Witty quote

"I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught." (Winston Churchill)....Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread. (Richard Wright)....Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet (Stephen Hawking)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Who is that?

I spotted the quote above by Richard Wright this morning and decided it was really apt! Well, I think this is the guy who said that. But there are other Richard Wrights. Here's one: Richard Wright (musician). Here's another: Richard Wright (footballer)
Take your choice?
I don't think so. Here's a biography of the first and most likely author of those words. Inspiring.

So why quote them on a doodling blog?

Well, I read and commented on a comment by a persistent and very ambitious perpetrator of "Zentangle", which is apparently and disparagingly claimed not to be doodling, though Z... serves the same purpose as other forms of recreation; re-creation was the word used for hobby or leisure activity long before the word hobby was used; pastime = pass-the-time is another word for recreational activity, but the word recreation says it all - the aim is to rejuvenate, relax and refresh (= the 3 Rs). According to this person on that blog, everything that isn't Z..... is an imitation (= plagiarized). All those who dare draw a pattern not apparently invented by the inventors of the adopted term Z ... are imitators.

Informed people know that in the 90s a Russian lady named Nadia Russ used this form of drawing, but mainly for educational purposes (Z... people got onto the educational side much, much later). The Z.... thing came about 6 years later.

As for imitation, patterns 'invented' by Z... artisans are often based on other patterns that were drawn, created, woven, hammered, stuck etc. previously - in other words they are copied and/or imitated. There are many examples of that on the blog of the woman who claims imitation by anyone who is drawing patterns but not on or in the Z... thing. Incidentally, one of the rules of Z... is that the drawings have to be abstract, but that rule is also old hat.

I wrote an irate comment on the woman's epistle. My comment will either not be published at all due to censorship of anything not in harmony with that woman's thinking, or will be severely edited to cut out anything negative! That is protectionism: inviting comments and then not publishing them if they do not suit the purpose. But it's her blog, not mine, and my opinion not hers. I am not saying who that is since she is entitled to her opinion, though she ignores the facts of the matter and not least because I am not going to promote her!

I write these lines (inspired by that R.W. quote above) because many people now well and often exclusively into Z.... had never drawn in their lives before and are dependent on rules and regulations to keep them on the straight and narrow of Z...., though in my view they could - and some do - grow out of Z.... and do their own thing, as I do. The rules and regulations of Z... include not using an eraser (haha not admitting to doing so???), strictly speaking no colour (although the inventors of that commercial Z. label use colour now),  and other rules you can find listed on various blogs. Z... is traditionally drawn on squares marginally smaller than a beermat. Creativity has at last come to people who thought they were uncreative. All praise to that, of course. But as for the rest...

I've been doodling A3 a bit, but I had to buy a new camera and haven't had time to take any photos of recent studies.......yet. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Just a scribble or two

I didn't have much time for drawing while I was on vacation. I tore one effort up into small pieces and threw it away because I had lost the plot. I was left with only 2 attempts. The first one is mainly coloured and fairly jolly:

scan of dingbat 19

The second drawing is not finished, as you can see. I had drawn a blind string as I do for most A3 drawings. It was being worked on when a friend of my friend came in and she was curious. She wanted to know if the drawing - or the one in colour - was a pattern for embroidery. No, it's just a drawing, I said. What? Just a drawing? No reason for doing it? I just draw for the fun of it, I told her, and sometimes I get quite involved with trying out patterns. The lady could not understand why I wasn't going to do something useful with the result. I could not convince her that the act of drawing was itself useful, if only to me!

scan of dingbat 20 (unfinished)
Looking at the unfinished drawing I realize that I still want to add to it, though at the time I was depressed by the woman's remarks. Most people are so sure that they cannot draw, even abstract patterns - doodles(?) - that they won't even try, so the reaction to the drawings is quite often astonishment with a little admiration and a lot of skepsis and remarks such as: I couldn't do that, I wouldn't want to do that, It's a waste of time...

I think this business of whether something has to be useful can also teach us a lesson or two about perseverence. You cannot learn anything without even trying, even or especially artistic things. The Zentangle (keyword) craze in the USA and elsewhere in the world has brought people (mainly women) to the drawing board who would never have dreamt of doing anything artistic. OK, you can argue about whether something is art or not, but the fact remains that creativity is the human expression of a inherent need for self-expression that is innate in every child and often gets hidden under the pile of ordinariness that comprises everyday life. The artist pursues the goal of maintaining that self-expression. But doesn't that mean everyone if creativity is inborn? And does that not mean that all, or some facets of a person's character are stifled, sometimes life-long?

Rather than continuing to preach on this topic, I think I should get my pens out and do some drawing.

Back soon...

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Friday, 26 June 2015

Doodling on and on and on...dingbats...imperfection

I've called this collection 'dingbats' - after the alternative symbols in 'WORD'. It's such a nice word that it was time to put it to good use. 
I was quite surprised that so many drawings had mounted up - I put them on my piano stand before filing them, in the the hope that I will come back to them and improve them, but seldom get round to that. Some really need more colour and during my coming vacation I plan to work more on some of the drawings, maybe even incorporating some of the gorgeous new patterns I've found in recent weeks. Some are by Helen Williams, who publishes the most elegant videos and most elegant and graceful doodles of all those I have as yet come across, and if I call them doodles rather than 'zentangle'  it's because her work transcends the sometimes humbrum efforts in the zentangle world. I do not claim that my drawings are NOT humdrum, but I do claim that they are DOODLES (and not zentangle). they are sometimes worked on a (blind) string, sometimes entirely freehand. I am hoping to do some DIN A4 drawing during my vacation (starting tomorrow - yippee) and some of the results are to be monodoodles i.e. only one pattern is used, or duodoodles in which 2 patterns are used. I'm inventing those words, but not patenting them! May aim is also to leave more empty spaces! I tend to overwork my drawings, as I often do with paintings. I think it's the futile search for perfection!


ongoing colouring

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Doodling, Rembrandt and some proper paintings

I've been so busy writing etc. that I haven't had time to scan in the large drawings I've been perpetrating. I can't get out of the habit of using the A3 format (= double letter-size) and my scanner can only cope with A4 (letter-size) so that means merging bits. That is very time-consuming and usually takes 6 bits (the golden mean?) to get a single merge, but I will replace these photos eventually. It is possible (and necessary) that some of the drawings will evolve further.

floral c. 40x30cm

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Taking time to doodle

I've been busy writing a novel again - go here to read - I'm writing the final chapter now, but took time to draw this evening: yet another abstract line drawing. I found a name for the art form - or rather, borrowed: "INK ART", Below is the newest attempt. The scan was not very good. I retraced some of the orange twirls, but a few spaces coloured orange in the design do not show up. However, retouching depends on spaces being completely enclosed, otherwise the space around is flooded, so I didn't retouch those bits. It would have taken too long to retouch the lines.

Below my drawing is a video by a really good line artist. I skipped the long bit about his sandwich! I'm going to try to start a new drawing like he did, but I won't copy it, of course.


Saturday, 4 April 2015

long time no drawing

I finally got round to drawing or rather filling in a zendala (mandala in zentangle art style) last night. It's design #100 by Erin Olsen and the template can be found here. I quite enjoyed the smaller format (A4 paper). Months of drawing only A3 size and a refreshing pause to do some 'real' painting have helped to make this drawing possible :-)

Friday, 27 February 2015

Out of sync...

It's nearly March and I've been preoccuppied for some weeks. A good friend died on 24th January. I was in the UK for her funeral and did not get back until 17th February. After that I just haven't had time for drawing, not least because I'm painting two works for real people (not just to keep my hand in).  A broken washing machine that had to be replaced, a broken digital recorder that had to be mended, and a broken me, tired after my trip and emotionally rather stressed, completed the mess. Ah, I hear you say, that's when the doodling comes in. But I can't say doodling improves my mood. It is relaxing, but relaxation is sometimes the last thing you need if things are not going the way you'd like them to. Now I'm more or less back to normal and hope to produce something worth exhibiting over the weekend. I'm showing the new paintings over at fapj.

Thanks for visiting! 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Good intentions

Somehow I lost touch with all the doodling activities online. I think it was because I had got to the stage when I was really only drawing so that I could post stuff and get comments! Ridiculous. I'm all for being encouraged, but the doodling thing, whether you call it 'zentangle style'. 'neopoprealism' or just plain doodling, is for amusement and is a form of relaxation. Very keen 'zentangle' groupies get quite hysterical if you call their 'art' doodling, though that would assume that other forms of doodling are entirely without rhyme or reason and raise their 'art' to a status it does not really merit.