Art and ROSIGAMI and her Great Doodle Project

(or working it until there's nothing left to be said)

Some time back, the lovely Rosigami, artist extraordinaire asked for volunteers to doodle on some coasters she had penciled guidelines so we'd fill in the areas as we liked and they could all be put together into one giant collective image of a Picasso bull.   As the project moved along I asked if she needed more done because I was enjoying the way I worked when I did them.  It brought me back to something I've often fallen into when I let myself.  

But my coasters weren't like anyone else's because ....I guess you could say I'm intense, but fuck it. yes I'm intense and my coasters were intense - much darker and more detailed than of the others.  It never occurred to me to do them otherwise.


see if you can find mine



In any case, doodle as a way of expressing an idea lodged itself into my brain....not that I spend a lot of time doodling - no more than I normally would, which is whenever i'm sitting next to something I can pull over in front of me that's made of some sort of paper or whatever and there happens to be a pen or pencil or crayon or something.  Then I launch.   I've been known to go back to keep working the same doodle, obviously because there was more to be done. 

I'm not a serious artist.  I'm an artist by birth and training too.   I used to be a lot more serious. But in the end, I realized I didn't care if I show, sell, get recognition, become famous or any of that.  You see, I have always believed in Grandma Moses.  She painted what she wanted and one day someone came into her house and viola!  Grandma Moses!!!  Today art's a business.  You go to school and you learn to be a business.  I'm not a business.   I'm like an antibusiness I'm so bad at it.  

Truth be told the artists here are much more serious than I am.  Being a serious artist is lovely but it takes daily dedication and more commitment than I'm willing to give.  I have a studio and I like having one so when it's time to get to it, I can dive in.  Then I ease out and back, like that.  It's always been that way.  Also I believe that making art is a process that happens even when you're not making it - that part of the brain can't help but continue expressing itself.  

The last few months I've got a damned dog painting hanging over my head that I really don't want to do because as I went into it, I became annoyed with it because I didn't much care for the way it came about.  So it's sitting on the easel blocked in and I'm avoiding the easel which isn't good.  My studio isn't big enough that I can avoid a fucking easel.  I WILL have to deal with the dog painting.  Maybe christmas.  I'll try to be a caring loving human but it's hard when someone appropriates my work. 

the sword of damocles 

I HATE when I get like this but it brings me back to when I was an illustrator - which I was lousy at - not because I can't do the work - I usually had plenty of projects to keep the homefires lit, but because I don't like anyone else in my creative head and I would become angry and obnoxious as revisions became more about whoever was buying the work and less about MY vision, which truthfully in illustration, mostly no one is paying for.  They're paying for your style of execution of their idea.  Hence - illustrating.   Maybe there isn't enough space in my brain, or maybe I'm selfish, which seems more likely.

Only it doesn't bother me in the least, although working with me could be a nightmare if you were a control freak which every art type is and the more money the more control.  GAH.  FYI, I eased out of full blown illustration and ended up comfortably designing boxes and packages and displays and building them and doing marker comps and storyboards and stuff that I liked doing and didn't much give a shit about and kept the creative stuff for me me me.

tiny little thing

trying to figure how to say the same thing in doodle

perfectly nice painting I picked up at an auction created by a perfectly normal artist in '57 called New Guinea Birds of Paradise

taking the nice birds to doodleymonkeytown but it's at the very beginning of their journey.  it could get rough.  (usually does)

The doodle thing has always been there.  My work has gone in two directions.  There's the lush put it down and smoosh it out there expressionistic sort of dazzling brush shit and there's the polish the grape-y stuff.  Being anal, I WANT to want to polish the grape but I'm no grape polisher by nature.  I CAN but I can't stop myself once I get that smart hard edge going.  When i start polishing grapes, the hard little doodley thing creeps in.  I embellish to the point of overworking.  The last few years, I moved the embellishing into the smoosh it stuff I do.  I just let whatever came into my head rip, but always still trying to "make it work" rather than letting it work itself out without my control input.

I'm not sure I'm explaining this process well.  I don't know why I should, being I know HOW to do it, I hardly know WHAT I'm doing so this trying to explain is sort of folly.  But that's me.  Old and follyfull. 

So anyway.  I find I love to go into work and just work it until I can't do a damned thing more to it that won't KILL the damned thing.  But I've been known to murder something.  DAMNED DEAD AND LEADEN. but hey it's a process.  

I LOVE to do ink landscapes like that.  Only lately I find I don't much care about the landscape once I go into it deeply enough.  I lose the landscape and find something else.   Whatever it is, I'm kind of liking. 

older landscape drawings

this is a polished grape with some embellishment

So anyway, I've put some of this stuff in my blog and you can see what I'm talking about.  Possibly all this makes sense.  I have no idea.  


(hahahahah  there's nothing peaceful in me today because I've taken on this burden of explaining this THING I carry in me.  so that's a little me joke.)

Views: 1022

Comment by alsoknownas on June 26, 2017 at 10:52am

I sent her a doodle also. Something I had said made her come up with the project. I don't remember because I have quit paying attention to myself. Heard it all before.

I think she turned them all into one big thing and hung it in her house somewhere.

Comment by koshersalaami on June 26, 2017 at 11:01am

Photograph what you sent?

Comment by Foolish Monkey on June 26, 2017 at 11:34am

Yup AKA, she got us.

Kosh three of them are up there.  She has them, I don't and this was the best she could do.  they're hanging way up over a doorway.

Terry, not me.  I'm a miserable illustrator.  Really shitty attitude.  It's funny now that I think about it.

Comment by greenheron on June 26, 2017 at 11:51am

I totally get what you are saying. It’s like hair. People with curly hair wish for straight hair. They iron it and relax it and ultimately allow it to exist, but then look over at straight haired people with envy. Hilariously, straight haired people wish for lush beautiful curls they can toss around. They set it and perm it, and, well, you get my point. Now twenty year olds are spending a whole day dying their hair gray. You dopey kids! Wait forty years and you'll have all you want for free. 

It’s the same with artists. I wish I could be expressive spontaneous and make five perfect lines, sign my name, dust off my hands, and go get a glass of wine. But I’m a polisher, so I polish and polish and a hundred hours later, there’s a drawing. My expressive gestural line maker friends look at my work and say they wish they could draw like that. Hahahaha. Grass. Greener. Life, baby.

You seem like a speedy big mark girl. Why you want to polish? 

Oh and the Pentel™ cartridge brush pen, my favorite tool ever. I got me some tree sketches kinda like yours and might come post them later but right now, I'm polishing :)

Comment by greenheron on June 26, 2017 at 11:52am

P.S. I suffered as an illustrator for the same reason.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on June 26, 2017 at 12:16pm

yeah, illustration totally sucks the big one. 

Birdie, I'm not a renderer like you are.  You seem to me to be polishing an idea, which is a whole other thing. 


I CAN polish.  not like you polish, I polish like this: 

this is a terrible picture but it's one of those traditional apples things.  everyone is very impressed with it because it's so APPLE-Y and REAL-Y.  

I LOVED doing it because it's apple-y and real-ish but it leaves me thinking....and?

so I might redo it in doodle style.  

no not really.  but I am going with this nonrepresentational thinking of representational subjects.  I figure I gotta start at a starting point.  but who knows?

Comment by Phyllis on June 26, 2017 at 12:48pm

I was hoping for a print of the doodle project so I could proudly show my work next to all of you famous people. ;)

Comment by greenheron on June 26, 2017 at 12:51pm

Lol. See you think those apples are polished. To me they are lushy-brushy. It's your deep sepia background that feels like you polished. Perhaps it left you with the miserable memory of tedious hours that you project on those juicy fresh apples. Forgive me for speaking my subjective opinion, the background doesn't feel as invested or exciting or sensual as the fruit. 

Maybe polish isn't quite the right term. Loose vs tight might be better. 

What if you put one more red patch on the dogs and called them done? I know. Underpainting, glazing, blah blah blah. To me, part of the appeal of your work is in the unpolished (or loose, o gestural, whatevs) attack. Your exotic birds are much better than the painting you're using as ref. What if  those are done? You understand that all this is easy for me to say because I have straight hair and yours is curly :)

Another method for diminishing the power of the dogs is to have two pieces going concurrently. I like doing that because then I'm not always breathing down the neck of the same piece. Even though that's NOT what I'm doing right now, and must return to polishing. I'm almost done with a bird I've been working on for two weeks and want to finish this sucker!

Comment by greenheron on June 26, 2017 at 12:56pm

P.S. since I'm already being ms buttinsky, if you do work another session on the tropical birds, I'd leave that giant ass pineapple looking thing out! No painting needs something like that in it.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on June 26, 2017 at 1:19pm

Phyllis - she's got that thing way up and over a doorway.  

here's an image of the finished piece:


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