Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Sketchbook Challenge - Doodling

Initially inspired by last year's challenge I was so excited to sign up for The 2012 Sketchbook Challenge until I found out that the prompt for January was "Doodling." I was not impressed. My definition of doodles meant messy, ungainly, untidy. Not for me. Was I ever wrong!

My first painting... definitely a doodle

Doodling reminded me of "practicing." Not that I don't think practicing is a good idea. It's a very good idea. It's just that I spent an innumerable amount of hours as a child and teenager practicing to train to get into, and then graduate from, ballet school. Lots and lots of practice. So I've evaded practice for most of my adult life. I tend to just wing it and get right stuck in straight from the start. Not that I recommend it, you understand. It's what I'd like to think works for me. But who's to say?
Reversible faces - decidedly doddling

But doodles... Doodling... I checked the dictionary in case I had got it wrong. Doodle: Scribble or Draw, especially absent-mindedly. Waste time. Fool around. No siree, not me... Doodler: Foolish Person. Oh great... and I'm planning on putting this up on my blog?

Trying out new pens - qualifies as doodling

Then I started reading the blog posts of the other participants. And got thoroughly inspired all over again! And realised that yes, I doodled. Often. A whole lot. I just never called it that. And yes, I derive incredible pleasure and benefit from doing so.

I doodle all the time. It's how I do things... One of the doodles that appears again and again in my sketchbooks is a female figure.

It so happens that I have gone on to do several popular series of paintings using these figures in many different ways ~

Painted Words

I doodle with words, and often form stones or poems with those same words at a later date ~

I doodle in my fabric art, stitching at random to create other shapes from existing patterns ~

Envelope purse for "30 artists - 30 items show" - SOLD

 Starfish Purses for Fibre Dance 2010 - SOLD

In my fabric art "Dancing Spirits" series,  I learned quickly that you cannot successfully undo stitching on velour and abandoned having any preconceived ideas in mind, preferring instead to simply follow the needle... or doodle ~

Dancing Spirits for Fibre Dance IV show - SOLD

Dancing Spirit - Commissioned Piece - SOLD
So what can I say? I doodle. I am indeed a doodler. And if that means I'm absent-minded, waste time, or fool around, if that makes me a foolish person, then I will wear the badge with pride. And keep right on doodling...

So grab a pen and paper, let your mind wander, forget the world outside and let me know how you like to doodle...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Keeping an Art Notebook

For the last several years I have kept Art Notebooks to record techniques, ideas for series, quotes, or projects I want to work on. The latest one measures approximately 8 1/4 by 5 1/2 inches and is a standard hard back bound black book whose cover has been enhanced with molding paste, acryclics, and gold paint.

I collect images that inspire me and often they provoke ideas for paintings or sculptures, as in the one below.

 I keep track of concepts that I want to develop and remind myself of colours that make my heart dance...

Notes on supplies that I would like to acquire, an idea for a fold out book. A quote that became a painting... and sold...

Or an outline concept and notes of a mural for a client's property...

It is my constant source of reference and inspiration and long after the work is done, a wonderful memory of what steps it took to reach the finished piece. And it reminds me that inspiration is everywhere, and if I have done it before, I can do it again...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Let it be simple...

In the remaining few days of December I bid farewell to a challenging year from many perspectives. I was grateful to finally be able to glimpse some of what I had learned throughout. As the end of first day of 2012 approaches I welcome the year ahead with one thought only. Let it be simple.... Instead of tilting at windmills, stepping on giants, challenging the status quo at every opportunity, I return to my own life; as Intuitive, Artist, Writer and Teacher. From here I can focus on who I am and what matters to me and that is enough. Allow for life to be simple.
Because it really is if we let it.
May the year ahead bring you whatever matters to you the most ~