Hibiscus – and a note on Journaling

#406 Hibiscus
Larger Image.


It is almost a week since we were in Narrabeen on the coast just above Sydney when I began this sketch & the next few. Which is a pity as I feel like Journaling the trip, but it is too late, I am back in New Zealand and back at work.

I have wondered what will become of my interest in sketching & art once the 1000 are done. Well here is one thing that is almost certain, I will start a Sketchblog, a sketch journal. It has begun here in a way, but it will have a different life outside of this project.


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Opera House & travel notes

#404 Opera House
Larger Image.

A hot hazy day with little colour on the harbour or in the sky but the sails of the Opera house stood out. I love this building. I watched it being built in the ’60s, a real ’50s building, everything had fins & looked ‘futuristic’. On my last night in Sydney, before I moved to New Zealand, group of us hopped over the fence one moonlit night & climbed to the top of the main sail, A night to remember.


Alas, sketched three days ago! Too busy living life to sketch. I am getting further behind, but have plenty of inspiration. We had a good day on the beaches yesterday & today we are with a friend in the Blue Mountains. Stopped in Lane Cove national park on the way. lots of photos of bush, birds & lizards.


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All over the place

I have not posted sketches for a while. I have some stored up, not all that pleased with them, but I have been learning a lot. Learning to use Corel Painter X, it is quite hard but I love mastering little things one step at a time.

But that is not the main thing I am getting from this pause. I am looking at what I am doing.

I am all over the place.

On the one hand that is a challenge; get focussed, narrow down, build on what I have, sort, select and deepen themes.

On the other hand it is just right. I am all over the place. Not really a Kiwi, not really an Australian, not really Dutch. And I have just given up a psychological writing focus (that was a bit messy but needed attention) for this art project. Thousand Sketches is throwing everything I am doing into turmoil. On many levels I am all over the place. I am going all over the place too: Sydney, San Francisco, New York. That means there is congruity and authenticity and the project is working as a mirror. Just as it should.

Simply keep sketching. All over the place. No judgment, no criticism, just keep going. Don’t worry. Trust.

Diversity, eclecticism and surprises are OK.

Next step: Post up the doodles etc from the last week or two. Then I’ll write some more.

I also have some podcasts from Lenswork Publishing I want to link to, they have been quite inspiring.

Forming, becoming & docking slowly into the landing site

Here is a quote from “Tarzan Presley” by Nigel Cox – enjoying it right now. Page 54:

Edgar Rice Burroughs once remarked, with reference to Tarzan, that a new thought was like rain – you can sense it’s on the way.

I’ve wondered about this. I think I know what he meant.
You grasp something, and your whole head lights up, it’s like your brain being born again. But then, if you reflect, you see that you had been aware of this possibility, this new arrangement of the facts of the world, and had cleared a space for it in your thinking. Like a mighty space craft, dewy from its long voyage across the dark, it docks slowly – shudders a little as it fits perfectly nto the landing site. As you study it you see that it’s been a long time oming.

I thought of of this project of course. The image of the spaceship fits. I like “long voyage across the dark”. It is taking me places and it is a big thing with its own momentum and monumentum!

The idea of “monumental” is strong in the writing & work of Louis Kahn, architect, whose book I was reading at the start of Thousand Sketches. I would love to see some of his buildings & may do so. I have been looking on the Net & sketching from a photo I did not take, breaking my rule. Monumental for Kahn means that it clearly speaks of what it is, a school is a worthy addition to the many schools that make up our notion of school, it is a strong statement in that conversation. These are my words to say how I think of monumental, but I think I get Kahn when he speaks.

My desire is that this project speaks like that in some way. My fear is that it does not. I would like it to slowly, but fully “dock”.


My quote from Cox also applies to any one sketch.

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Where do sketches come from?

I have a batch to post up, will do that soon.


It is a strange thing letting sketches flow out each day, where do they come from? I am a bit conflicted about my landscapes and sketches from nature & even representations of dreams and so on. Today I want spontaneity flow, splash, colour, texture, but I don’t want to “shout”. One seems just right, #304 Place 4, it will be here soon. It is the last one did & I often like the last one best. #290 Night Shadows is another that just flowed out, too easy!

I feel pressured to do more like Boardroom Café, doing those would develop skill.

Skill is one thing but I have all the skill I need for the more abstract ones like #304 and #297 they feel as if anyone could do them. Yet there are plenty that I delete and there is something to develop here too, not skill but something deeper, assurance, drive, love.

I printed “#304 Place 4” without borders, and so it would need to be framed with a mat around it, not over it, and I will need to sign it on the image. I like all that, there is development.

I already feel the resolution to my conflict – do it all.

Maori design – rubbing

This was a children’s activity, and I will research it more – but I did the rubbing & now it is here but not as I said in the last post as one of the 1000 – it is here for inspiration.

Later: I went back to the gallery & asked about the origins of the work. They could not tell me but gave me the card of the person who curated it. But I have not followed up & lost the card!

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Conversations with Edward

I spent a pleasant day with Edward Coughlan and we did some art, walked, drank coffee & talked a lot.

Art: “Just as You are” – the words of Zuiken my digital version is in the next post, Edward’s lino cut print is also in the next post.

Here is the Podcast: The topics covered include ideas about art, and how thinking about it impacts on our work.

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What follows is a mindmap of the podcast & some of Edward’s pictures we talked about.

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Following the flame – Jung’s Dream

Posting a sketch here by L Laughy from Nithwave for inspiration.

I had a walk & talk with Kate yesterday and we were musing over our projects – her horse treks & my sketches. She told me the story of Jung’s dream with the candle. I found it really useful to keep me focussed here & today has been a busy Thousand Sketches day! No sketches, but podcasts & posts and a few good emails have come & gone.

Then as luck would have it when googling for Jung’s dream I found the words accompanying a beautiful moleskine sketch, I’ll post the words and then the sketch.

“I had a dream which both frightened and encouraged me. It was night in some unknown place, and I was making slow and painful headway against a mighty wind. Dense fog was flying along everywhere. I had my hands cupped around a tiny light which threatened to go out at any moment. Everything depended on my keeping the little light alive. Suddenly I had the feeling that something was coming up behind me. I looked back, and saw a gigantic black figure following me. But at the same moment I was conscious in spite of my terror, that I must keep my little light going through night and wind, regardless of the dangers. When I awoke I realized at once that the figure was my own shadow on the swirling mists, brought into being by the little light I was carrying. I knew too that this little light was my consciousness, the only light I have. Though infinitely small and fragile in comparison with the powers of darkness, it is still a light, my only light.”

From: C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections.

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