Doodle something abstract, using shapes and only one color.
Words & Wine Wednesday at Austin’s Writing Barn featured Carin Channing discussing her book 365 Days of Doodling: Discovering the Joys of Being Creative Every Day.
Ms. Channing didn’t know she was a doodler until she was forty, when she accepted an online 30-day Doodle Challenge. When the month was up, she began doodling with friends… and with strangers… and then she started teaching doodling.
Why? Because doodling is–I’m pulling from her long list of adjectives–“fun… liberating… fun… energizing… youthfulizing… clarifying… fun…”
I’ve never been a doodler. I have a heavy touch and a tight grip. My pencil doesn’t sweep lightly, freely, and steadily across the page. The pictures on my paper don’t look like the pictures in my head. Frustration guaranteed.
But at Words & Wine, Ms. Channing made doodling sound as much fun as her book claims it is. She handed out paper and markers and invited us to draw.
I used the prompt “Draw how your day started.”
The picture wasn’t worth a thousand words, so I added some. The zigzaggy lumps that look like armadillos are cats.
David is a word person, too, but he employs more subtlety:
Ms. Channing’s books were, like Mt. Everest, there, so I bought one.
Today I did my first official doodle, displayed at the top of the post.
Of course, I dithered first. Abstract? My doodle shouldn’t be anything? How can I draw without knowing what I’m drawing?
Didn’t Jackson Pollock’s wife say to him, “But you have to abstract from something. What are you abstracting from?” (If Mrs. Pollock didn’t really say that, Marcia Gay Harden said something similar in the movie, which is close enough.)
I quashed the dither by turning my pencil on its side and making a blurry square, and another one, and then a couple of ovals, and another blurry square, and another oval… and the ovals began to look like eyes and a mouth. An oval blur in one of the eye-ovals looked like an iris, so I added a blur to the other eye-oval. That made the eyes focus. I restrained myself from putting a ladybug on the shoulder.
So much for abstraction. Some of us, I guess, abstract to rather than from.*
Where creativity is the goal–and this is oh, so important–judgment must be silent. As Mr. Pollock no doubt said to his wife.
*I write that way, too.
Typewriter Rodeo, who create “custom, on-the-spot poems for event guests, using vintage typewriters,” was also featured at Words & Wine Wednesday. The typewriters are beautiful. More about that in a later post.