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.

A long post reflecting on process follows.

I saw some videos about Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan, iconic Australian artists. That I am looking at Australian ones indicates just how much catching up this is. I recall looking at their work in the sixties when I still lived in Aust. They have done a lot since then and died. Have not thought about them for four decades but they are familiar as I look at these tattered videos from the public library.

They are so conscious of their national identity, thinking of themselves as Australian, and looking to how to express that, thinking about Australian mythology and how it might look. Nolan looks to the convict past, the early explorers and iconises Ned Kelly. Boyd reinterprets biblical images in the Australian bush, which in those paintings is wild & menacing. His later work in the Shoalhaven, when he ignores such national & cultural stuff is more loving of the landscape, but he might think of those paintings as “pot boilers”.

Being in this sketching apprenticeship while I listen to these old men talk about their work I notice I am not consciously nationalistic, almost consciously not so. But unconsciously I draw gum trees and flax, what does that mean? I am also looking at landscapes more & more right now.

My main focus has been the neoplatonic idea that there is something essential that wants to come through… the desire of the line, and Kahn’s question: “what does the building want to be”… leading me to think about the images but more holistically about this project.

Ah! What does this project want to be? One thing it is demanding is more of my attention and as it does that it tells me where to go. I am clear I want to travel – Australia & the USA are on the list and Mt. Cook and a trip to Napier even before that. What about Europe? There is a possibility of Vienna in October. Could I extend my “year” to include October? Clearly it is not rooted in the local, it is above all exploring the psyche in cyberspace, and that is ongoing. Finding my signature scribble is part of that, and I think there is something else coming up… something that I have touched on with Bursting & the later “mood” series. Letting something come through from my unconscious. That is the real landscape, even when it looks like outer.

I read somewhere that with the advent of abstract painting we realised that all painting was abstract.

OK, but once that is realised, we can help it along & that might be what’s next. Doodling according to Len lay – a New Zealand pioneer who remained a doodler – thought that doodles came directly from the old brain. All my stuff – the pets and the landscapes & the flowers have old brain in them but I am keen to help that along.

I have said “The medium is the muse” but any muse is just a prod, what is being evoked?


“What does the project want to be? The content & the structure. What is the front door? Ebay? (I have not yet pursued that to any extent, could it even be ACEO cards? A book? I am curious about my ‘conversation with the market.’ I deeply appreciate that there have been buyers and that there is continuing interest. It has come mostly through people seeing the prints, not through the online images. What does that say? The printed images are bigger & brighter than anything digital, that is true, but I am still imagining that there could be a digital upturn as I continue. One thing that has not grabbed people is the links for sale to be used for promotion with each image. The interest has been in the images not the links. What is the life of the marketing side of this project, what does it want?


I have learnt that this Weblog, not the Galleryis the front door to Thousand Sketches. Should I point straight to the blog? If you know what I mean here & you have an opinion on that I’d love to hear it! I am brewing up a new domain, Thousand Sketches is a project but it is not all of me.

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