Daily Doodles, My New Practice

April 1, 2017

Daily doodles # 1

I was entranced when I watched John Franzen drawing lines in this YouTube video: Each Line, One Breath.  What an imaginative leap to do line drawings so contemplatively that the strokes become a meditation.  I was inspired to use line drawing as my own meditative practice, one that I will call “Daily Doodles.”  I don’t know whether I will be able to sustain a daily doodles practice, but it’s a new month, and on day one I am motivated to at least attempt it.

For my first daily doodle, I drew on a page I ripped out of a New York Times Magazine.

I could draw and paint trees for years and years and never get to the bottom of their mystery and allure.

“Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?”
— Walt Whitman, from “Song of the Open Road”

John Grade, ‘Middle Fork’ on display at the Seattle Art Museum

Here is another artist’s impression of tree art:  John Grade’s suspended sculpture of a tree currently on display in the atrium of the Seattle Art Museum.  It’s a cast of a 140-year-old Western Hemlock from the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.

And this week I fell in love with another “tree artist,” Donna Leavitt, who draws with graphite pencil the intricate shadings and textures of the bark of immense trees.  Her large works are collages of smaller sheets of paper. I saw these on display at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s “Revering Nature” exhibit:

Donna Leavitt, ‘Majesty,’ 2016

Donna Leavitt, ‘Thrust,’ 2012

Donna Leavitt, ‘The Sentinel,’ 2010

I’m falling in love with images of trees.  Imagine how captivated I can become with the real, live trees around me.



10 Responses to “Daily Doodles, My New Practice”

  1. Kathleen Flannery Says:

    Love your doodle #1 and look forward to more. Looked at video you included (thanks for sharing) but didn’t look like Jonathan Franzen to me and the name John Franzen was name on video page. It was fascinating.

    • Rosemary Says:

      THANK YOU for catching my attribution error. I have fixed it. (And I am somewhat relieved that the talented writer Jonathan Franzen is not also equally talented as a graphic artist. That would be too much talent in one body.)

  2. Susan Says:

    Years ago after reading Julia Cameron’s book: The Artist’s Way, I made a serious attempt to do morning pages. I soon discovered that they were really doodle pages, and I have used them for inspiration ever since.
    I keep my supplies simple, loose sheets of acid free card stock, pencil, micron 005, kneaded eraser, and a few colored pencils. This practice honors my learning style and makes me happy.
    Great post! (I still need to watch the video).

  3. shoreacres Says:

    I think you might be interested in this and other posts from another of my readers (in Ecuador) who’s currently fascinated by trees. She’s an artist, too, and the post I linked has some interesting information about her sketching process.

  4. ravel99 Says:

    Rosemary, Love this idea…thanks for sharing…do enjoy your blog very much. Linda

    On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 7:19 PM, Rosemary’s Blog wrote:

    > Rosemary posted: ” I was entranced when I watched Jonathan Franzen drawing > lines in this YouTube video: Each Line, One Breath. What an imaginative > leap to do line drawings so contemplatively that the strokes become a > meditation. I was inspired to use line drawing as m” >

  5. Anne Middleton Says:

    This is so beautiful. Thank you.

  6. Elisa Says:

    OH! I WANT this image for above my altar! I rarely have I WANT THIS moments! I’m so happy with your doodle I have tears, (makes no sense, but yay i do!)

  7. bluebrightly Says:

    Wonderful post – I see now that I AM following you already but somehow haven’t seen your posts in a while, so it’s nice to get reacquainted. I love your drawing, and I’ll check out he video.

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