ready to do.  The project is bursting.  It is time for birth.  The contractions have been coming.  There is nothing I can do, this project will be launched soon.  Right now I need to update the pages with references to printing, that has taken a new turn, more about that in the next few posts.

Busting but not yet born.



There is a tradition, and this project may be connected. Giclée. Nice word (Zhi Clay). Fine arts prints using ink jet printers. There is something else afoot in … Giclée usually involves original physical copies this project does not. The net is more figural in this project, and here is the guts of it: the net is the canvas.


Conversations with Alex


Alex was here on a visit from Dunedin on the weekend, she is such an enthusiast about art, a tutor in art theory in Dunedin. I just loved our connection & learnt so much, it will come through in the posts to come; and in the sketches! The outstanding moment was as we were talking about one project within the project, something more thematic & dramatic (it will show in in good time):

“Get rid of the fucking cats and flowers & just do 1,000 sketches on this one thing!”

She was involved, not damning. I get it, there is no theme, no unity no form, I had already felt that. I am just starting something unformed, doodling, experimenting with the tools. Our discussions around that got me to think more clearly; taking down stuff would not fit with the bigger idea of this project. There is a bigger idea too. This is project is itself a unified thing, an entity in its own right. It is an artwork of a kind. It is following my journey, catching up from childhood drawing, integrating it with my current explorations in Cyberspace. I am nakedly showing my process of grappling with art on the net, writing this blog about the journey & doing it all in one one year. The project is the art more than the individual sketches. The sketches will evolve, I am only about 4% into them, there is room to grow.

Also evolving is the project’s own life, and I am evolving.


I am still researching. I am pleased with the Fuji 10 x 8 phtographic prints I am doing at present. However the tones on my HP ink-jet are nicer. But they would fade!

I have come across this: HP Photosmart Pro B9180 photo printer This promises to be very good. I wonder if the prints look good? I need to try it.

This Interview is helpful too.

Here is a detailed review – and more on printing.

And the Wilhelm-Research report…

I am very excited by the development in technology.  I am starting to get visions of bigger & better prints, and that will motivate me! For now I am still using the Fuji prints – they are OK! And they will last, but clearly I will move with what is possible.


Click to go to larger Brian  image

#0009 Brian br />Larger Image.

One of my favourite sketches so far. My friend, Brian, founder of the Broadcasting School in Christchurch has been supportive of my efforts here. The break through point was his story about a discussion he had a long time ago about publishing, with the then British PM, Harold Macmillan in his capacity as the head of Macmillan Publishers, where they concluded:

“You win some & you loose some, and the important thing is to win a few more than you loose.”

The sentiment is apt for this project in many ways, thanks Brian.

The New Zealand Broadcasting School
Media Training in NZ


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

Project Update

Nothing looks very different on the website but I have been busy.


I have a way of generating pages for new sketches. The links are working as expected especially between the blog and the main site. The site opens on a random page. All the files have new names with the sketch number included – it was getting a bit messy before.


Researching the best way of producing high quality prints. Almost there – I can do them on my own machine & they look good, but I am told they will fade. I can get them done on photo paper and they look good too, but different. Now it is between Kodak & Fuji. Looking like Fuji, they seem to rate best, and look better too, but will do more tests.

Reflecting on how a digital item can generate many “views” and each of them different, including the material versions.

It will take a bit of doing to create images on paper that I like. I will only sign ones that are the best I can create from the web versions.

Tools of the trade

I must have a trial copy of every image program there is. I like something about them all, they all do different things.


Developing. Seeing anew. Seeing in out line, seeing in light & dark. Taking lots of pix to use for resources. Have sketches to put up. I notice that it is taking longer than I thought. I can easily do 1000 in a year, but not ones I want to send up! A policy is emerging: send up any I rate 5 or more out of 10. Not making it too hard, but at the present rate I’ll be doing more like 10,000 sketches.

To do list.

  • Validate the HTML
  • Update the page generator
  • RSS on the blog
  • e-Commerce
  • Launch plan
  • More sketches!
  • Move over the domain to DreamHost (50 days to go due to a restriction in the system)
  • Printing plan
  • software evaluation
  • copyright strategy
  • About page
  • FAQ


I now have a new host for the site & this blog is there too. No more worries about the terms of service or running out of disk space. Some images are up, and the page design has been updated. Still to do:

  • Validate the HTML
  • Update the page generator
  • RSS on the blog
  • e-Commerce
  • Launch plan
  • More sketches!
  • Move over the domain to DreamHost (50 days to go due to a restriction in the system)

I am loving the sketching! I have more to put up, but want to get the systems right so I don’t need to tweak too many files.


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

# 3 Edward

Edward stayed with us on the weekend. I noticed how I was taking photos with sketches in mind.

Later: We had conversations about this project, and no doubt will have more. Search (box top right) with the word Edward.


The beginning is not the Launch. As I write this there are a few things in place: The the ideas are in my head. Thousand Sketches website is active, there are a few sketches up. Now this blog. Firmly in place is my gratitude for all the encouragement. I won’t name people right now but there are plenty who have said “Go for it!”

Some of what is not in place: The plan will be explained in the About page. A firming up of the design of everything online and a launch, some sort of party to celebrate this project.

I will put up 1000 sketches in one year. The prints are for sale.

Please don’t link to the blog or the website just yet, that time will come as the project is Launched!