Saturday, September 12, 2009

Doodles & Checkerboards

Some of you who have known me for awhile will know that I have an utterly compulsive doodling habit. I doodle when I am talking on the phone. I doodle when in meetings or lectures. I make random doodles on notes I take. I have been doing this for years and have on occasion been known to hand a sheet full of doodles to a lecturer or meeting chair as a "picture" of their presentation !

Doodles actually assist me to concentrate in many cases.

Years ago, when I had no extra money to buy art supplies such as I have now, I would buy some watercolor paper stock and get pen and ink and after the children were asleep I would put on some tunes and draw doodles to wind down and run off some brain charge energy I guess. My doodles feature geometric patterns, cross hatching, asymmetrical designs, swirls, little stars and dashes and dots, triangles, arrows and other symbols. Any psychologists reading this may have an opinion about what these doodles mean ! My doodles are monochromatic...but read on about the latest turn of things. I still make them, often in my work notebook, most often when on concalls (if you have concall meetings with me and want to get a copy of the doodle our meeting inspired, let me know !). In retrospect I think the doodles have been channeling a message to me that I have largely ignored. The message has been about my inner artist, longing to emerge. Sadly, for years I have paid little serious attention to this frantic message.

Now I have the benefit of having found a new interest and passion, one that has probably been around for a long long time in me and has been desperate to get more attention !

Fast forward from years of doodles to last week. We had new flooring put in the kitchen and laundry and it is in a black and white checkerboard pattern (Pook shows it off in the photo above). I have always wanted a checkerboard floor ! Now we have one and it is fab :) Fresh, fun, and looks clean when it is clean (which the previous floor wasn't--very hard for a Virgo to live around that). The new floor made me wonder where my old doodles were, because I recalled they had checkerboard motifs in them. I have kept them for years. Turns out 18 years to be exact ! I found them safely stored in an art portfolio, kept pristine and flat and in great shape. They are signed and dated too, back to 1991 and 1992.

I decided to hand color them with some of the water colors I have so many of and don't use enough ! So here is a GREAT thing to do with the fab water color paints. It took a few hours to hand color in water color three of the small doodles. Each of the small ones is on paper sized 4.25 " x 5.75". So pretty small and densely covered with doodle motifs. I have three larger ones I will do soon. I mounted the first one on an acid free archival mat board, and it looks great. I dubbed it Crazy Checkerboard, signed it (now that it is complete, the doodle pattern also has a "signature" embedded in it, almost camouflaged in the pattern, so a secret sign !).

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