Doodle #5. A Quiet Moment

Doodle #5.
Doodle a quiet moment.

Doodle #5. Quiet river
Doodle #5. Quiet river

This is the San Marcos River edged by willow trees and grass and such.

Well, it is if I say it is.

Here’s a better picture.

San Marcos River above Fentress, Texas
San Marcos River above Fentress, Texas. By Kathy Waller.


Prompt from 365 Days of Doodling by Carin Channing.

Doodle #4. History of Hair

Doodle #4.
Doodle something you love about yourself.

Doodle #4. Something I love about myself. Had to think about it for several days.
Doodle #4. Something I love about myself. Had to think about it for several days before doodling.

Doodle #4: I thought about skipping #4 because I couldn’t think of anything. But skipping one might lead to skipping two or three, or… It’s a slippery slope. So I settled for the question mark.

Then  I remembered hair.  We’ve had our battles, but for the most part I like it. Neil, my stylist, told me if he ever puts on a show, he will take me along as his model. I’ve been taken to spelling contests, declamation contests, prose reading contests, ready writing contests, and typing contests, but at each I had to do something. Neil is the only person to suggest I could just sit and let people look at me.

About that typing contest: Friday morning, my teacher thought I could type. Friday afternoon, she knew I couldn’t. She never said a word of reproach to me, but I’m sure she wished I’d just sat and let people look at me. What she said in the teachers’ lounge I can imagine.

But back to hair: Here’s a personal chronology:

*Bald plus curls.

Scraggly ponytail, but it was Christmas morning and hair wasn't a priority
Scraggly ponytail, but it was Christmas morning and hair wasn’t a priority

*In vogue: the ponytail.
My ponytail was so successful that the neighbor’s granddaughter, Connie, wanted one and wanted it now. Her mother, thinking way outside the box, pulled up what hair Connie had in back and put a rubber band around it. Then she cut strips of newspaper and stuck the ends under the rubber band. Instant ponytail.

*Gone with the ponytail.
Weary of doing battle every morning over tangles, my mother and I agreed a new ‘do was in order. Dixie at the beauty shop whacked off the ponytail. Somehow, the curls went, too. Cowlicks stayed.

Pink foam rollers. Brush rollers. Bobby pins. Hair dryers. Teasing combs. Hairspray. Hairspray combined with high humidity. Wishing for the ponytail.

c 2006 throwback to 1971
c 2006 throwback to 1971

*Short and…  Short and straight. Short and Afro. Short and straight. Short and gray. Short and rinse. Short and gray. Curls are back. Don’t know why.

Buzz. © MKW
2016 Buzz. © MKW

*… shorter.




Doodle 1. Don’t Judge, Mrs. Pollock

Doodle 1.
Doodle something abstract, using shapes and only one color.

Doodle 1. Doodle something abstract, using shapes and only one color. May 28, 2016. © MKW
Doodle 1. Something that started out abstract but didn’t stay that way. May 28, 2016. © MKW

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.

wb DSCF1069
Seated, L-R: Poets Sean Petrie and David Fruchter of Typewriter Rodeo, and author/doodler Carin Channing

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.”


Doodle @ the Writing Barn. Kathy Waller, May 25, 2016. © MKW

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:

Doodle @ the Writing Barn. David Davis, May 25, 2016. © MKW

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.

English: Action painting - own work. Somewhat ...
English: Action painting – own work. Somewhat similar to Jackson Pollock (Photo credit: Wikipedia) By Michael Philip (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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.


Related articles