“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head).”
Ok, so I haven’t blogged in a couple of years. Heck, I haven’t doodled in ages either. Well, I left Brooklyn so I could have an apartment with an actual kitchen. That means less diners or eating at restaurants and thus, less paper napkins in random places to inspire me. But maybe it was the Solar Eclipse or maybe because my road trip excursions led me to a hotel in Lancaster that left a sketchbook for guests on which to doodle, I felt compelled to brush away the creative cobwebs and cough up a doodle. And if you are ever in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, stay at the Lancaster Arts Hotel if you love to doodle. The staff collects the sketchbooks and hangs up your doodles around the hotel. It’s great for the ego and great if you also like a certain degree of anonymity with your doodling. The most popular doodle/drawing among the massive collection were self-portraits. I guess selfies know no boundaries regardless of the medium. Thus, I’ve deemed this lovely lady, “Self-Portrait.” I figure people can worry that one of the rooms were haunted.
I only stayed one night so I had time for a zentangle deconstructed chicken before heading to the farms of the Amish Country.
And that was all for now. I’d like to believe that the floodgates of creative inspiration shall release a torrent of napkin doodles but we’ll take it slow. And maybe, just maybe, I will find my way back to Brooklyn. I miss it.
Had a nightmare a few weeks ago about a terrifying sea creature that looked very angry and seemed a bit aggressive. I was told that I could walk away and live a long life or I could have a short life and live with the sea creature. There was a pill that was offered if I chose the latter of the two, which I did. Even though I was terrified, I felt that someone needed to care for it. I thought I would be the only one to do it.
A friend of mine claimed I probably give way too much of myself after I told her about the dream. It’s a fair interpretation. Lately, I’m starting to think she might be right. I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. I’m starting to think I need to nurture myself a bit more since I think it’s starting to affect my health. It’s a weird time of the year to really focus on the self when it’s really the time of year for giving. I guess the key is balance.
So, I indulged in my favorite hobby tonight: Doodling. I got lost in a drawing that resembled the sea creature from my dream. I’m still working on it but here’s what I have so far.
Not an exact replication of my nightmare but I feel that I got a nice abstract essence of the creature from the deep that demands attention. I gave it my artistic attention, I guess.
Anyway, I hope this winter allows you all to wind down and enjoy the company of your loved ones. If you’re unable to meet up with your loved ones, may a cup of tea and a napkin doodle nurture you through the winter evening. Take care of yourselves and hope you have a wonderful New Year!
Not really sure why I stopped drawing for so long. I think I started again because of a door decorating contest at the school where I’ve been working recently. It was a last minute decision to participate in it and it wasn’t even my classroom door. I’m covering for a teacher who’s on leave so it was my second day in the building too. I just heard that it needed to be done and that it was a Dr. Seuss theme. I approached it like I do with most of my doodles. I show up at the page and start with one element and other elements get added on as the artwork progresses. Not a tremendous amount of planning involved, esp. when you’re told you have just a couple of hours to complete it. So, yeah, the door competition reminded me of my old doodling habits at diners. It reminds me to be present, trust the process, and make my mistakes look pretty.
So even though the contest is over, you can check out my door if you CLICK HERE!
Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.
If you don’t know who Andy Goldsworthy is, you should check out his documentary, Rivers and Tides. He’s an Environmental Artist who goes out into nature and creates beautiful sculptural pieces using only the material that nature provides him. Since some of his pieces are dependent on temperature (like ice and snow) or are so delicate as to be worn away by wind or water, he works against time. He videotapes or takes photos of his work and sells that. Occasionally, his work will survive the elements and can be viewed in person. There is one place in New York where anyone can view his environmental sculpture and that’s at Storm King Art Center, which is actually a Sculpture Park. It’s presently closed for the season but it’s set to reopen on April 1st so I may have to plan a small road trip over there in a month and a half.
In the meantime, I’ll take advantage of this snowy season and create doodles on park tables in the snow. Maybe the chilly weather will freeze them into place until Spring!
These were created on Valentine’s Evening along Dekalb Ave. in Fort Greene. The snow was just right for playing with it.
I had a lovely day with lovely surprises; played some pool, air hockey, and ping pong. Walked through the snow and had some milky hot chocolate from The Hungry Ghost cafe. Ended the night atHoja Santa, a lovely Mexican Restaurant that fed us well. I hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day weekend as well. If not, go buy yourself some flowers and chocolate now that it’s all on sale.
Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up.
-Pearl S. Buck
I haven’t posted in so long so I wonder who will read this. Even if no one reads this, I’ve decided to renew my domain name for another year and continue my illustrations on napkins, scrap paper, receipts, newspapers, lunch bags, pizza boxes, and my sketch book. That’s my Chinese New Year’s Resolution. No, I’m not Chinese but since their New Year is Feb. 19th, I figure my resolution is just in time.
Stay warm and pick up a pen instead of your cell phone while you wait today.
Life moves very fast. It rushes from Heaven to Hell in a matter of a second.
This is not a napkin. I haven’t photographed one of my napkin drawings in a while but I started to work on bristol paper again. I was inspired by Kurt Wenner who created many 3D illusions on pavement using pastels. An old friend gave me his book, Asphalt Renaissance, which documents his journey through Italy as he makes a living from the change he collects for his pastel chalk creations. I’m fascinated by the whole idea of him living his passion, working for himself, and his technique. In fact, I read an excerpt about how one of his creations was viewed by the Pope John Paul II. He made a 75 ft. tall creation of The Last Judgement. Incredibly detailed! On the top of this creation is Heaven and the classical European version of what artist’s believed God must look like. I started to sketch it but discovered that I wanted to make it female. Based on what I learned in Catholic school, God is neither male nor female so I took some artistic license and created this drawing instead.
I have been away from my napkin doodling but I continue to draw. I went to Tom’s Coney Island Dineron the boardwalk not too long ago. The famous amusement park is closed down and the seagulls weave through the tracks of the Cyclone roller coaster. Small bits of snow intermingled with the waves. So many people go fishing off the piers, even in the winter. So, I drew a bit at the Diner and the waitress assumed I was a tattoo artist based on my illustrations. She said her manager did that stuff too. I took it as a compliment and realized that there was a very creative vibe coming from the patrons. There was even a motorcycle gang who met in the back for lunch. All walks of life sat at the front counter to eat hot food and see the football game. There’s something about just sitting near the beach that has a healing effect on people and let’s everyone just relax. It was a good vibe and I really needed it.
It’s the end of 2014. So much has changed. Some of it has been good and others, not so much. It’s hard to quantify it. One thing I know, I think the year of napkin doodling and blogging appears to be coming to an end. I’m proud of this body of work: the illustrations, the reflections, and the photographing of different places around Brooklyn. It’s both strange and gratifying to put my work out there for anyone to read. Thank you so much for letting me share this year with you as I doodled my way through all the tea and coffee in the neighborhood. As my mom would say, go gently!
Enjoy the holidays and have a very happy New Year!
About a week ago, I posted a photo of a napkin doodle as I usually do. Usually, I take the photo but I forgot my camera that day. My fiancé who is knee deep into photography decided to take the photo for me (and I should have given him props in my blog for it). Click HERE to see the original blog.
What’s really, REALLY cool is that he won a photography competition through AdoramaPix on Facebook and got $50 in photo lab credit. I’d like to believe it’s all good karma for helping me out with my blog. The competition was to come up with a photo that fits the “Coffee” theme. The judges had nice things to say about different aspects of the photo including that they loved my artwork on the napkin. Made me feel pretty good.
If you have Facebook, you can check his winning photo out HERE!
Um, that’s all. ::curtsy:: …more napkin doodles to come.
My weekend has been full of vineyards, corn mazes, farms, pumpkin patches, Harvest Festivals, and apple pie. Good weekend memories helped me get through a hectic Monday and has me wistfully longing for Columbus Day weekend. Granted, I still need to take allergy medication and load up on Vitamin C. However, the cool air sweater weather has me feel like I’m floating effortlessly down the streets of Brooklyn. I get hopeful whenever I see another tree begin to change color and have cravings for roasted corn.