Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mediation Doodles

First a little history. A few years ago, I started painting. Mostly I painted with acrylic paint, sometimes watercolor and oil paints. I painted still lifes, portraits, landscapes and an occasional abstract. For the most part, I did not enjoy the experience. Most people said my work was good. They like the realism. Good does not equal Joy, just like being Right does not equal being Happy. Sometimes they are mutually exclusive.

Anyway, here are some examples of my old work.

Although this might sound strange to some, painting became pure drudgery. Finding pleasure in creating art became my windmill to conquer and, although it took a VeRy long time, I believe I eventually did. I let go of traditional brushwork for the time being. And traditional realism? Perhaps forever. I decided it was time to turn off the lights at the gallery and post a "Closed" sign. Let the dust pile up. I don't care if I never sell any art I do.

I turned to whatever looked like fun. Two of my friends gave me a nudge and I started the Eugene Art Guild. Then I took a workshop from Michael Schlicting. It was the first workshop I had taken in a long long time that didn't leave me exhausted. I observed him, an established artist, create beautiful work by doodling! 

I remembered how I loved to doodle on the corners of my pages when I was younger (and unconcerned about "being an artist". In fact, I really didn't think of doodling as "art". For me, doodling was meditative and un-self-conscious, sometime funny, and always fun. Still is.

Turns out other peeps came to the same conclusion and are shamelessly making money spreading the word. They coined the word "zentangle". Call it what you want, but it's just doodling to me.

 This is where I started.

Then I did this on fabric and added color with acrylic inks.

I went back to the journal and played with text again. I like this very much; however, I wanted to improve the smaller text.

I made this handkerchief for a friend. She put it on her wall because she said it would be weird to show it to people with snot on it.

This was drawn during a break from planting this year's garden.
Working on these pages reminds me of work I did as a teenager. I had a fabulous art teacher in high school, whose name I can't remember anymore. She taught me about illuminated manuscripts and calligraphy. I did these for her class in 1970.

Here are the next two (actually three) pages I did.

I used a nib pen for the main text and decided I prefer using a tech pen.