This is hardly the sort of thing you all deserve after waiting so long without much activity from me, but I bow to the request of a friend. I mentioned in passing to Jubilare that I’ve done more silly doodling than serious writing in the past months, and she suggested that something silly might do her good. Perhaps it might do me some good, too. You yourself, of course, are invited to enjoy or skip this entirely as you please.
Keep in mind that my only formal artistic training is an elective basic drawing class I took in my senior year at college. It required that I buy fancy pens and pencils, and special paper and ink, and officially-recommended erasers. I spent hours observing, measuring, trying to get all the darn lines and shadows right. For my final project I copied a frame from Casablanca reasonably well (my Ingrid Bergman actually looked kind of like the real one, but I couldn’t master her cute nose), and also pulled off a self-portrait that looks significantly cooler than I ever have in real life. In short, I vastly exceeded my own expectations with some of my final artwork and got a B+ in the class.
The results of that class are not featured below. Rather, the below doodles were done with any common pen or crayon I had, and for no other artistic reason other than I was bored and wanted to amuse myself or someone nearby. I am not a very good drawer, but sometimes I do succeed to amuse.
The one below was doodled at an Italian restaurant on my mom’s birthday. I had my niece and nephews sitting around me at the table. It’s one of those restaurants where they have white paper for placemats and they leave crayons next to the salt and pepper whenever your party has kids in it. So to keep busy while we waited for our food to arrive, we doodled, did wordsearches, and played games of tic-tac-toe and hangman. Then I showed my nephew Aaron, age 8, a huge blank space and asked him what I should draw there. “Something AWESOME,” he said. “Okay,” I replied.
The next one is part of a letter I sent to one of my friends earlier this year. He hadn’t been feeling well, so I sent him some George MacDonald and Rosemary Sutcliff to read. There wasn’t much to say, letter-wise, since he already knew the books were coming, but I couldn’t just let a piece of paper stay blank and all, so…
They’re not all that crazy, actually. Sometimes when I’m particularly bored at work, with nothing else to do, I grab some scratch paper and let a pen wander on it. Sometimes story notes come out. Sometimes I try to draw Gandalf and a grumpy dwarf emerges instead.
One day I remembered how much I loved drawing those scribble-tornadoes that I’d learned to do in elementary school.
And then a bit more recently I got sorta contemplative and wanted to see if I could actually draw a simple, but reasonably evocative setting. I tried to stick with shapes I thought I could handle and just…doodled. So here it is. I kinda like it. Aaron told me it was “amazing.” He says that about a lot of my doodles.
I know this is all hardly a replacement for a post of real, thoughtful substance about fiction, but if it cheers someone up, then it’s hardly a waste. God bless all of you. Hope to write again soon.