Remember drawing your sixth-grade teacher with devil horns in your notebook, or doodling flowers, stars, or Homer Simpson during a long business meeting? I’ve been guilty of these scenarios. But happily, I no longer feel like a slacker. Turns out, making inane marks or whimsical drawings of your uptight boss could be productive and healthy. Last summer, The Wall Street Journal ran a report on doodling, citing benefits discovered through numerous studies, the WSJ consulted the author of a new book, “The Doodle Revolution,” by Sunni Brown.
"It's a thinking tool," Brown, an Austin, Texas, author, told the WSJ, explaining that doodling can affect how we process information and solve problems.
That means doodlers are actually not “spacing out.” The activity can help to keep you engaged in the present moment and better able to process information in a variety of situations, such as a business meeting or a lecture.
If you suffer from anxiety, doodling can help relieve your symptoms. My own anxiety “tool box” includes yoga, meditation, hula-hooping and doodling. When anxiety strikes, drawing random designs helps me to refocus my scattered, panicky thoughts. It's quite soothing. I also love looking at what the artists on Doodlers Anonymous are up to. I never dreamed that some of my grade school doodles would positively influence my future career as an artist. I’ve actually incorporated some of my mindless scribbles into paintings, jewelry, prints and cards.
I sometimes get attached to my paintings, especially the ones with the animals, who are like characters. But I’m grateful for all my sales and happy to see paintings go to new homes. It seems many of those homes are in the Seattle area, with my latest show there, “Good Karma,” selling 8 of 14 paintings shown. Well, technically, six are staying in the area, because one buyer is sending the two she purchased home to Greece.
Another painting was purchased by an art appraiser, and two others went to people in the city planning profession, and another to a woman in the healing arts.
I have family in western Washington and lived there with my husband for four years, and I sold my handcrafted jewelry in galleries there. We returned to NJ in 2007, and this is the second time I’ve sent paintings for shows at the b9 architects design studio in Seattle.
My “Good Karma” show opened Sept. 5, just a month after b9 moved into a beautiful larger space and studio in the historic Corona Building on 2nd Avenue. The firm combined its grand opening with my art show for the monthly Pioneer Square Art Walk. About 70 people attended.
The new b9 office has the ambiance of a gallery, a credit to its designer, Bradley Khouri, who founded b9 architects in 2001 and has won several awards for its urban infill and “green” architecture. (Brad is my nephew.) At my show there last year, I sold four paintings and received a commission for a large painting that I thoroughly enjoyed creating – and that my client loved.
“Good Karma” officially ended Nov. 7, and buyers are picking up their paintings. Knowing that my art connected with people on an emotional or spiritual level is as satisfying as selling the work. Thank you, b9 and Seattle.