Monday, January 9, 2012

The Sketchbook Challenge: January Theme

I am happier than a little puppy dog with two tails to wag to be involved in The Sketchbook Challenge again this year. It's been a wonderful way to challenge my abilities and to be involved in some small way with your lives and artwork. Sometimes I struggle with a theme - and that's good. You don't learn much if you don't struggle - if you don't try things that are beyond our current abilities our outside of your comfort zone.

But this month?

I absolutely LOVE this month's theme!

I doodle ALL the time. 

I have my sketchbook with me pretty much all the time and I tend to have trouble paying close attention to something if I need to sit still. I end up fidgeting enough to bother other people. I seem to listen better if my hands are busy. 

I'll doodle while I'm waiting for a meeting to start, or during the meeting. During church I pay better attention if I doodle something about what is being said.

I doodle on the airplane or at home or any time I am trying to wait patiently for something or somebody. 

Hey, maybe doodling makes me a better person? Or at least makes me tolerable to be around. I used to simply simmer and fume while I waited for people who were late. Not any more.

So I'm wondering - what is the difference between a doodle and a sketch? I think doodles are time killers, aimless wandering with a pen in hand. But sometimes my doodles are very purposeful. Sometimes they are looking out the window at a crazy little group of Cardinals. But that could be called sketching - maybe trying to capture the essence of the thing you are observing?

Sometimes doodling is playing with a new tool. I'm in love with my japanese brush pen - learning to control the flow of ink and make thick luscious lines or tiny delicate ones with the same tool. Or is that a learning process as I master a new technique?

Sometimes something I see will capture my attention and imagination and I quickly sketch it in. Is it a doodle because it is quick? Or perhaps because it has not end purpose? It's not necessarily trying to be something.

Sometimes I doodle what I see out my window as I'm talking on the phone. It's a sketch of a landscape through a window but it's also killing time so it might be called a doodle. I don't think it really matters.

What do you think the difference between a doodle and a sketch is?
Does it matter?