The Visitor

The Visitor © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

He came to earth and liked what he saw. He looks sad because large eyes often give that impression; but really, large eyes just make it easier to take it all in.

He was very happy to see how we all love each other. He loved seeing that we embrace our friendships with joy. He loved the beauty and the greenness of our planet.

His planet reveres creativity and he loved all the creativity present on our planet. He liked knowing that we use  our minds and our hearts to solve problems as well as to create joy. This made his heart shine brightly.

All the symbols on his clothing have meaning. If you spoke his language you would know he was an emissary of wellbeing. He builds bridges between cultures and planets and countless solar systems. He didn’t stay long here because other places were in need of him more.

We were blessed by his presence. Let’s continue to carry on with the goodness he witnessed.

SueDoodles

Dancing the Dancer

Dancing the Dancer © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

Yesterday afternoon I came home after an exciting day in town shopping for groceries and spending time with a friend to an email with the subject line Top Blog!

After reading it a few times I realized SueDoodles had been awarded a top art therapy blogging award; and not only that this blog was  in the company of some other wonderful art therapy blogs. See?

Thank you, whoever you are, who voted for this blog. The one thing I do get is that it was based on reader nominations. This is totally awesome. Gosh. And humbling. But do I dig it? You bet.

I am not an art therapist in any kind of official sense to anyone but myself. I don’t have a bunch of initials behind my name or really any formal art training. I’m just fascinated by color and line and patterns. And Im happy to be part of a rather vibrant doodling community.

And I am delighted that you find my art inspiring and uplifting.

Three years ago I still ran the internal story that I could not draw. In November of 2007 I participated in Leah Piken Kolidas’   friendly challenge to create art every day during Art Every Day Month. I decided to doodle everyday for a month as a way of spending less time at the computer. (Did you know I have another very active life as a digital mandala maker?)

And I’ve been doodling, more or less every night before I go to sleep, since then. I’ve tried doodling away from home, during the middle of day, waiting in doctors’ offices, but really — doodling is my night time ritual.

So if you hold a story about not being good enough, would you be willing to suspend that belief long enough to get a pencil and paper and just see what happens when you put it on the paper? You could have a whole new life waiting for you!

It’s taken me three years to not care what I put in my sketch pad. Not caring is totally freeing.

Dancing the Dancer is also about freedom and moving from an authentic place in my heart and holding my arms up in love. Plus, I really love this color palette. Someday I’m going to design me some clothes in these colors.

Have fun out there. It’s so worth it!

~Sue Doodles

Self Portrait – Grounded in Gold

Self Portrait – Grounded in Gold © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

A power outage over the weekend took me to Starbucks with sketchbook, sharpie  and iPod in hand. Sipping on some incredibly sweet Vanilla Bean milk shake concoction and listening to Krishna Das, this image began to emerge. A recent renewal of psychic healing techniques came to mind, and I realized that a visual expression of those spiritual gifts is what wanted to emerge in this doodle.

I am relearning the importance of grounding and letting go as part of my spiritual practice as well as renewing and replenishing my energy. The demonstrations of how much grounding deep into the earth and letting go of unwanted gunk has gotten me through some pretty challenging times this past week.

When I began filling in the details of this doodle with color, I gave myself permission to be imperfect. I know where the shortcomings are in my painterly abilities, but I also knew it was more important to lay color on paper than be a perfect little artist.

Sometimes when I look at this image it feels a little dark and heavy and weird, but mostly it is playful. We view our work with such critical eyes. It’s freeing to just let what comes out speak for itself.

How does your spiritual practice interact with your art?

Sue Doodles

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.

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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!

SueDoodles

Authentic Doodling

Energetic Release © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

I woke up around 1 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was running a lot of energy with heartburn to boot. The Tums helped the heartburn but did nothing for all my excess energy.  I was feeling a little excited with understanding … you know those a-ha moments filled with big grok-kiness? I wanted to celebrate, but 1 a.m. is not the time for party music. So instead I had a little party on the page.

I had already started this doodle. At 1 a.m. the internal censor is barely awake and I just let myself feel into the page and let my hand go where it wanted — freely and unencumbered. All of the gunky energy I had been holding onto drained into the earth. I put on a party hat and threw confetti everywhere.

And when I was done, I turned out the lights. I wish I could say I slept soundly. It still took some time to relax. But sleep, I eventually did; and this morning I still feel excited and proud that I took the time to record these moments of awareness. That’s what it’s all about for me most these days, acknowledging  moments of deep authenticity that occur at some deep core level.

I totally recommend this practice.

SueDoodles

A colorful journey

Journey – © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

Creating this doodle over a couple of evenings was a lot of fun. Towards the end I remembered a post I had seen over at Daisy Yellow about slow journaling. I wanted a word n this doodle, and journey wanted to be added in the lower left hand corner. I have for sure been on a journey of the heart.  It wasn’t until I scanned the doodle that I saw the outline of a bird…a parrot? a dodo? some feathered friend residing in my imagination? Yes, of course! Birds are messengers from spirit. I knew this one would be vibrant!

Journey in Color © Sue O’Kieffe 2010

I played with my prismacolors over the next few nights. Yellow beak and bright orange breast – yes! of course. Second night I was exhausted but still wanted to add a little more color  before I turned out the lights. I thought of my friend Fabeku Fatunmise. Now Fabeku does this totally amazing stuff with sacred sound to help us get unstuck. And he’s generous too. And fun. So I decided to listen to the downloads I had of his sacred sound (which you can download here and here for free!). It was perfect with the centering vibes of the Tibetan singing bowl and his drum. And then I remembered the drumbeat of shamanic journeying and yes here I was in a journey with my doodlebird and it all made sense as the sound transitioned into the track from his CD. And I started to hear color — so wild — electric blue and magnificent magenta and color combos that go boing together. It was quite a ride, and when the track was over I turned out the lights and slept soundly. SOUNDLY!

Yesterday I completed the journey. I was operating mostly on vibe anyway after not much sleep, and I was deeply in touch with energetic presence. I’m still learning how to add color that represents the energy I see…the sparkles of blue and pink and yellow, the auras. I imagined the bird absorbing the energy of carnelian (the round orange orbs). Powerful stuff.

So do you listen to music when you do art and how does it affect you and what you create?

~SueDoodles

Wake up to Doodle Wisdom

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!

SueDoodles

How do you use your art to help in your healing?