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.

Continue reading “Process”


I am thinking about the desire of the project & the desire of the line (to quote Matisse). Something in the marks that is essential, that has a life of its own. What is that? We want to get a glimpse of the real thing beyond the shadows in Plato’s cave. We are channels for a deeper truth if we can just get out of the way. It is something we can’t attain, but it keeps calling or pulling.

And there is something else.

The marks express unique personal identity. If I can get out of my own way I will come through. Unexpectedly I like my #184 Stuff on my Desk because it has me in it & I was hardly there, just doodling as an afterthought. It has my emerging signature – I don’t mean my name, but something that resonates with my inner fingerprint.

I had a conversation with Kate recently about signature, how as teenagers we “practice our signature”, a paradox totally suited to adolescence. Is that signature being invented, or discovered? The latter I think. Which then had me reflecting on that crucial teen-age time in my life, late 50s. I was drawing and painting a bit, though never with formal instruction, except in technical drawing. I really craved to belong to the art class but would not let myself feel that… and that was not all that was suppressed. I suppressed my signature.

Right now I am wanting to find that scrawl, which will shine, because it is gets closer & closer to …

And here is the point that is motivating this post…

… to the personal essence that is also there, in the same place beyond the shadows in the cave.
The subject & artist share one true nature.


Janey’s post.

An earlier post of mine: Thousand Sketches & Signatures

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Sugar & Shadow

I don’t have a batch of sketches – and I think I need to post the one or two I have. But the process is quite laborious and much the same for 1 as for 100.

I think I’ll leave the “Gallery” for later & just do a few blog posts.

So much gets in the way of simply doing sketches. No, even when I do them, and I have done a lot this week, so much gets in the way of of posting them up. Hmmm, one thing gets in the way: I don’t like them!

I will be posting some, and not others… and I am not going to judge here in public what I like & don’t like. There are some I do like, & there are plenty I simply won’t post.


I’d like more depth. Yet I love that donut!

I wonder what that means? A sweet trivial bad for you little fun thing like a donut is OK by me, yet I want more depth. There is a lot of depth in that donut! It is a good case of the medium being the muse… and now its asks the obvious question, is my saccharine unconscious having a part in it, wanting to avoid the shadows? Of course it does.

OK, coming up is “Flax in moonlight” so there is a bit of darkness there.


Where is the miracle? I think it is not something to find in sketch 1000, the gold at the end of the alchemical rainbow. It is here now, it is in the eye of the beholder. It is all in the the “warm up”.

It is in the allowing of whatever is in me to emerge. Can I do that?


#0115 Crossroads

Allowing abstract forms to emerge, to delete some, to let one influence another is one of my “styles” here. So accepting this doodle as a Crossroad of feeling the tension between two things is one step that led to the next few.


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

Line, autobiography, links to blogs.

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!

Blue_Red_Glow – and some Notes

#0463 Blue Red Glow
Larger Image.

After doing the two sketches earlier #0058 and #0059 it struck me that there was more to them than I intended. I was in a black mood, but those images – even the darker one had a light in there. This led to a lot of reflection. I’ll give some headings here – but there may be more of these thoughts coming.

  • Lois Kahn’s idea that a building wants something – this project wants its light to come through.
  • Another Kahn idea: That once you have a “realisation” after that it is just implementation. I think I could sketch one of these light-coming-through-barrier images at will – am testing that idea so a few follow. They are not mechanical repeats.
  • The light in the project is in a relationship with the light in me – that is an old alchemical idea. “As above, so below.” The essence in the matter under investigation – when distilled is akin to the life essence in me. This is more than I bargained on.
  • Earlier sketches #6 #7 & #8 were embryonic expressions of these images. As was the post in the blog about it being OK – no matter what. And they were there in the “Bursting”. (I’ll find links later)
  • With the notion of alchemy the monetary – gold – aspect of this project makes more sense. The gold plays a part.
  • Has got me thinking this project is linked closely with the writing I did on the Archetypes of Cyberspace (go straight to the section on Hermes, God of the Net – and of trade!)


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

#46 Montessori

This is from a very old archive. In the early 50’s I drew these at the Montessori school I was at. Here is what I wrote a four years ago when I shared this with some people:

“I went to a Montessori school for the first three years or so of my schooling. We could choose activities. I drew circles and painted them yellow. Thousands of them. Obsessional. My mother thought they were wonderful and kept them in a box! I don’t think I did it to please her though. I loved doing it. This is what they looked like.”

Of course the word Thousands stands out for me as I read this.