Doodles on the Train

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If you thought this post was going to be about dirty old men in trench coats flashing their family jewels at people on the train – sorry, you might as well stop reading now lol.
What I’m talking about are the drawing type of doodles, you know, the ones we all do when we’re talking on the phone.
My daughter drew my attention to doodles a little while ago when she pointed out that I always write Hello in fancy cursive and then draw a box around it when I doodle. This led to me pulling out the notebook I keep near the phone to check out other recurring themes in my doodles.
As well as writing Hello, I often write the word ‘alphabet’ and the actual alphabet. I just like the way it feels to write these loopy words in the old fashioned cursive that I learnt at school.
Another common element in my doodles is flower petals. Sometimes these make flowers and sometimes they just make scallops around boxes and sometimes they are petals upon petals.
Often things are put into fancy boxes, and more rarely I will draw cubes or squares. (looking for examples of these to post but of course I can’t find any right now!)
I have been reading ‘Sew Wild’ by Alisa Burke and in this book she suggests doodling as a starting point for creating fabric designs. She says “Drawing – and even doodling – is the simplest and purest process you can incorporate into your daily creative routine”. Another book I am reading is ‘Art at the Speed of Life’ by Pam Carriker. I bought myself this book for Christmas and I love it. In the book different artists talk about ways of finding opportunities to fit art into your everyday life, and the importance of finding creative outlets for yourself.
Now, when we moved to Brisbane I had this vision of myself whenever I caught the train, working away at my writing on my iPad and getting heaps of work done. In reality, it is a race between the two boys to see who can be the first one to ask me if they can play on the iPad as soon as we get on the train. I don’t even get a look in. So, my new plan is that while the boys are busy with the iPad, I will take the time whenever we are on the train to do some doodling. I have packed a little Sketch book and drawing pen into my bag and I am set to go.
I quite like this, because I am not really a very confident drawer, but calling it doodling gives me license to relax and draw freely just for fun, without having to worry about how good the results are.
Here are a few pages I have done so far – remember, it is not meant to be great drawing, it is more about a flow of ideas and experimenting with different motifs and shapes.

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This was the first one I did, before I put my drawing book in my bag, so it’s on an envelope. I quite likes the crab drawing and I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with ways to draw jellyfish.

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Some of the flower motifs that are often in my drawings.

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This one had a bit of a dance theme.

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This one had a water theme, but it was inspired by the sad sight of a little boy being treated quite horribly by his parents, that’s why it’s a bit sad.

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And finally the one I did today. I was trying to draw the design I saw on a trivet in a gift shop, it came out completely different, but I really like it – I think I’ll add some text to it on my next trip.

I am already seeing that I can now pull a lot of the elements of these doodles out and build them up into fabric designs or prints, so it is working really well. It also gives me something to do on the train – perfect!
I hope you get a chance to do some doodling today – grab a pen and some paper and do some doodling now while you watch this great TED talk by Sunni Brown, Doodlers Unite
Happy doodling to you,
Sharee

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