doodling for new concepts

I decided to do one of my 25 ideas (August 15 post) this week. No. 4: Lightly draw a checkerboard pattern on your page. Fill each square with hatch marks, dots, scribbles, color, or interesting lines.

I altered the concept to start with. I didn’t make a checkerboard; it looked more like the boxes that you would draw a comic strip in. And not the whole page, just six boxes. Then I drew with diagonal lines and crosshatching inside the boxes. I didn’t have anything in mind except to just make an all-over texture.

Then I went into the texture with white gouache and started to pick out little interesting bits. Before you know it, I was crossing the lines between the six boxes. Now the original grid was not as distinct.

Finally, I wandered back in with some colored pencils. Here is the end result.

I may go back into this one at a later date, or try some more. It’s a doodle in that I had no notions of where I was going, or what new little line or shape would call out to be filled in with white (or later, with color). You can still see the original grid, and some of the original pencil marks. The whole process is contained within one drawing.

There are ideas inside this drawing-about-process or drawing-which-is-process that I will continue to develop and use in my paintings. One nice thing about keeping an artist’s journal is that I can return to this page and remember the thoughts I had about using a grid, and then crossing over the grid. I can remember the process of laying down a flat, repetitive texture and then finding new lines and shapes within the texture.

In that regard, a visual journal doesn’t have to be solely a recording of the world outside; it can, through making marks and shapes and layers, be a recording of the process of making art. For me, a return to this page will be a way of revisiting an idea.

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