What Does She Do When She’s Not Writing?

Posted: June 18th, 2023 under artwork, Life beyond writing.
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Sometimes I doodle for awhile.  Sometimes a doodle is inspired by something some real artist put up online, that I saw while doing *legitimate* research.  In this case there was an image of a hill, a giant hump on the image, with fields going straight up and down and little doohickies representng different crops in different stripes.   And a tree or two at the top of the hill.  My doodle was also based on previous doodles when I outlined a space (sometimes square, sometimes triangular, sometimes octagonal, sometimes, as here, a rectangle) and filled it with other shapes and then treated the other shapes with textural notation (dots or lines) to suggest…something.  Occasionally color.  The recent re-organization of the office meant that my colored pencils were now…handy.  I love colored pencils.  (And inks, and paints and so on, but the PENCILS were handy.  Sp were some 3 x 5 cards, pastel colored, lined on one side and plain on the other.    I had already, a previous week, doodled another of my filled shapes with what suddenly looked to me like the English countryside views I see when indulging in horse videos.    And that B&W doodle inspired this one, which isn’t quite complete but was a “could this work for a landscape, given the limitations of size, media, the green card instead of a white background and so on.   I got to draw fiddly lines , play with the colored pencils, regret some of the lines, and then figure out what to do with the sky so it would look hot and summery and like there was a nice rainstorm over there on the far side of the near hills.  Then I had to get the thing into a camera (cellphone camera, n this case) and fiddle around until I remembered the fairly cockamamie way my cellphone can have images sucked out by the computer.

I”m not thrilled with it (why it’s not completely colored in, among other things) but I like the concept, and I like working in a small, well-defined space.  Yes, there’s a river, and a reservoir, and a variety of crops, and some woods, but…even finishing the coloring won’t fix its fundamental problems on the right side, and my white pencil barely shows the cumulus cloud structure, thanks to the green background.  OTOH it was fun and made good “breaks” in the writing work now and then.   I’d fill one section then let it sit, then later another one.  Other doodles of the week were all scratchy B&W, inspired by fighting with a ballpoint until it agreed to write again and then seeing what I could make of the strong up-and-down-slanted strokes of the “YOU WILL WRITE!” argument.  As soon as I “crossed” them with scribbles they looked like a coniferous woods (sort of!).

None of this is great art.  It’s mind-cleansing when stuck, though, and that works for me.


  • Comment by elizabeth — June 18, 2023 @ 6:17 pm


    Oh, I should add: No AI was involved in the production of this doodle.

  • Comment by Leslie — June 18, 2023 @ 11:46 pm


    Mind cleansing is absolutely necessary.

  • Comment by Anne — June 19, 2023 @ 11:16 am


    I like it!

    Pretty, and mind-cleansing at the same time – with way you look at it there’s a bonus. Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — June 20, 2023 @ 8:12 pm


    It might not be high art, but it is by our best selling author. But you are a better doodler than I. After all, all work and no play etc. but I do like your Cold Welcome cover.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — June 28, 2023 @ 6:17 am


    Hello – just a quick note from rainy NH – hope that the Texas heat is not too bad where you are. Stay cool.,

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