Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
-Hans Christian Anderson
Good morning! Hope everyone finds a little flower somewhere today.
Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
-Hans Christian Anderson
Good morning! Hope everyone finds a little flower somewhere today.
While I’m not really inclined to think Pub for brunch, I was really pleased to find that my favorite old pub began serving brunch with their new management. There’s a host of new characters running the place with British accents and they’re all very sweet. The cook offered us free Bloody Marys since breakfast took longer than expected (some sort of miscommunication…they are brand new to brunches). We declined but were really pleased by the offer since there are a number of brunchy places in the neighborhood who wouldn’t even apologize for taking a long time. Anyway, the French toast with fresh peaches and yogurt was worth the wait. I didn’t take any photos of it because I just dove in and devoured it.
So I’m back in the doodling groove. This British Brooklyn Pub had some really great music and there weren’t too many people there yet. They seemed to be okay with me taking my time with my coffee as I drew and let my boyfriend take his time searching for his Fantasy Football team. Here’s a peak inside the pub…
I completed my Black and White Photography class this week so I was pleased to find that I could sit, relax, and focus on my doodles again. For the past month, my mind has been filled with projects, places I needed to photograph and I was awake at all hours trying to optimize the best lighting. I’m going to actually miss the Photo Lab. I stayed for many hours after class working on my photos because I tend to throw myself into projects. Now, it’s over!
Brooklyn Flea (Market) and Pigeons
Walked over to the Brooklyn Flea and found a booth called Carrier Pigeon. They were selling illustrations for $50 each and put out a magazine publication of illustrations. Took their card and bought an Apple Ginger soda and a donut from one of the vendors. was immediately surrounded by pigeons. Seems as though I am constantly encountering pigeons so I figured I would try to draw one. I shared half my donut with them and broke out my sketchbook. I experimented with continuous line drawing where you try to draw something without picking up the pen. It didn’t always work but I managed to draw one of the pigeons. See below…
It was a good drawing exercise and it kept me entertained. The pigeon seemed to just know it was being drawn and photographed because it started to pose for my camera.
I know they’re not the most popular bird in NYC but I think this one was particularly pretty.
We bonded…and then my donut was gone and it flew away.
Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.
*~Chief Doodler at Brooklyn Doodle~*
Something about making art has to do with overcoming things, giving us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do them.
-David Bayles, coauthor of Art & Fear
Good Morning, All!
Sleeping late on a Friday is the biggest luxury on the planet, in my humble opinion. Woke up to some fresh Italian Roast coffee and opened my sketch book. I drew a blank. Had no idea where to begin. I have been so immersed in my Photography class this month that I feel like I forgot how to simply put a marker onto paper. I remember something my 2D design professor said about some artists feeling overwhelmed by the blank page or canvas. He mentioned how one artist would throw charcoal dust over his paper and then “draw” with an erasure in order to get started. So, I decided to not think about it too much and just draw a few lines. A half an hour later, a frog appeared.
The Importance of Scribbling and Unfinished Works
Every now and then though, I don’t have patience to sit for a half an hour to draw so I’ll end up with something like this…
It’s basically scribbling but I encourage you to get it out of your system so you get used to just the process of just starting. Not every line needs to be perfectly rendered. I created that one at Megabites last Sunday and even attempted a new doodle but never finished it.
How to Handle the Unfinished
The act of simply doing means you are still actively engaged in creating but maybe you are simply brainstorming. I have a tendency to leave my doodles behind but it’s good practice to hold onto all sketches, even the ones that disappoint you because it might evolve into something else that you haven’t considered.
To Keep or Not to Keep ‘Bad Art’
I remember sketching outside with an earnest attempt to capture the essence of a pigeon but I lacked some of the skills to really do it any justice. When I was younger, I would never dream of letting anyone see it but as I got older, I found a certain charm to it’s unique renderings. While I’m a fan of skill involved in realistic renderings of still lives (or in my case, not so still life), there’s something to be said about the “bad art”. The Dadists would have loved “bad art.” One of my older sisters has her Master’s in Fine Arts and she was a big believer in having Bad Art Days. We would try a new artistic medium without any expectation of knowing what we were doing. By calling it a Bad Art Day, we got rid of any fear or expectation of doing anything ingenious and sometimes our artwork would surprise us. So, in honor of all the “Bad Art” out there, here is my poorly drawn pigeon.
It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
Books Dealing with Artist’s Block
Now go get some art supplies you’ve been meaning to try and go play!
At Megabites for the Usual
Back to the familiar diner routine and napkin doodling!
Yesterday, I felt the need to veg out on the couch in my PJs, read a book and some blogs, drink hot chocolate and do absolutely nothing related to art. That’s not entirely true though. When I accidentally woke up at 4:30am and saw how the light was in my apartment, I started to take abstract photos for my next photography assignment. Then, I went back to sleep and vegged.
I think downtime is important though. Today, after my usual Earl Grey tea and breakfast at Megabites, I took a stroll to the Brooklyn Flea Market on Lafayette Avenue. It has become a popular destination for foodies (plenty of artisan food stands), antique collectors, and clever things made by local New York artists. For me, it was a great place to get inspiration for interesting abstract photography shots.
So, if you are ever in the Downtown Brooklyn area (5-10 minute walk from Atlantic Terminal), go check it out. Click HERE for more info on it.
Enjoy your Saturday strolls and don’t forget your sharpies!
The Brooklyn Doodle
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
Looked through my old sketchbooks and remember playing around with pencil sketches on the regular. So much has changed since then and it makes me wonder what my future holds. Hopefully, I’ll have a hand in directing the course of my future towards my own artistic goals.
It’s funny how switching mediums can completely change your style of drawing. I’m more inclined to using Sharpies now so no more drawing with an erasure or a blending tool. This summer, my medium has switched again to photography. I capture my subject in so many different positions and angles. I ‘paint’ with light.
And yet, today I discovered that maybe my style is somewhat consistent during my critique in my Photography class. I seem to go for drastic contrasting colors. At least, that’s what I realized when my work was placed up against all the others. Most people went for subtlety. Maybe I watch too many old black and white films or something.
Emptying My Head for New Projects
So much effort went into displaying 3 black and white photos out of nearly 200 taken at different locations, different times, and different natural lighting for my critique today. I spent so much time at the Photography Lab classroom this week working on a number of the pieces on Lightroom 5 that I started having dreams about lighting and paper. The assignment was to take photos of paper interacting with light. Now that it’s over, I have a new photography assignment but I have to empty my head of the last one. Time to grab coffee and create a napkin doodle. Found my moment of zen at a local café this hot afternoon.
Early in the morning and especially on the weekends, there are lines out the door for the incredible coffee and pastries in this small cafe. The thing that makes this place noteworthy are the dog treats that are sold up at the front register and dog dishes full of water waiting outside for their canine patrons. There are a ton of dog owners in the Ft. Greene, Brooklyn neighborhood so you’re likely to find 15 dogs parked outside Bittersweet awaiting their owners’ return with an expectant stare toward this establishment. It’s always fun to pass by them!
Luckily, I arrived around 4pm (they close at 5pm) and it was pretty empty for a change. Got myself an iced mocha and popped a squat on one of the stools around the one empty communal table. Here’s what I drew today…
This doodle of a concerned girl with what appears to be a tree growing out of her head reminds me of a Japanese Animation Short called Mount Head directed by Koji Yamamura.
The main character accidentally swallows a cherry pit from some cherries he ate. A cherry tree proceeds to grow out of the top of his head. The short 10 minute film shows how he deals with it. Worthy of your 10 minutes to watch it.
My second doodling meditation as I cleared my own head of the seeds of knowledge planted there…
A nice slow zentangle inspired turtle!
A good reminder to slow down! Hoping to clear my head so I can fill it with another Photography assignment this weekend. More than likely, I will be doodling quite a bit to ground myself before moving forward. Until then…
Go forth and doodle on,
I am beat tired.
However, I drew a lot this weekend so I’m going to tell you my story and post my doodles intermittently. I drew on stoops, diners, cafes, at a BBQ, and at Prospect Park because I’m in this weird creativity zone these days. Above this paragraph is a drawing that I created at Café Dada in Park Slope off of 7th Avenue. Best oatmeal ever and the place is covered with artwork. It was worth the bike ride over there (see my trusty bike in the background below). And of course, continued my meditation drawing education in Zentangle design while hanging out on my beloved stoop.
Ok, admittedly, the stoop was not entirely wonderful yesterday. One of the tenants moved out and left 12 stinky bags of garbage near our stoop for 3 days in this hot, hot summer. Flies were feasting and dumpster divers would come by and search through them. All I can say is, thank God the garbage men arrived this morning. I tried to sit high on the stoop away from the stink but even in my zen like state of doodling, I found it distracting. So, I gave Prospect Park a chance instead and tried my hand at zentangle again. Peace was achieved with ease. ::sigh::
Finding a Zen-like peace was a bit exhausting when you live in Brooklyn during the summer months. It was time to head out to Long Island where the air is a bit gentler and beaches are plentiful. Besides, I had a mission.
This weekend, I was given a project to do for my Photography class. I had to take 100 photos of natural light interacting with paper. I was really excited about it since I keep taking photos of my napkin drawings anyway. I figured, I got this!
I started by driving directly to Fire Island lighthouse from my class to utilize the light under the boardwalk and see if I could get some interesting photos of it by the water. It was over 90 degrees outside so I ended up with the worst sunburn known to man.
ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN, PEOPLE!
I gave up on the beach and headed to one of my sisters’ houses to take photos of some paper in her pool. It was going great until I knocked into my camera bag and out rolled my 75mm lens, ahem, sorry, my boyfriend’s lens! I jumped into the pool with all my nice clothes on in order to try to “rescue” it but I was too late. The lens was ruined and I was soaking wet. It was a very expensive mistake (a new lens was bought) but at least I got some decent photos.
Here’s a napkin doodle that I created while I was at my sister’s house when she started up the BBQ…
I was ready to be back in Brooklyn and just work on my photography at home. I drove home in traffic and collapsed into a deep sleep by midnight. However, I woke up at 4:30am the next morning and proceeded to the nearest park to find the perfect shot. And I did. I have one where the paper is in a puddle with the sunrise and trees reflected into it. However, it’s a Black and White Photography class so it didn’t matter. Toward the end of the morning, I had a few great angles with a lot of depth but then people in the city woke up and photobombed my photo. Oye!
Exhausted, I made my way to good old Megabites’ Diner and drew this…
I ended my weekend riding my bike to Greenwood Cemetery, a Historic Landmark, to conclude my photography journey. It’s a marvelously peaceful place with winding pathways and dramatic headstone statues dating back to the Civil War.
Photography is allowed but I get the heebee-jeebees every time I go in there. In total, I took nearly 200 photos of paper. I was really proud of some of them and was excited about class today. Turns out, we’re only going to be selecting 3 of 20 that we choose to work on and critique. It makes me feel a little sad. I worked so hard to get all those shots and we’re only developing 3 of them?!
My class ended around 1pm today but I stayed in the photo lab until 4:30pm experimenting with Lightroom 5 on 20 photos. Everyone went home. Even the lab tech guy went out to get something to eat. When I was ready to go home, I forgot how to save my work on my external hard drive from the software. I tried my best and am hoping that all my work is there, somewhere.
I feel like an idiot.
I guess I’ll try again tomorrow. On a happier note, I’ve discovered that one of my nieces is a prolific doodler like her crazy Aunt Mary. I thought I’d end this by sharing her fabulous 3D zentangle doodle.
To be continued…
There is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
Today’s napkin doodle left at Megabites Diner and some Zentangle practice on ATC cards to trade with family members at the BBQ tomorrow!
Got something really exciting in the mail today. It’s related to art and Brooklyn, so I’ll share.
Vik Muniz, a Brazilian artist who directed his own documentary called The Waste Land, just started a new philanthropic art installation project. He’s known for taking found objects and creating portraits with them. His recent project involves creating two art pieces made from a total of 20,000 soccer balls. He’s doing this to raise money for impoverished families and through soccer programs for low income kids. If people make a specific donation amount to the non-profit organization called Street Football World, through his “This is not a ball” project, he sends you one of the soccer balls that were used in his art installation. He’s working on a new documentary related to art, soccer, and how both effect people’s lives in powerful ways.
Naturally, I donated because one of the choices for a donation was for a Youth Soccer Program for homeless and low income kids from Brooklyn. How could I say no to that? I donated and I got my “NOT” ball. I’m torn about weather I should use it or display it with it’s fancy Certificate of Authenticity. I’ll wait a few days to decide.
If you’re curious about this organization, click HERE. It’s good karma and you get a piece of his artwork. It was sent pretty quickly too.
I donated to another charity through Muniz related to raising money for the Tsunami victims in Japan. He gave away posters of his photography of thousands of origami peace cranes that were arranged in the shape of a giant crane if you donated. Here’s more on his project called, Students Rebuild. Some of my students think of me as the Origami Teacher because I used to have an Origami Club in my old school and, as a reward, I would teach my students how to fold origami and related it to the Legend of the Thousand Paper Cranes. It was really exciting for me to learn that the kids who made the cranes where from NYC. Maybe one of my students…
All good stuff and a perfect day for artwork, smores (in the microwave), and I think the rain will clear up long enough for us to see the fireworks tonight. Enjoy the light show and be safe!
Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
Meet my Rhino-Camel Chimera Zentangle Doodle
…whom I shall call Lars.
Drew this in the morning last weekend. I continue to resist making my Zentangle doodles into squares like the author of my Zentangle book encourages newbies to do. I think it looks like what would happen if a camel and a rhino had a baby but then the baby ran through an art supply store thus becoming covered in patterns. Maybe a Whoville runaway from a Dr. Suess book!
In other news, this is NOT a napkin, as you can see. Woke up at 5:30am so I could take photos of the sun rising over the city but no cafes or breakfast establishments were opened for me to drink tea and draw on their napkins. I did go to Bagel World and hung out on my stoop for a bit. That’s the big deal in Brooklyn, hanging out on your stoop. It’s a nice little badge of honor for those of us who rent apartments.
Since I am eating outdoors in the summer lately, I’ll either attempt to doodle outside, wherever I am or I will continue to do my Zentangle doodles until I make it out to the diners or cafes on the weekends. Apologies for the inconsistent napkin content but doodling all day!
Went to some independent artisan supermarket because that’s what you do. The bigger supermarkets in Brooklyn always have a freaking 3 hour wait (at least in the Downtown area) so I pay a little bit more for some fancy food when I’m not into waiting. Tonight was one of those nights.
My cashier with the pink hair, hipster glasses, and straw hat asked me, “Which would you prefer: A utopian society with no music or a dystopian society with music?” I chose the latter because I felt that music would change the dystopian nature of life. Besides, a society without music isn’t utopian, in my humble opinion. The same goes for any of the arts. I did my part and contributed the following doodle below.
The waiter at Megabites was from the night crew so we don’t usually see each other. However, he recognized my napkin doodling tendencies and said, “I’ve seen what you’ve been leaving behind. We have a huge stack of them.” If my napkin doodles do nothing else but create these interesting New York moments, then I shall feel that my work is done.
The thing is, people respond to art, music, theater, etc.. It makes our world worth living and reminds us of our humanity. I thought the pink haired cashier understood it. I think the waitresses who collect my napkin doodles get it. I feel like there is a grander purpose to creating art that even Mark Rothko recognized it. He created his own chapel to art and refused to sell out. Sometimes, you need to draw something and not think to yourself, who’s my target audience and how can I sell it.
Maybe one day, I’ll start to sell some artwork but, at the moment, the expression of my own humanity is what’s driving me. So, make your creative mark somewhere! Don’t think about how to sell it or market it. Just let your creativity hang out.