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.)

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Comment by Foolish Monkey on June 26, 2017 at 4:08pm

nah.  I've already gotten in there and messed around.  it calls me.

ABG, I can't be afraid of screwing something up.  I won't get anywhere if all I want to do is make pretty pictures.  pretty isn't hard.  what's hard is truth.

Comment by koshersalaami on June 26, 2017 at 4:41pm

Truth can be short. Not necessarily in this case, but Picasso drew a dachshund with one line. Or here, with one sentence posts. Or haiku. That doesn't mean your truth is short - if it calls you, it calls you.

You could try something way novel, weatherproof some works and put them on exterior walls. Has it been done? I'm not well informed. 

Of course, that assumes you want to display as many as possible, whereas a lot of the point could be in the creating rather than the displaying.  It certainly is in music. Well, most of the time. 

Comment by Rosigami on June 26, 2017 at 5:02pm

Monkey, I love seeing your work and hearing about your process. Van Gogh was a doodly drawer, too. His drawings look like doodles of his paintings. Here's one:

Comment by Rosigami on June 26, 2017 at 5:09pm

I looked to see if I still had my blog posts about the doodle project, The Yellow Cow by Franz Marc (not Picasso) and apparently I did not transfer all of them over from OS before we were locked out. Dang.

I get to see it every day, though. The pic Monkey has is the closest I can get to it at this point.
Here's a pic of the doodle project hanging over the stairwell into my studio:

Comment by koshersalaami on June 26, 2017 at 5:23pm


That would sound good in German, something like das Dudelprojekt

Comment by tr ig on June 26, 2017 at 5:48pm

You are dark and fabulous; my favorite part is not giving a fuck about commerciality and the ass sucking involved in trying to sell, as you say, drawing/painting/doodling someone else's idea of art, therefore abandoning your Monkey gut. Also interesting is what you said about trying to describe the whatever it is inside you and simultaneously 'out there', all meshing at once in some inexplicable way ... your point I think, and mine, is that language is in no way adequate in this regard (and many others, like most, truth be told). Very cool. Thanks for sharing. 

Comment by koshersalaami on June 26, 2017 at 6:17pm

Language absolutely has its limitations. 

Comment by Foolish Monkey on June 27, 2017 at 4:37am

Just woke up and all I have is this meatball of a phone - just to give you an idea of how stupid it is to try to answer comments with it,i didn't type the word meatball. I thought I was typing the word miserable which I just had to retype three times in order force this device to display it.

Fickimg <---HA! technology! cant even get a good FUCK in there unless you twist its little arm. 

Comment by koshersalaami on June 27, 2017 at 5:11am

Can you use voice recognition and dictate?

Comment by Steel Breeze on June 27, 2017 at 5:27am

R&L.....tho i can't draw a straight line with a ruler......all my 'work' is done in iron...


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