Tag Archives: drawing

Chalkboards are low tech dandy design tools

Sometimes, I get stuck in the design process.

That’s when I need to give myself nudges that break up the mental and emotional constriction that is keeping me from moving forward in a project.

And, so, I reach for some of my favorite tools that help me to see things differently.

My chalkboards and chalk.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Eh? as we say in Canada 🙂

Really!  A chalkboard is a fabulous tool for knocking the design blechs sideways!

I have wondered about why they work so well for me and I think that there are a couple of reasons.

The first is that white chalk on a black surface reverses the way I normally see things when I am drawing.

This is invaluable, because it clears the deck of any pre-conceived notions that I had about sketching.

It’s like working with negatives instead of photographs. You really do see things differently.

And, if you are stuck, then that is really helpful!

The second reason why I love chalkboards so much is that drawing on a chalkboard is so playful.

There’s a real feeling of ‘little kid’-ness to them that is definitely very freeing.

You know that it’s not permanent… it’s just a bit of dust on black paint … so wheee…… draw, draw, draw!

If you don’t like it…. whoosh whoosh, wipe it off and it’s gone.

If only the rest of life were so easy!

AND… if you do like it, then grab a piece of paper and a pencil and copy the sketch onto the somewhat more permanent surface.

How did I get such a neat shape chalkboard?

Easy.

I drew the shape on masonite, cut it out and painted it with several coats of chalkboard paint from the hardware store.

I even like the scritchy sound the chalk makes when I am drawing.

Low tech is often a wonderful way of opening the doorways to creativity and imagination.

Try it…. you might like it 😀

PS: Anne, who is one of my online friends in the Mirrix facebook group suggested that you take pics of your favorite sketches and load them into your paint or bead making programs.  I don’t use those programs, so it didn’t occur to me.

Anne’s suggestion also reminded me that I do take ‘archival’ photos of some of the sketches that I really like… sorry… I completely forgot to mention that!  Thanks for the reminder, Anne! 🙂

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Doodle Dolls and Friends who Zentangle

My friend, Pirk, posted a note to the International FreeForm Fiber Arts group, that has triggered all kinds of  inspiration for the members of the group- me included!

Pirk posted the link to the Zentangle website: Zentangle (a delightful  system of creating spectacular doodles based on working with constructed patterns.)

and a link to her flickr pics of her Zentangle drawn doodles and how she has interpreted them as crochet scrumbles (freeform pieces).  Pirk’s links:  Flickr and Blog

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Doodling has long been

an important part

of my design process.

In fact, for lots of years

I taught workshops

about using doodling

as inspiration in doll making.

I even included a whole

chapter on the importance

of doodling, in my book:

Soul Mate Dolls: Dollmaking as a Healing Art.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

This doodle doll

is a collaboration

between my husband

and myself.

We made it 4 years ago.

He turned her on the lathe

and I doodled and burned the

patterns onto her.

I love using twigs

for arms and legs on

dolls.

I didn’t realize how much

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

influence the doodled lathe turned doll was having on me,

when I was working on

my newest Doodle Doll.

After making the

Doodle Doll with

spool knitted arms and

legs for this post:

Link to first Doodle Doll post,

I assumed that I would

be spool knitting the arms

and legs for this Doodle Doll,

who I have named: ‘Potentianna’

(in honour of new possibilities)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I was just so

wrong about

spool knitted arms and legs

for Potentianna!

I spool knitted several

cords, with different colors,

different weights…

but, nope.

Potentianna simply refused

them.

I tried tatting them.

I spent hours spool knitting

and tatting.

To no avail.   Same response.

A polite but firm, ‘No thank you!’

She was very firm about what she wanted, but it took me awhile to hear what she had to say.

What she wanted was: Twigs.

Yep. Twigs and only twigs. Thank you very much.

As soon as I , pardon the pun, ‘twigged’ to that, things went swimmingly!

Same thing with her hat. I was sure that she needed a crown.

No way.

Several color combinations and different thread versions later, I finally got it that all she wanted was a little piece of something natural.

And, a fragment of abalone shell was perfect thank you very much.

And, so, Potentianna is now happily completely herself and is hanging on the wall of the studio, beckoning me to pick up my pens and start doodling her some sisters and friends and family….

Oh yes! speaking of friends! I need to mention some other friends who are seriously into doodling….

My friend, Margaret Bremner and I went to art school together a million years ago, and she’s just wonderful in every way. Her art is meditative, contemplative and just plain gorgeous: Link to Margaret

Margaret is so delighted with the Zentangle system of drawing that she is about to become a certified teacher.             How neat is that?

And, one of my Artsy Blogger buddies, June, is also a champion doodler… definitely check out her beautiful work:

Link to June’s blog (and I REALLY do mean beautiful!)

So, whether you like to freeform in your doodling, or use your doodles for dollmaking, like I do,or your crochet, like Pirk, or your mandalas,  or are intrigued by the delightful possibilities of the Zentangle system, I encourage you to pick up you pens and pencils and get doodling!

Happiness awaits…. it’s right at the tip of your pencil….

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