“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.
Good morning! Thought I’d share a few doodles from my trip. Seattle was lovely. Lots of coffee, bike riding, and touristy things. I missed home though and was ready to come back to Brooklyn when it was all over. You know what they say…you can take the girl out of Brooklyn but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the girl. I will have dreams about Seattle’s plethora of amazing coffee and treats though. Back to tea for me though. Too much coffee makes me all jittery. So, take a peak at my doodle gallery and enjoy! Clickity-click it!
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.
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
If you ever feel like you’ve felt blocked as an artist and couldn’t create anything, there is a great book called Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland which I can highly recommend. If you’d like to read a review on it, Click HERE!
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron has always been my go to book to help me find my artistic direction, no matter how quirky. More on her HERE!
Now go get some art supplies you’ve been meaning to try and go play!
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)
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. ClickHERE for more info on it.
Enjoy your Saturday strolls and don’t forget your sharpies!
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.
Lots to think about tonight. I start my Photography class tomorrow but instead of spending my hard earned money on a new camera for it, I went and booked a trip to Seattle. No regrets though. I figured that it would be premature to purchase a camera for which I didn’t understand what I would be using it for mostly. Still, we shall see if I made the right decision tomorrow. Wish me luck!