Sunshine Girl © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
Phew! I had to pull down a whole bunch of cobwebs when I came to this blog tonight. I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything. But during the time that I was away, you can bet that I have not stopped doodling!
I experienced a bout of insomnia a while back and the only thing I knew to do was to get out my sketchbook, which is always next to me in bed, to see if it could soothe me back to dream land.
I had already finished the body of the doodle. I asked what it wanted to share and the words scribbled around the periphery of the doodle came to me:
Awaken to the Glory that you are.
Feel it every day.
Rejoice in all that you are.
And to think some people think that doodles are simple!
How do you use your art to help in your healing?
Repeating Patterns © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
I had an epiphany about patterns while working on this doodle, and it was such a perfect reflection on life as well. It goes something like this:
I love doodling. It calms and soothes me while opening and energizing me at the same time. But sometimes I get frustrated because I keep using the same patterns over and over again. In doodling, where everything is before me on that blank page, the repetition is easy to recognize. In day to day life, it takes willingness and a personal commitment to allow in awareness about the thought and behavior patterns I repeat that create that frustration in the first place.
Now on the surface, is recreating those familiar patterns in my doodles such a bad thing? It is only me giving myself a bad time that is the problem. Is being such a big meany to myself a pattern worth repeating? What about creating some patterns of self love?
It is fitting that this doodle is on the last page of my sketchbook. And it is with intention that I have decided to name my new sketchbook Healing Patterns.
We all tell ourselves stories that keep us in patterns which don’t serve our higher good. What can you do, just for today, to create something new for your life?
Raven Song © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
Longish post ahead:
When I began doodling in 2007 for the November Create Every Day challenge, I had no idea how much it would change my life. It’s taken me a while to really own it all. What began as a way for me to create away from the computer (where I have another artistic life as a digital mandala maker), has now evolved into a passion of equal importance. I have healed a big part of me who believed she could not draw. I now believe know I could do anything creatively I wanted to do, as long as it was something I really wanted to learn.
But where I hadn’t felt entirely cozy inside was knowing what it was I wanted to do with all of this stuff I was allowing myself to express.
A couple of weeks ago I was at Starbucks drinking a vanilla rooibos latte ( tad too sweet for my tastes, but that’s another story), mulling over this Big Question (how do I combine all of my passions and share them in a way that makes sense to me) and I watched this doodle of Raven begin to emerge in the process.
And I heard Raven say to me there is no separation , and that stopped me dead in my tracks.
And in that moment a whole world of new possibilities opened up before me.
This is healing work Im doing. Art and healing is my passion. This is who I am.
My intention and goal is to have everything under the Big Top by the end of the year. One website, one blog, focusing on the themes of healing and art and creativity and embracing who we are For Real.
That is all I know for now, but Im excited and can’t hardly wait to share even more.
Stay tuned for further developments!!
Old Growth Doodle © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
Life opens up for old growth and new growth
And we are sustained by that which we share together.
The earth offers wake up songs. We are alive with possibilities!
Revitalizing Mandala © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
Calming Mandala © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
The time that I most appreciate creating art is when I just want to color. This mandala was created during the full moon (in Virgo) this past weekend, I love that feeling of restoration when I allow myself to feel no pressure to create. Doing a little Photoshop inversation is always fun too.That’s what staying in the moment is all about.
For those of you who experience OCD while learning new tangles and can hardly wait for the Zentangle newsletter each month, you can now get your tangle on at the Zentangle blog. Rick and Maria’s blog is only a couple of days old, but I look forward to seeing what they post. And it is another great way to meet other dedicated tanglers.
Zenpattern8 ©Sue O’Kieffe 2010
doodling keeps me sane through the stressful times, through uncertainty, through life transits. this was fun, just playing with curves and angles. black and white. bold, dramatic. lots-o-fun!
doodle oodle oodle, doodle oodle oodle, doodle oodle oodle ooo!
Janus © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
The name, given to the month of ‘January’, is derived from the ancient Roman name ‘Janus’ who presided over the gate to the new year. He was revered as the ‘God of Gateways’, ‘of Doorways’ and ‘of the Journey’, later known as ‘St. Januarius’. Janus protected the ‘Gate of Heaven’, known as the ‘Lord of Beginnings’, is associated with the ‘Goddess Juno-Janus’, and often symbolised by an image of a face that looks forwards and backwards at the same time. This symbolism can easily be associated with the month known as for many the start of a new year bodes opportunity, casting out the old and in with the new. It is the time when many reflect on events of the previous year and often resolve to redress or improve some aspect of daily life or personal philosophy. ~mystical world wide web
I have a doodle ritual. Every night before I go to bed, I take sharpie to paper for an hour or so. I unwind. I don’t eat after 8 pm. I sleep like a baby. I have great dreams.
Having just begun a new health regimen of more nutritious eating and exercising on a daily basis, I am happy to realize doodling helps me maintain my goals of no late night munching and eight hours of sleep per night.
Dr. Oz would be so proud!
What personal benefits do you derive from your doodle love?
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.
We had a 6.5 earthquake up here on the North Coast of California. It’s probably been 10 years since I’ve experienced a quake of that magnitude, and I have experienced larger ones. They are a scary and fascinating at the same time. Other areas of the county had more damage than where I live, but I was without electricity for about four hours. God bless those folks who work for the power company, and thank goodness it wasn’t raining last night. I’m sure it made life easier for them as they made repairs.
As soon as I realized I was in no danger, I got out my sharpie and sketchpad and started doodling. What else is there to do? What people say about doodling being a calmative is true. I worked on my drawing until it got too dark to see, and then I decided (since I have electric cooking) to see if anywhere with food was open. I took my sketchpad with me. The restaurant was hoppin’ and I doodled away while waiting for my food. I had a very nice chat with another woman sitting at the counter next to me who was worried about her nesting finches, and shared a good laugh with her imagining what they might have thought.
I came home after eating a pretty good chicken salad, lit a couple of candles, and finished my drawing. I’d never drawn to candlelight before. It was an interesting, almost eerie experience, as the light flickered against the page. My hand knew almost instinctively where to go.
About the time I decided to go to sleep, the power was restored. I finished my drawing, only adding the shading.
After an Earthquake © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
What I learned from this is that doodling really IS an excellent way to stay in the present, when really there is nothing left to do.
Light in Color © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
Black and white makes a powerful statement.
I needed color.
Life would be so blah without prismacolor pencils.