Eye Aye I

Eye Aye I © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

This doodle wiggled its way out of me last night, so wanting to be expressed. I could not stop drawing those eyes. These are shapes that repeat often in my doodles. It’s like some wise part of me keeps asking “what do you see, Sue?”

I believe that we have certain symbols personal to ourselves. Eyes and spirals and flowers show up most often for me. This is my doodling language, my alphabet, and is one reason why I decided to stop working so much with zentangle patterns;  I wanted to express my own symbols and use my own language. I don’t care anymore if I keep repeating myself. It’s not about having to come up with something new everytime I put sharpie to paper. It’s about expressing what wants to be expressed from deep inside.


And so it was with great honor, amazement and pride that I received a wonderful validation thi smorning, learning that SueDoodles was named one of the top 50 blogs on the net for medical art therapy by Rachel Davis of  RadiologyDegree.com Feels pretty darned good, I must say! You can read Rachel’s blog post here. Thank you Rachel, for totally making my day. Give this woman a standing ovation! Yeahhhhhhh!


Thoughts on Doodling

Love Drops and Bubbles © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

Last week someone left a comment about how to begin doodling.   The simplest answer I can offer is to just begin. Go to an art supply store and find a sketch pad. Do you like how the paper feels? Get some pens. I’ve experimented with microns and sharpies and stay with sharpies because I like the line it produces. Find some markers. Crayola has some good ones that aren’t expensive. My art splurge is prismacolor pencils. I’ve had a set for a long time and 48 colors just weren’t enough. Yesterday I bought more colors. A girl cannot have enough colors.

Put your pen to paper and see where your hand takes you. There are no rules except for the ones you make for yourself.

Find inspiration. You will find tons of inspiration on my blog roll. Flickr and YouTube are other great sources. Google *doodle*. The internet is your playground.

Be willing to explore. Two years ago I believed I could not draw, and what I have learned in the past two years is that I love to create abstract patterns. Doodling feeds that love.


I am quite methodical  and a little obsessive when it comes to learning a new skill. It is my way of gaining confidence. And so for the past couple of months this is how I have been learning the zentangle patterns that Zentangles offers in their monthly newsletter. I’ve been drawing the patterns over and over.  I’ve been doing this because I was a little bored with what I was doing and wanted to learn a different approach to line drawing. Eventually I want to incorporate these patterns into my own doodle style.


B is for Being


2 B OR NOT 2 – © Sue O’Kieffe 2009

Hamlet’s famous soliloquy was the inspiration for this B. How can anyone stay in an existential funk with these happy summer colors?

But then, alas, I was reminded  of our be-loved honey bee and everything this buzzy worker does for our well being.




I am glad to see corporate America getting  involved with green issues. Haagen-Dazs has lots of information on their site on how you can help save the bee. At the very least, you can buy some of their ice cream. How sweet is that?


Doodling the alphabet one letter at a time



Balancing Act – © Sue O’Kieffe 2009

Some days are like this. Strong foundation with precarious footing. Ever have one like that?

Right now I am focusing a lot on my doodles. Any day now the next layer of spring will begin to erupt on the North Coast of California,  and I will be out with my camera to capture more beauty for mandala making (you do know about my mandala blog, don’t you? Hope you come visit!)

Healingmagichands made the observation that I use a lot of eyes in my doodles. How many of you out there practiced drawing eyes when you were young…beautiful eyelashes, arched eyebrows, perfect shading? Always striving to capture the soul within? Ya, me too!

I don’t really have much of a story to go with this doodle. I just put down the pen and this is what appeared. It’s a nice way to spend some time before I go to sleep. Who needs pills? Not me!

And with that, I am going in search of my pillow.

Sweet dreams.

By the See


By the See – © Sue O’Kieffe 2009

This doodle was birthed while waiting to see my doctor earlier this week. Everything is fine and I thank you all for your wishes of well-being. I am learning that when the body is out of balance it rebels until balance is restored. So one thing I’ve decided to do is  give up coffee. It’s day ten without coffee-bean caffeine; Im learning to love this new even-keeled calm. I like green and white teas and will probably go back to yerba matte for a while too. The good thing about coming off coffee while not feeling up to par is that the withdrawl headache is indistinguishable from the not-feeling-good one.

Doodling and coloring is calming as well. While there are certain shapes that reappear often, I never have any idea where I am going until I am done.

I love that. No preconceived notions except for the wholeness of the circle. There must be a lesson about life there, too!

What do you see?




its been quite a long time since ive had a bout of the flu. betweeen those power naps ive been taking, i was able to finish embellishing this doodle, which went this way and that way in my mind without any particular way to go.

coloring is perfect rainy day sick in bed  activity. don’t you think the smell of crayola MUST be healing, in an aromatherapeutic kind of way?

stay healthy, everyone.




Yup, it’s true, Im still busily doodling mehndi patterns in mandalas and creating variations on those themes in Photoshop.  Not only am I currently captivated by these patterns, Im also loving lush green. Did you notice I redid the theme for my blog in a lovely spring green? I like this layout better and find it easier on the eyes, as well.

I’m thinking in a couple of days I will present a tutorial about making these images and how I transform them in Photoshop. Would that be fun? Learning new things is way up on my list of values. How about you?

I’ve joined Leah Piken Kolidas for another year of Creating Every Day. These Mehndi Mandalas fit in nicely with her monthly theme of play.

See you next Mehndi!