Oodles of Doodles

Almost everyone doodles, right? Remember trying to stay awake for that long and boring lecture and thinking that if you try making designs out of some of the letters, that may keep your eyes open? Remember when taking notes turning them into patterns of nothingness? Remember having to wait and wait and wait for a ride, and doodling wiles away the time?

Consider taking a second look at your doodles. See some patterns arise? See some sort of design coming out of the tangled mess? Ah, yes, that’s what artists are doing: making something out of nothing! When next you click on Google or go to a bookstore or a craft store, notice the plethora of materials related to doodling, i.e. zendoodle or zentangle. In fact, zentangle has become a registered name for an American method of drawing, doodling, making patterns that cause the drawer to feel calm and centered.

The big craft companies have started marketing oodles of doodles and tangles that people do without much thinking into books full of designs made to motivate awareness and sales. The simpleness of everyday doodling, however, can be regained by drawing for oneself. Notice the replication of my hand above and the way I have divided that hand into segments, sometimes making curvy lines into an enclosed design, or circles within circles, and even connecting the dots to dots for no reason. These simple repetitions soon become pleasing to the eye and calming to the spirit. Try decorating your hand and see what happens.

Mary Jane Berger, OSB