Wednesday, June 30, 2010

July 4th Doodle

4th of July Doodle!! Happy Independance Day 2010!!

As many of you may already know I’m so into this 30 days of doodles. It’s really becoming quite fun and a bit challenging. It seems the farther I go into it the more detailed and complicated the doodles become. I haven’t a clue what the psychology is behind that.

But I can tell you what is behind my 4th of July Doodle. When I was living up on a mountain with my family many years ago we had the most amazing 4th of July Celebrations. My dad had a special recipe for hamburgers that melted in your mouth and had all sorts of ingredients from garlic to celery, mushrooms(sometimes) and onions. You never knew what secret ingredient he would put into them next. They were always cooked over an open wood fire from a hand built stone pit from mountain rocks. The wood was always collected for weeks in advance from downed limbs in the surrounding forest.

Other staples were watermelon, beans, waldorf salad, potato chips, occasionally hotdogs, and of course potato salad. And we also always roasted marshmallows. The really cool thing about these July 4th celebrations was that when the sun went down you could see the entire north Shenandoah Valley from Strasburg to Berryville. Of course it depended upon where you stood. So basically we saw fireworks displays sometimes all the way to Winchester. I have to say it was really cool and not nearly as noisy.

My addition to this was always the traditional All American Flower arrangement. I would try to find red white and blue from what was growing up along the driveway. Usually it was Queen Anne’s lace, bachelor’s buttons, red clover. Sometimes there would be daisies or one of grandma’s red roses if the timing was right.

When I was working on a project for my design class the other night I had this idea of putting the statue of liberty on a dark sky in front of a huge flag and then using those three flowers in some way. As I was putting it together I suddenly realized that the flowers looked just like fireworks. How cool is that. So I put together a composite of the photo’s I had collected for the class project and this became the sketch for the doodle I did. So here is my 4th of July doodle. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Beginnings of 30 days of Doodles And Why I'm dong it.

Doodles As Art

Well, I’m really busy right now trying to finish up my Graphic Design Course. At the End of June I will be a ¾ ‘s the way through it. I am working toward completing it by August 28th. I would like to get it done but I also know that because I lost 6 weeks when I was ill in March and April that I might have to get an extension. I have so much going for the fall I really need to get it done fast.

However, I also haven’t been able to plan out any long term work to paint because of the course and physical Therapy. ( which is on-going.) Then one day I got this idea. One of my friends on Facebook was doing something called zentangles. Well I looked closely at them and realized that they were nothing more than flowing semi-organized doodles like we used to do in the 1970s on road trips. Usually, we could find a pad of paper and a marker or pen then we would just create games to pass the long hours on the road.

Here is the interesting thing; during the 1960s and 70’s a lot of artists were doing these things, as were people in advertising. It’s how their thought processes worked, so they could make “ artist notes” Most of this stuff didn’t survive. Mainly because it was thought of as prep art(aka rough sketches), so it wasn’t really saved for posterity.

When, I decided to do the first one, last Tuesday night, All I could think about was Peter Max and some of the things he did. He simply painted his work with color and patterns most often used for advertising and cartoons published in newspaper.( I know there is a name for those patterns, but it escapes me at the moment)

Get this .. my grandmother doodled a lot. Especially when she was on the phone. I doodled to keep my self alert in History classes. My mom used to doodle as well while waiting for doctor's appointments or talking on the phone.

Well, It seems like a man and wife got together and decided to put the Zen into doodles and use them for meditation. They even assigned parameters and standards to these and prescribed meanings to the basic shapes. I could go on. This isnt really my thing I have to admit.

I suppose you could really use just about anything for meditation. Personally I like to meditate on God’s word. And I especially like to meditate on what it’s like to be in God’s presence.. I mean wow to be in the presence of total all consuming unconditional love with no counterfeits, no manipulation, no demands except just to receive it. I mean wow. Now that is real peace to me.
Doodling to me is just another form of expression. I suppose I could assign some physcological meaning to what I draw but here's the bottom line I am an artist and I like to create art. Especially art that gives people a feeling of joy and happiness. So...

So I’ve decided to doodle my way through the next few weeks of this design course. One doodle a day for at least 30 days. Take a look at some of the doodles I’ve done so far. I' ve peppered them through out this post. I’m about 6 days into this. I have to admit I was going a little crazy not being able to paint. So far some are really good. If you have any ideas of doodles you would like to see let me know.

To see all of my latest art before anyone else  see my facebook page: 30 Doodles in 30 Days Project

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Jesus and the Children Painting for

"The Orchard"

Well the next stage of  the TOP (Teens Opposing painting is finished. I have about 20 more hours of work to complete on the 24 by 36 inch painting.

The story background is that of how TOP impacts the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Bringing in Teens from all over and teaching them to share compassion for disadvantaged and homeless people one individual at a time.  This original composition actually illustrates several aspects of the worked that TOP does. The first is that they act as emissaries for Christ sharing his compassion with people of all races colors religions and cultures. The children's song Jesus Loves the little children is one of the basis for the Subject matter. Each child is precious in his sight. Not only are they precious but the way that God looks at people as well. I chose Jesus and the Children to illustrate that God expects each of us adults, children, or teens to come with the faith of a little child and that he will not deny any child access to himself or his promises.

Teens Opposing Poverty is a valuable work not only that it helps so many people that are homeless and in crisis through out the Region of Virginia and Washington DC, but it teaches young people that the homeless are individuals with a name, a history, dreams, and hopes just like everyone else. Truely Teens Opposing Poverty isn't just an organization that lets more fortunate kids go out an do something that will make them feel better;  it gives them an opportunity to find out what people want and then learn to meet them at their need. In this way  Teens and Young adults working with Teens Opposing Poverty have an opportunity to learn how to show true compassion while helping meet basic needs, and  treating people with respect and dignity.

Steve Jennings,Executive Director of TOP, messaged me today that the painting will used as greeting cards, and limited edition prints designs to raise money for the organization. And that eventually the painting its self will be offered for sale. The proceeds of this painting will help TOP fund its outreach Programs

To read more about this organization go to

You can see all the stages of the painting thus far by going to my website and clicking on the  The Orchard update.