Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hopping Boroughs

So, I have been MIA far too long now. A big part of it is that I moved. I am no longer a Brooklyn Doodler and it kind of makes me sad that I’m not. I miss Brooklyn. I just don’t miss the teeny tiny living space and the very expensive rent. My husband and I made a leap of faith and decided to live in Queens. There’s more living space for less money. But again, it’s just not Brooklyn. So, until I become a Brooklynite again, I feel like it would be disingenuous to pose as the Brooklyn Doodler.

Funny enough, I took up weaving instead of drawing on napkins. Perhaps the wider living space and having an actual kitchen in this apartment makes me less inclined to go out to a restaurant only to ruin their napkins with my doodles.

So, I introduce to you, my new blog (drum roll, please!)…The Queens Weaver. I like it because it sounds like the Beatles song, Daydream Believer. Anyway, I invite you all to come visit my new blog page. I’m doodling with yarn now. Let me know what you think and click HERE!

The Sea Creature (A Work in Progress)

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.

Sea Monster Drawing

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!

Happy Holidays!

Xmas tree drawing

 

Finding Your Starting Point

The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal. Take long walks in the woods.
-Robin S. Sharma
Pointilism Butterfly Wings
Find your starting point today. Who knows where it will lead you!

Finding Wings

A work in progress
A work in progress.

A New Year and a potential new project.

I decided to research different types of wings and create a sketchbook full of them. I feel like I could go anywhere with this: bat wings, bird wings, angel wings, dragonfly wings! You get the idea. I could eventually invent some sort of Steampunk version of wings. I could go for realism or fantasy. Maybe it will all lead to some metaphorical wings where I could find a way to fly out of the rut in which I have been wallowing.

So, I shall draw some wings for a clock. Maybe it will help time fly so I can move toward a happier upcoming event in my life. I am getting married this summer to a wonderful man. In case you were wondering why there were so many cups and plates at my diner table while I drew on napkins, it is because he was sitting across from me while I did it (in most cases). It’s nice when your creative antics has some support. So, that being said, I’m going to be really corny now and dedicate this napkin drawing blog to him!

And with that, a few more napkins drawn at Megabites in Ft. Greene and Dizzy’s Diner in Park Slope.

Eyes on the Candle Doodle IMG_9545New Year's Doodle 2015

On a side note, Dizzy’s Diner offers patrons a free cup of coffee with their purchase IF you can solve their riddles. The riddles change each day. Fun place! Happy New Year!

2014 in Review: My 1st Year with a Blog!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

How Caffeine Can Unintentionally Affect Your Art

The creative process is not controlled by a switch you can simply turn on or off; it’s with you all the time.

-Alvin Ailey

I like this quote because it emphasizes the creative process rather than the finished product. I haven’t been completely in love with my finished products lately and it might just be too much coffee. Yesterday, I struggled a bit to find a way to be in the zone to create any doodles worth posting. As many of my blog readers know, caffeine plays a huge roll in my process. I like to find a decent café and a good, strong napkin to doodle my creative energy away.

However, my usual place to draw has become packed with people. What the heck?!?!

I figured that I would have to start branching out to other neighborhoods again in order to find the right creative vibe. Here’s what I managed to create very quickly at the old local diner until a line of customers gave me the stink eye because they clearly wanted my booth:

Braided Lady, drawn and left at Megabites Diner in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn
Braided Lady, drawn and left at Megabites Diner in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn

Dealing with Gentrified Prices for Scrambled Eggs

Usually, I dig the vibe at Megabites Diner and they let me stay a while to casually drink my tea or coffee while I draw. That was before a line of patrons have begun to form at the door to the front of the building. It could be that the college crowd has returned to the neighborhood early. Maybe it was the Brooklyn Flea crowd or the Ft. Greene Farmer’s Market people. I have another theory.

The truth is, the Fort Greene neighborhood has attracted a brunch crowd and the local restaurants have increased their prices. After the novelty wears off for the locals, many people really don’t want to spend $12 on some scrambled eggs just because they want to enjoy the general splendor of the restaurant’s atmosphere. That’s why I think more and more people are headed to Megabites Diner where the prices have remained reasonable on a block through which tour buses have begun to make the rounds. I decided to take a bit of a walk down DeKalb Ave. toward Fulton Mall (and beyond) after breakfast to Ft. Greene’s neighboring communities.

Brownstown Coffee

Court Street Coffee

Somewhere between Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights is a very long street called Court Street. I think it’s considered Boerum Hill. I dig the area for it’s vast number of bookstores, cafes, pubs, independently owned shops, and people/dog watching. Due to the rain, I ran into a local Barnes & Noble bookstore where I ordered my Doodle Revolution book by Sunni Brown and drank a bit of tea in their café. I took a few napkins and drew this:

Scary scribble portrait

So, yeah. This one’s eyes are bugging out and proportionally it’s all out of whack. Maybe it was due to the rain. Maybe it was the additional caffeine. Whatever it was, I wasn’t in the right zone for doodling. I was trying to force it, I think. I hadn’t drawn on the regular in a while. I rushed. Maybe I was stressed and now all my freaking portraits looked like George Bush on the day he told the American people that the economy was about to tank. It stopped raining and it was time to move along through Court Street.

Coffee-induced Bookstore Rampage

I am not sure why books and caffeine tend to find each other; One relaxes me and the other does not. However, I was on a hyper roll with the bookstore thing and had a really massive coffee high now so I decided to go into The Community Bookstore which is owned by a laid back French man who has stacks of used books that are pretty cheap. Most people have to squeeze around each other to get through it. It feels like you’re playing Twister with strangers with the threat of books falling over at every turn. Great place for serendipitous finds though! With my caffeine high, I knocked book stacks onto the floor several times before I called it quits and sat on a bench outside to doodle on a napkin in front of a Blue Marble Ice Cream store.

I will never be Frank Stella.

Too much caffeine on Court Street
Too much caffeine on Court Street

It still feels off. I mean, a doodle doesn’t have to look amazing but I wasn’t achieving that quality zen-like focus like I do when I’m in a good zone.

Too much frenetic energy gave my little doodle a nonobjective abstract look. It looked like it was trying to be inspired by the artist, Frank Stella but all the shakiness of the caffeine just got in the way. For more on this fellow New York artist, click HERE. He’s a pretty interesting guy and Wikipedia rumors claim that he’s still living and working in New York City.

There’s even a great 10 minute video on Frank Stella here:

So the moral of today’s blog post is, switch to herbal tea and try to find your inner Frank Stella. Hope you enjoy the rest of this weekend.

Doodles and decaf,

Mary

The Empress

The Empress, drawn at Megabites.
The Empress, drawn at Megabites.

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!

~MKF~

The Brooklyn Doodle

ATC Card Doodling

Happy 4th of July!

Found an old ATC (Artist Trading Card) of mine from when I went to Belgium and bike rode through Bruges. My family and I had the habit of going to Panera Bread for breakfast every now and then. We drew on ATCs and exchanged them. Here’s a few in my collection.

1. Mine is the girl bike riding.

2. My sister, Carol, drew the bread

3. My mom drew the tree and the orange with the sticker attached (found art!)

4. My dad drew the airplane but denies being able to draw.

5. One of my neices drew the sunrise.

Looking forward to seeing the whole lot of them for a reunion tomorrow back on Long Island tomorrow. Too much rain today for anything outdoors today so lots of sketching to be done and some photography homework. I have to take 100 photos of a piece of paper interacting with light. It’s actually really time consuming.

 

Russian Tea

Cammerari Doodle

I’d like to believe this is a cute Russian soldier. When I was a wee lass, my grandmother would buy little Disney figurines for each new child that was born. She went through all of the seven dwarves with my older siblings. I’m the ninth child so she ran out of Disney figurine ideas and I ended up with this tiny Russian soldier with a heart on it’s sleeve. I’m not Russian but maybe I was in a past life or something. Anyway, I wish I knew what happened to it. So, this doodle sort of reminds me of what it looked like.

Speaking of all things Russian, I ventured out of Brooklyn yesterday to a place far, far away in the land of Manhattan. I went to the Russian Tea Room. See below…

My proof I was there. :)
My proof I was there. 🙂

No, that’s not tea (it came later, complete with sour cherries to sweeten the tea). And no, I did not create a doodle on their napkin so I really shouldn’t post this. They had cloth napkins. Fancy schmancy stuff!  It’s not like it didn’t cross my mind though. However, since this IS a blog about doodling in Brooklyn. I managed to find one of their printed napkins and brought it back to Brooklyn for a future doodling date in the near future. Yes, you heard me. I actually looked for their napkins to bring home so I might have the PRIVILEGE of doodling on them. My commitment to napkin doodling knows no bounds. Russian Tea Room napkin coming soon!

I’m going to end this blog posting with a Happy Father’s Day! Here’s a tribute to all the cool dads out there. Click HERE to see how one dad that actually doodles all over his son’s lunch bags.  Keep doodling and share them with the world!

XOXO

Mary