I'm so caught up in my doodle practice. Call it doodles or Zentangles or Zendoodles (those latter two being copyrighted, of course), but I'm not following a specific method--I don't cut the specified sized paper, nor work in pencil and then outline in a fancy pen. Nor am I trying to meditate formally, though drawing does produce its own kind of flow (my boss in Chicago loved Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.) I do receive lots of inspiration from the different books, though--the idea of focusing on a person as a prayer (from Praying in Color), the use of "strings" inside a special shape (Zen Doodle: Tons of Tangles ), the use of interlocking symmetrical, interlocking shapes (Zen Mandalas), and all the different patterns (One Zentangle a Day and Zentangle Untangled.) And I have some great ideas--I'm going to use some of my cookie cutters to get good outer shapes, like bunnies, penguins, snowpeople, lighthouses, cats, etc. Mama says I need a compass to get more circular circles; I'd never pass Giotto's perfect-circle test.
Last week, I even did some doodling with our Girl Scout troop. Using the handouts of Lindsay Ostrom, we filled in a trefoil. Some girls did color; some girls did monochromatic. Some were very linear; others more curvaceous. There were words, names, and sayings. And they spent a good 20 minutes on it! Even the art teacher liked the handouts and trefoils. (She has the 6th-graders do these great self-portraits with different patterns coming out of the head as hair.)
I was never a doodler in school; I was an obsessive note-taker and always fully-listened to the teacher. Even now, I only doodle as a main activity, not while multitasking (like on the phone or at church, though I've considered the latter.) Perhaps I'm getting out my inner child now. Below are some of my recent attempts (prayers for people, with their names in the middle, excluded), in both my journal and my sketchbook: