The last Thousand Sketches image #1000 Departing Force, will representing the whole Thousand Sketches project as an entry in be in the Saatchi SHOWDOWN round between 31-12-2007 and 07-01-2008 – you can vote for it!
I just updated a post I did in October Added an picture I said I’d add of a Frank Stella painting.
Finished up simplifying my image while I was there. Of course the original is still there in the original post, but here is the tweaked one:
This image is available printed in a limited edition. It is available exclusively on Felt, a New Zealand Art & Craft website.
I am reading about calligraphy in Herbert Read’s “A Concise history of Modern Painting”. (here is the bit) Calligraphy is (perhaps, I’d say as I don’t really trust any theory) at the root of Abstract Expressionism. What an insight! probably not for people with a formal ed in art, but it is for me. Why that is such a blast is that I am working away at getting the verticals right in my new crosses, and contemplating that line. I feel like some Zen calligrapher meditating on the strokes! It is a meditation. I delete 100’s and suddenly one will be right.
And the idea grabbed me because it is a strong theme that emerged in the Thousand Sketches. I wanted to get those lines right, that flow. I am quite pleased with how it went, there were a lot of doodles and slowly they were more in my handwriting as it were. This is one of my favourites. And the Abstract Expressionist ones that I blew up, my friend Charles called “calligraphy of God” I was most flattered.
In Read’s book there is a particular image that stood out because it reminded me of one I did. It is Drawing by Henri Michaux. (See image below, and also my image.) He is part of a few early painters that were influenced by the East & calligraphy. I’ll write more about them and where I am goin g with it all now on my other blog, this is the Thousand Sketches related part of the story.
Here is Michaux:
Here is mine, it is nothing like Michaux’s drawing in content, but it recalled my image none the less.
#0442 Private Language
Here is another by Michaux I found:
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Later: Monday, 11 May 2020
These are now on Psyberspace in the Art category.
His confession is a great little essay. I link to it here because it resonates so well with my experience doing the Thousand Sketches. I don’t have characters, but I do have stuff that appears off the end of the pen.
I have developed a deep affection for my abiding characters and symbols, they nourish me greatly. Many times since the duck and teapot revelation their strange antics and adventures have anticipated the course my life would take. I respect their integrity and eccentric ways to an absurd degree. They appear off the end of the pen, at that wondrous point of connection and delight, and place themselves freely in my drawings. They ask for things and do what they will. They surprise, disturb and inspire me. I observe them with bemusement and respect. I let them be and eventually I hear what they are telling me.
Aside: We are not in that mechanical age, so much creativity is virtual.
My images are open source, and I think that if others print them then there is less “aura” than in the signed limited editions? Is there?
We are flooded with images and even art, does that degrade aura? It is a time of some art having something, due to the millions it is sold for. Is that aura? Is celebrity status aura? (Benjamin thinks we hype the celebrity thing up because auras are on the decline) (He also thinks the loss of aura is a good thing as the masses can have more art – strange essay).
What happens as you comment or link to an image? Copy it to your blog? Does the communal context build new aura? I like some of the work other bloggers do and have it on my wall! Is there aura there? They are not signed works, would that help?
I make images (by hand on a Tablet PC) & then I make prints with a printer and sign them in graphite. The mechanical and the hand-made intertwine in one object. I have acquired the tools and the skills to do that and have a sense of pride with each successful print. It is not re-production, but production. There is no original. I like that they are in limited editions of 25. A also like that the name, say “#1000 Departing Force” is enough of an identifier to lead you via google to the virtual image, and to the write up on the blog, and the comments. I like it that there can be an ever growing conversation about the image, by people who experience it I diverse ways. The conversation is part of the art work. My prints are interactive art!!
So I think aura is alive and well in this post-mechanical age, and I think it is a good thing. And I like it that auras are a totally indefinable thing!
That seemed like a good note to finish on, but another idea jumped up.
Do my prints have aura because I say so? No way. Maybe that helps, but to have aura I there is a list of things that go on, and they are all needed, and there are some I can’t even name, but here is a list:
Innovation, skill, relevance, presentation, networking, beauty, authenticity, context, fashion, luck, and promotion.
To have another go at a conclusion:
The Thousand Sketches aura is growing!