Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: doodles





Surely everybody doodles, at least sometimes? I often do. The top one was one done with pencil on some scrap paper a few weeks ago, absent-mindedly at first as the act of doodling usually is, then consciously as I became enamored by the results. Actually it is a rubbing or 'frottage' of a piece of rusted metal that happened to be nearby. Excited at other possibilities I then went into the studio for better paper and a sanguine conte crayon to do the second one, then charcoal for the third. I think one of these just might appear in another digital collage piece one day, so doodling can be a good thing, rather like sketching out ideas, some even absentmindedly generated.

I am looking forward to getting back to my artmaking soon. Again, Happy New Year, all!

Added Jan.2nd: I just remembered a piece that I had posted almost seven years ago, a fully developed work using the rubbing technique as well as drawing: Veils Suite: Triptych. I should find some others I had done...

Marja-Leena | 01/01/2012 | 12 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Drawings


Oh, these remind me of something! I should start saving my doodles instead of scrapping them. Hope the New Year started out well by you, dear Marja-Leena!!

You scared me at first when you said you doodled the first one because I couldn't imagine drawing all those perfectly shaded forms and calling them doodles. It is a really elegant image in all its iterations.

Rouschswalwe, yes, do save your doodles and show them to us! Oh, today was a lazy day, sleeping late, then making a big pot of ham and pea soup, a family favourite. And catching up with blogs and doing this post... not a bad start. Hope yours was a good start too, my dear!

Susan, I know I should not have called these 'doodles' but the correct word, I discovered to my shock, is not so 'proper'. Why do perfectly good words in the English language keep being absconded into new meanings? ... not that I'm a prude, but really! Anyway, I'm pleased you like these. I wish you similar joyful discoveries.

Rubbings are my kind of art, since my drawing is iffy at best.

zhoen, it is indeed a wonderful medium for anybody.

That reminds me, I have some very large rubbings that I did many years ago, on cloth as well as paper. I should dig them out and photograph them, or maybe I have slides.... Later: found one that I had posted a long while ago, link added above.

These are exceptionally artistic doodlings! I rarely doodle -- my belief that I cannot draw is complete -- do you think that is unusual?

A very happy new year to you, Marja-leena. I look forward to observing another set of seasons with you. (As for our premature spring in England: spring always comes early here, but this year is truly bizarre. Spring was hot, summer was cold and wet, and autumn was warm. The plants are thoroughly confused.)

Bee, I think your belief may have been instilled in you mistakenly, just like I was told I could not sing (I can't). I do believe every child is born able to draw but that is killed often by bad education - it almost happened to my children. Pet peeve subject - don't get me started :-)

Thanks for the good wishes, Bee. The weather patterns certainly seem bizarre everywhere the past few years. We haven't really had much of a winter here yet, just a few frosty nights but no sign yet of an earlier than normal spring, which is usually similar to yours. But, winter is really just beginning...

A very happy New Year, Marja-Leena, so well started with these sun-burst circles. I trust your year will be as harmonious and vibrant and dynamic as they are.

Natalie, thanks so much for the wonderful wishes... and the same to you!

When does doodling become art? And why should a finished doodle not be regarded as a work of art? I ask with feeling because much of what, in my amateur way, I produce on paper begin as doodles. In fact often I find that something which begins by chance is more satisfactory in the end than something which sets out with a defined purpose. I am adicted, for example, to tea-stains and other stains as a starting point. I do think that an important part of the art of doodling is to know when to stop. But that goes for an intentional piece of work as well I suppose. Anyway congratulations on these "doodles" and if I haven't said it already, a Happy New Year to you and Fred.

I think those doodles are certainly more than idle markings. They remind me of the writing I sometimes accomplish when I sit down with no coherent plan of what to say. Meaning comes to me through my fingers as they work the keyboard.

Your "doodles" will surely find their way into a thoughtful and beautiful print.

Joe, excellent questions! I agree that a doodle can be or can become art. Why should we set any kind of rules on that anyway? I think a doodle can begin absentmindedly and then, with perhaps a bit more intent, turn into art. In the case of these three I've shown, the first began as an idle doodle and grew into more and inspired the other two perhaps "non-doodles". I'm now inspired to do more rubbings so that is a good thing, isn't it?

Anne, yes, I like your comparison to writing, starting loosely with no fixed preconceived idea, letting the work or words speak on their own, if you will. It is wonderful when it happens this way.