Last Friday we had the launch of the project, the real life physical one with food & wine. Many people came along, and I am very pleased, thanks for your interest & enthusiasm!
It was quite amazing to see all those pictures up on the wall – and to think that only a couple of months ago there were none! If you have photos from the night – please send, I was too busy to take any! I have a bit of video from the ending, I’ll spliced that together:
I was pleased how easily people valued the project as a whole and the way I am cooking up something. A common remark is: “I wonder what number 800, or 1000 will look like?”. One person said: “It’s a performance.” well observed, I do find my self unexpectedly on a stage. “It is not only how you are doing it, but what you are doing.” Right, very Louis Kahn. “At the end of alchemy is a miracle.” “Trust the impulse, return to the impulse.”
My friend Eileen’s response to the story of my project. Thanks Eileen!
Right now the flame is a glow, re-kindling after days of intense focus on my psychotherapy work with the NZAP council.
I have some air-port sketches. (I posted them already)
What does this flame want? Ideas flood in about the whole rather than the sketches. I am sure that online auctions & the market, are integral, not just a business add on. It began with the “sponsored links” on the sketch pages. There a desire, but also a wish to suppress. My way out of that tension – as I have already mentioned here – is Hermes. The very same impulse to crate a hermetic vessel, brings with it the notion of gold and trade, as Hermes is the God of trade… that is how it is in cyberspace.
Art is investment, it is trade, Hermes the trickster has a hand in it.
Make something out of nothing.
I think auctions are right! It is “what it wants to be” it may be me that is holding back, it hard for me to embrace. There is also a learning curve to auctions – and it is a bit much right now.
Khan’s platonism again of course. Here is a quote on the nature of the nature of things.
Some good posts & discussion on “On Painting” about line. (made a comment there)
And more here on line in Falstaff’s blog.
Discussion here on autobiography & art, and made a post – I’ll paste below.
Loved your blog, this post & great discussion. I am opting for the value of the whole story, art + artist. Art lives in it’s context. What counts is not just the thing there in front of you but how it connects. It may be that it is a radically new use of a medium. Or that it it breaks conserved custom like the PreRaphaelites did. Maybe that the artist was ridiculed for their work is part of that story. The pain would be inherent in that work.
I am thinking of alchemy. There was a time when scientists related the life force in their flasks to their own life force, after all both came from God. Maybe objectivity was needed in a while in science, but it is a bit sad IMO to transfer that to art.
As a psychotherapist I guess I am used to seeing the personal story in art & art in the personal story.
Make it OK again to be autobiographical, to be personal. These things get frowned out with phrases like “indulgent”.
I think the kitten is more interesting now that we know it was saved, I’ll clap & cheer for the swimmer too!
Met with George for lunch. He was enthusiastic and we buzzed together.
He and Beryl are painting, taking it up, something new. I’m looking forward to doing some painting together, what a great idea. (Mine will be digital of course – for now anyway.)
One thing George said that is with me: “Simplicity is an advanced course”.
That is my challenge – to keep it only as complex as it needs to be.
This ties in with the idea of distillation, getting to the essence. ( download & listen to hour long Alchemy mp3)
Central to psychotherapy too, seeing the main pattern in the many stories.
Means circling around and repeating, until there is, what Khan would call a “realisation“.
It was a fun lunch!
I posted earlier about my relief that I had a new perspective on the website. I am reading Louis Kahn, and was struck by the similarity when he could not wait for the crane to leave hisbuilding site, and how later he came to see if as his friend,because it stimulated him to think of new forms. Interestingly hesees it as an extension of the arm, much like McLuhan. see quote.
Form is on my mind. I think of the blog as a new form… not that new, I think I posted that idea about 10 years ago. A new form like once the sonnet was a new form. it feels like cooking in this incubator is some sort of form emergence.
Duane Keiser on in his blog “On Painting” is conscious of the online world impacting on art – the blog is even has: “about painting and how the Internet is changing the business of art” in its title . There is something of a shift happening as he abandons galleries for eBay, much in the way My Space is impacting on the music industry.
It all adds up to that the medium is the message.
About once per week I will write an email update about the sketches and how the project & I are doing together. I have a mailing list for that and you can subscribe here. You can also remove yourself at any time.
It is text based, with links to what I think are the highlights of sketches & process.
Saying yes to a whim presented by life is a good thing – but how was I to know it would kidnap me? All I want is peace – but no chance with the launch coming up and the pressure I have created here to work. Panic. Then Kate says “Don’t worry we’ll soon be dead” quoting back my idea that there is plenty of time for peace in the grave.
Today: Got the www.thousandsketches.com domain working! Now it is really messy. www.thousandsketches.dreamhost.com still has the blog, some links won’t work.
Realisation: The site is a sketch too. Creating a site is a project and not just a preparation for a project! I have been trying to do it so that it is ready now! I have all the time I need, the line around a year does not apply to the site! The “gallery” and the blog are adequate for now but I have many plans for both, but there is no rush. Phew!
Conversations: Are good. But only while my main one is with www.thousandsketches.com – and it speaks only to me. See this quote from Kahn On Collaboration. The important thing is to distinguish between the “architecture” and the “providing a service” – I am still doing the first & later I can call in the plumbers.
Googled “Thousand Sketches” today and a post from Warner Crocker of Life on the Wicked Stage blog came up. Thanks Warner. I have been subbed to his blog since I had my Toshiba M200 Tablet PC. Warner is a thorough source of info about tablets – and many other things. Looks like he writes for GottaBeMobile.com site as well.
And a lot of variety.
Some new themes emerging today. This is a fertile time my head is buzzing, with feelings, ideas about sketching, big questions. What is the psyche & what is at work here. What is modern, post-modern and how do I deal with all these feelings of passion, fear confusion & doubt. Love too – loving the conversations with Kate – challenging though they can be. Other questions too: what is a sketch? What is a line, what is a “canvas”. The variety in the sketches is also in me. The variety annoys me. I just made a thumbnail page and I see no focus there. And as this post shows, I can’t get focussed right now. Let me say more.
I said it – partially in the sketch – I just did it thinking of ketchup – or tomato sauce as we tend to call it down under. Felt frustrated in the digital media for the first time. I wanted to get into the mucking about with messy paint!
What is the main thing:
That this project has a life of its own, and that it is asking a lot of me. I feel burdened by it. I feel exposed.
Kate in the conversations today was optimistic. I am being called out to come to terms with all this and so be my true self more. Just as the project asks to have its true life. There is a symbyosis, I am more myself as the project finds its true self.
I hope so, but I don’t feel it. One thing is for sure, I feel gripped by this thing.
More from the conversation today: No focus on the outcome, if shit or gold are both gold, that seemed like a good stance I’d found. Then Kate said: that is just a way of coping with your fear.
Now I feel moody.
Your text here
Bid for Print on Trade Me
Amy is a friend and artist in San Francisco. On the phone today she told me she was working on the blog for Public Smog she is one of the collaborators on Invisible 5 What is Public Smog: “built in the economic realm of carbon offset trading”. At least it is not built on sand, or in cyberspace like this project.
Amy was complimentary about the project, appreciated, thanks. What was of value to me in our discussions were simple off-the-cuff comment like “you have a good sense of line” (Marion Harvey told me that in 1970, same words) it is good to hear because I become conscious of line. Is that good? I am all for it, consciousness is OK. She said I had a sense of “restraint”. Restraint. I am not sure what that means yet. Dan just said I was flowing. Flow & restraint, probably work ok together. Perhaps it is something about a sketch as opposed to a drawing, restraint.
I am restrained in posting up stuff! I am am learning what I want here, and so holding back what I don’t like, does not fit with my process, the project process. I want to use the 1,000 for so many ideas, shapes & colours, soon they will be all gone!
Amy asked if she could put in a request. Sure. NZ landscapes. She is missing NZ. But would that be the wrong genre? The genre question was raised in the conversations with Alex as well. This is such an amorphous lot of sketches that anything can go in the melting pot. Anything. I’d like to do landscapes. I love a lot of NZ landscape artists – if you call them that, McCahon, and Marilynn Webb, she particularly inspires me at the moment.
Another great comment – on the genre question: “Draw your way out of it!” Thanks Amy.
Where this project is unified is through the conversations. So I will do landscapes. I’ve done one already in response to the request. (it is no good!) I told Amy I want to get the light right. She told me about the “Bay Area School” capturing the colour of the light – something to research.
We spoke of tag clouds, with a 1000 sketches there is unifying that can be done post-facto, by the user – now there is a word for people viewing art!