Line & Wash Gallery

I’m learning to use Jetpack for this blog. I’m also working on my art journal This is one of the Gallery sets that was in is my art blog but is not there now! Jetpack is doing a nice job!

I used to a lot of these, but no more? I still like them. I’d even forgotten there was a name for the genre.

Joined online creativity group with Jan Allsopp

I’ve joined a creativity group with Jan Allsopp who I’ve known online for a long time. My commitment is for a month (at least). Committed to 15 min a day for the month of January – I’m working on a book. I’ll post more about the book as time goes on.  Today is day six and I’ve produced a lot each day.  I find it helpful to have such a strong focus. A simple idea, choose a route – i.e. the tools. Mine are the Google files (Doc and Slides) I’m using to write the book. In addition we create ‘cruise control’ – a voluntary frame in which to work. Some voluntary restrictions I’m using are:

  • No new sketches.
  • Work on the book proposal only, not the whole book.

Also good to see other peoples art – so far so good. It will get harder as the month intensifies.

This is what the spreads in the book  look like:


 

iPad Pro – Pros and Cons

I would love it – for one thing: Drawing. iPads have never really done that well. But maybe this one, with its Pencil, beats the Wacom tablets.

BUT
Its not a computer. It drives me crazy on the iPad to add items to a calendar – to edit anything, it is such a pain to try to get the curser to go to the right place! I can’t see it replacing a Mac where the input options include a trackpad and a mouse. Touch screens that flop around laptop-style are so wrong – as Steve Jobs said “ergonomically terrible”!

But a Mac is no good for drawing.

I had a Toshiba M200 that was ok, it converted quite well – back in 2002! (Images) It went from vertical to horizontal.

Steve Jobs would not have succumbed to the vertical iPad. There has to be a better solution. An OSX device that incorporates touch, something like the new Surface Book (Images) is one possibility. I can’t bear the thought of going back to Windows & Microsoft, Surface Book reviews mention the crashes, the lack of attention to detail in the hardware design. Will convergence that allows conversion in hardware and software functions come to Apple?

In the meantime – and for a long time I imagine – in the Apple world we are stuck with the need for two devices, a Macbook and an iPad Pro. Probably three devices, I’d still want my iPad Mini for curling up with, the iPad Pro seems too big for that.

I hate seeing the iPad Pro used like a laptop, copying the ergonomically terrible Microsoft devices. As a horizontal drawing tool they look great.

Best advice for Apple: Create a touch/non-touch convertable OSX beta for the iPad pro. Maybe they are working on this?

Three new sketches & tools

First time in months I’ve put pen to screen! Playing.

Here

The last one called “Making Time” Mostly using ArtRage on the Toshiba M200.

making-time

I love the process. I am so familiar with the tools – the software and the M200.

I have my eye on an iPad. It will not have the pressure sensitivity. What it will have is mobility. It is so sad that MS did not have the ability to develop the Tablet. The Toshiba M200 is small enough, but impossible (for me at least) to master when folded into its slate form. And the battery life is measured in minutes even with my new battery. There is still IMO a place in the market for MS to make a Windows 7 convertible. I am over my initial iPad disdain. I am appreciating Apple’s solid building and pragmatics combine with the revolutionary. They took over the music industry even though they came in late to the mp3 market, not a mean feat brilliant strategies!

Tools evolve, and the best use of any given tool is of value. I have done a lot of sketching on my Palm PDAs – tool I’ll never use again – but therein lies something of value. The lead pencil has no colour. But look what has been done over the centuries with the humble pencil, and it lives. The current – no pressure iPad will die and be gone, but I look forward to making use of it, while it is in its first iteration. What can the finger do on that thing?

Here are some examples, some good stuff there.

Psyberspace Podcast – Reviews & reflections on success gurus

A mix of stuff in this 35 min podcast.

Click to play, right click to download
Psyberspace Podcast 19 May 2008

Review: Digital Art Studio – Techniques for combining Inkjet Printing with traditional media Amazon

Reflection: “limited editions” in the digital medium.

Review: The Brief Wonderous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Loved it. Amazon

Review: New Dimensions Podcast – Innovate Like Edison

This is followed by some thoughts about success gurus.

~

Covers:

image

image

My New Art Blog

I have just set up a new art blog. In this Moment. That means this psyberspace space can return to its slow reflection & exploration of the psyche in cyberspace in all its forms, not just the visual.

Fear of Images

NO PIX
Larger Image.

This essay The Image Culture, by Christine Rosen covers the history of opposition to images from today to biblical times:

They have, by their sheer number and ease of replication, become less magical and less shocking—a situation unknown until fairly recently in human history. Until the development of mass reproduction, images carried more power and evoked more fear. The second of the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20 warns against idolizing, or even making, graven images: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

The essay is has a snippet from most commentators on the image, it is a resource. It is a full on part of the anti image culture for all that, and it is interesting how this philosophy comes part and parcel with conservative and Christian politics.

The net has fairly recently become more image centric. Youtube & flickr are evidence of the ubiquity of digital image making hardware and of the broadband to make use of it. But there is another wave that is possible. Built into Vista and no doubt every OS in the future is the ability to use a touch screen. Strangely photography took longer to develop than simple drawing & painting, on the net it looks as if sketching will come later than text and photos. It will come. The slate was an early educational tool (my parents used slates at school, paper was too expensive) the digital slate is a natural as kids learn to read & write online in a digital world. They will draw!

Ubiquity of the hand hewn digitally born image is a possibility, that it lags is possibly due to the fear of the image and dominance of the word.

Mcluhan probably had all this in mind, that in the electronic era, there would be a demise of the word. However we know now that nothing is ever replaced or lost, rather it transforms. Her final point that because we have more images we will have less meaning & not be able to transmit culture is just nonsense.

The future is not what it used to be


I am (still) reading Walter Benjamin’s Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction I enjoy the quote that opens it by Paul Valerey. Sounds like Mcluhan, but he is talking (Benjamin too) about shifts due to mechanical development – reproduction, now this needs updating with an essay about art in the age of electronic production.

More Paul Valery quotes follow, including the bit I have paraphrased above from the Benjamin essay.

Continue reading “The future is not what it used to be”

Layout back to normal.

But what it looked like  was something like the Socio site.  My image, also on Thousand Sketches is used as the masthead.

The encounter symbol.  Nice.  It does draw my attention to the difference between up and down as opposed to left & right.  Horizontal implies equality, or perhaps more neutrally, it implies similarity.  The up/down  in this encounter symbol seems like different entities interacting.

Up /down has some power implications, or is that just cultural? Maybe it is OK!  Maybe it is always good to know, who is earthy, who is airy.   Maybe every encounter is a meeting of earth & sky. The “masculine” aspect is the top one it would seem, but the overvaluing of that is probably cultural.

Kurt is up in heaven now.

Scoop: Vonnegut Dies Without a Country or Religion:

As it happens on that very day 13 April, I bought two Vonnegut books on Amazon, they are on their way, but I only just heard he died.

image

The sketch is from the wonderful: Writer’s Mugs

And here are some quotes from: Quotations Page

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand

~

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

~

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.

2007

The year has found some footing. Years of course have a place in space not just time. This one is in cyberspace but as the one tending it I see a New Zealand summer outside my window. I have returned to work after a summer break and so the feel for me that 24 January is bringing has that sense of a new start and this feels like an early moment in that.

Psychotherapy Online – I have opened my book for new clients – it has been closed for most of 2006 as I had a full case load.

Thousand Sketches – This is still the “year of the sketch” it will be until Spring 2007. I am about a third of the way through doing the 1000 digital ones I am committed to. it is a project in psyberspace!

The Psyberspace Podcast – I am quietly continuing this project and have been chatting about the sketches.  However there are more brewing on purely psychological matters too.  Subscribe to the podcast.

OnlineGroups.Net

In the last post I wrote about my Thousand Sketches project – and how it has its roots in many things I have done. One of those projects was “Psybernet” it predates my involvement with the Internet – it began on Fidonet. That project hit me with a bang just like the Thousand Sketches just has. It was the realisation that the online communication I was involved in (in CompuServe at that time) was intrinsically psychological. I was familiar with Psychodrama and knew – from experience – how groups could be an incubator for psychological transformation.

Cyberspace was full of groups! I wanted a group that was consciously exploring this online space in a psychological way and Psybernet was it. That original group began on the Psybernet BBS, then moved to L-soft mailing list, and then to eGroups which were bought out by Yahoo groups.

While my focus has been on the dramas that unfold in groups – I also found out a lot about the infrastructure of online groups. Some software was better than others, and there are many more mature forms now. Caucus is a web forum that is the best I have experienced for conversation online. There are plenty of good email lists, but some do not handle files or the web all that well. For the best of all worlds for online groups using the Web & email is OnlineGroups.Net. It is very good as a web based forum and excellent for email, groups can all be accessed either way, and they can cohere on a site to form a community.

All this is on my mind as I am thinking about Thousand Sketches because the first person I shared my Psybernet ideas with as they emerged in the early 1990s was Dan Randow the main developer of OnlineGroups.Net. He was in both IT and Psychodrama and he immediately saw the online group potential for very productive work. Dan went on to develop a career facilitating groups online for organisations, for a while I worked in the company he established, GroupSense.

The initial philosophy was to use available technology. eGroups were a mainstay for GroupSense, but that went sour when Yahoo! pruchased them. It became much harder to integrate the tech into a group’s life. People needed a Yahoo ID and the messages carried ads. Something new was needed.

That led to GroupServer an open source project which has well a developed implementation at OnlineGroups.Net

I have been using the sevice for may years and have felt at home there for professional & personal groups.

OnlineGroups.Net is now offering sites with groups to the public, this is a new development and I find it fascinating how those discussions over the years with Dan about creating forms to enhance group life has led to us making public our endeavours, though different, at the same time! In the case of Dan, excellent software for groups, and for me Thousand Sketches.

Of course I have an Announcement Group for Thousand Sketches at OnlineGroups.Net.

More than Experiential learning – psychological transformation

The main ways I have explored anything in my life is by doing it. Climbing mountains – living & breathing philosophy in my early20s, relationships, counterculture & politics, psychotherapy, Psychodrama and cyberspace!

This blog, since its to its origins in “Links Pages” is one of the vessels for my experiential learning, a fairy mild one. Psyber-L was another – a really intense mailing list, that for a while was public, until closed at the wishes of its members. The two DreamEvents were powerful spaces to learn in. Doing psychotherapy online professionally is another experience that has given me an understanding of the net.

All of these things I do, with an eye to meaning, purpose and their depth, I can’t help it. If there is a way to go deeper – I sink in! They are vessels for my psyche when it needs to rumble & explode.

My current experiential vessel Thousand Sketches began naively, but I have realised that is a zone for me just like a psychotherapy relationship, a Psychodrama group, or a love relationship. I have not understood till now that the power of the psyche is enabled in our creativity area. The project is the psyche wanting something with me. It sounds a bit grand – but it is probably a simple & every day thing, just that right now it is very alive for me & I need to make sense of it all. Occasionally I am afraid it will drive me nuts.

I am writing this as I am planning an “launch” in Christchurch on 3 November. That is part of this project, it is public. Being messed around by my psyche in public! Public in Christchurch, and in New Zealand as I take this to Trade Me

It feels “Trade Me” is very literally true. It seems very congruent that the project has an auction gallery. I have written here – and extensively about Hermes being the archetype of the Internet. He is also the God of trade. It all fits – he has got me!

Another Sketcher – digital addict

The Digital Pencil

Some nice pictures & I like what MJM has to say about the way of working.

This is how I work

I’m completely addicted to digital drawing. I buy new watercolor paper and traditional paints and pristine sketchbooks at The Art Store, but they gather dust beside my desk. I feel less worthy somehow when I sketch using my computer. Ridiculous, I tell myself — it’s really just like choosing a mechanical pencil over a Berol 2B, or a Rapidograph over a quill pen. No digital god steers my fingers when I sit at my computer. I know that, but somehow I keep planning to get back to “real drawing” someday, where my mistakes aren’t permanently erased by a simple “Ctrl-Z” command.