Happy October! Was browsing through my favorite blogs this morning and was really inspired by this holiday project. A Zentangler, which is a person who does a specific type of doodling, decided to doodle all over a plastic black pumpkin. I think I’m going to have to try this. Maybe my doodles need to go beyond the napkin and onto something three dimensional. Oh, the possibilities!
So yeah and check out this site. There’s a link to a Doodler’s Group called For the Love of Doodling.
The Adventures of a Dropstitcher’s blog is a lovely site that has plenty of ideas to inspire.
It’s my favorite time of year and October has got to be my favorite month. I just love the color, the weather (for the most part – snow and ice storms not included) and Halloween! I love to decorate for Halloween…
This is a plastic craft pumpkin I bought at Michaels…it comes in black, white, orange and I think I saw some in pink. I really had a lot of fun doing this black pumpkin with white Gelly Roll pen….and you can see my new tangle, Podzles there on the right side. I have one more I’m working on in a orangy, metalic pen and I’m close to finishing that – it will be done this weekend.
In sheepy news – I’ve three more sketches to ink in and so many more to do…..I was hoping to put together a calender for the holidays, but I’m also getting ready for…
This is the first week that I have fallen behind in my napkin doodling. My summer Photography class has monopolized a lot of my time. In fact, this sketch is inspired by one of my class’ trips to the Planting Fields Arboretum located in Oyster Bay, New York. We had to take some abstract photos of the flowers and plant life there. If you are ever on Long Island, it’s worth finding your way over there. Click HERE for more details on getting there.
My class will be over in a couple of weeks so there are a lot of projects due. I will certainly make time for some tea and coffee now and then. I will stock up on some markers.
The year of napkin doodling around Brooklyn shall continue! .
(Although, I may have to consider a photography blog)
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…
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…
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.
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.
“Not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty.”
Provence en Boite
Took a long walk yesterday morning to one of my favorite breakfast places on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. If there were a French district in Brooklyn, this particular block would be it. On Bastille Day, a French National Holiday, the block is closed off for all sorts of celebrations. Some French restaurants along the street have food and wine tastings, if you buy tickets beforehand. I’m pretty sure Provence en Boite was one of those restaurants to offer it. Here’s a photo of the place. It’s very relaxed with outdoor seating and the best French toast in town.
My favorite thing to do on Bastille Day on Smith Street was to watch was a game called Petanque. Some websites compare it with horseshoes except you use balls instead of horseshoes and there is some strategy involved in knocking your opponents balls out of the way. So, over a really huge bowl of Café au Lait (half coffee and milk), I felt bold enough to buy a $30 ticket to form my own Petanque Team, despite never playing the game a day in my life. I blame the bowl of coffee I had that morning and I’m not exaggerating. See below…
Yeah, that’s a whole lot of coffee!
So, now the goal is to find a place to practice my game. I googled Petanque in NYC and found out that Bryant Park in Manhattan has a bit of that Petanque noise going on Monday through Friday. I will do my best to motivate myself to cross boroughs. May have to take my doodling back on the train again.
As a dedicated doodler, I feel like it’s my job to try out all forms of mindless drawing when the opportunity presents itself. After work, the opportunity presented itself so I went to my local art store and went on a little art supply shopping spree. I picked up a book called, One Zentangle A Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun by Beckah Krahula. Click HERE for more information on it. I’ve started the course today and completed the first three days because that’s how I roll when I get free time to myself. This is what I have created so far…
Next, three patterns were tangled up with some of the first few patterns in the next drawing.
And finally, Day 3’s zentangle doodle…
I am struggling with the whole idea of keeping the doodling structured into specific compartments of a square so I tend to ignore some of the author’s suggestions to keep the zentangle drawing in a square. I like the new styles and combinations of patterns offered by the book. I find it funny that there are specific names for these patterns, many of which sound like names given to furniture at IKEA. Great branding, though!
Also, I love the idea of shading my ink drawings with a pencil. It adds something extra to my drawings. While I enjoyed learning about this drawing style all day, I am ready to go back to freestyle doodling on napkins. If my Photography class this summer doesn’t take up all my time, I might try a few more of these tangle thingies.