My (Awful Flower) Doodle Painting Funk


I like to call this, the Awful Flower.

Lemme tell ya why.

Last Saturday, D took C to the grocery store while Luca was napping.  Like always, I like to use this time to get some doodling in. Especially painting, because the house is quiet and I'm not needed for a bit.  I also jumped on this "alone time" because these days my doodle painting has been very, VERY neglected.

The only time I'm getting doodling in these days is at night with C, right before she goes to bed.  We snuggle up together with our sketch pads and my itty bitty night light. It doesn't last longer than 10 minutes, but it's such a nice way to end her day (and mine!), because as soon as she starts doodling she gets into her "happy" place and starts giggling. Then she opens up and tells me more about her day at school.  Then, the best part of all, she, almost always, drifts off to sleep a lot faster than usual, with the most calming smile on her face.  How cool is that??  I just LOVE it! 

For me, it's been SO nice to get that little bit of doodling time in.  I've been continuing to doodle in my watercolor sketchpad that I talked about a few weeks ago.  I haven't watercolored them yet, but it has been really nice to keep using my sharpie when time like this opens up.  Because, ya know, those curlie-cue's are my #1 "choose-to-do doodle-shapes" that I do when I wanna EASILY calm my mind in a very, very small amount of time.

On this night, she asked to draw silly monsters.  So I took a little break from curlie-cues.  And, yes, I let her use a sharpie, too.  It's SO much more exciting to her because it's the only time she gets to use a maker like Mommy's.  So it's become our own special "Mommy and Camille" time.  

So...right when they left, I sat on the couch watching last weeks Hart of Dixie episode.  I could have easily stopped it, and finished it later, so I could get started on "calming my mind" sooner, but I decided to finish the episode.

Do you watch that show? I used to love it, but this past season, it just hasn't been that good. I'm SO team Zoe and Wade though!!  Ha!

Oh, the decisions you have to make when you finally get some alone time.  There's SO much I wanna do in such a short amount of time!!

Once I finally set up all my materials; drop cloth on table, paints, palette, brushes, water in flower vase, paper towels, I found myself racing against the clock, because I knew my "alone time" was winding down, because a trip to the grocery store doesn't take that long, ya know? Dang!!

Knowing that my time was super limited, I thought...

"I'll paint anyway.  I"ll put on my headsets and lock the door, that way I won't be bothered with the noise when they get home."

I also thought...

"I'm gonna grab my camera so I can document my step-by-step process for my blog readers."

When I finally sat down, my funk started...BIG TIME!!

I wasn't feeling ANY of my paint colors.  None of them were feeling good  and all I thought was...

"I'm in need of a trip to store to get more colors!! This would be SO much better if I had more colors!!  Dang!!"

After finally deciding on yellow, I started to "get rid of the white" with it.

Because when sitting down to a blank, white canvas, it's so NOT calming and actually VERY scary.  So I start with slowly moving the brush back and forth over the white of the canvas with paint color that FEELS GOOD to me. When I do this, slowly, my calm  (right brain) begins to show itself which helps those nervous, fearful, stuck (left-brain) thoughts that sound like... "What am I going to paint? Hmm...." melt away.

The slower I paint over that white, the calmer my mind gets and the more my right brain (present moment, creative ideas, this is fun) thoughts comes out to play.  And when that happens, more "doodle painting" ideas and feel good colors start to blossom through me and onto the canvas.

But, on this day, like I said, I was struggling BIG TIME!

When I looked down at the yellow, I immediately thought...

"Nope! Not feeling it.  Maybe I'll try a coral color."

I mixed orange and white then painted over the yellow.  As I did this, my mind screamed...


I pushed it over to the side and grabbed another blank canvas to start over again.

I felt like doing something "pink."  The only color I have is dark pink, so I thought...

"OK, I'll just mix some white in it to get a little bit of the pink I'm thinking about.  I was thinking more toward a light pink.

Luckily, as this pinkish/purplish color emerged, I started to feel a little more calm. Whew!!

As I waited for the pink to dry, I had another canvas that I had painted yellow months ago.  So I thought I'd play more and just "paint the white" to get more of my calm on.

But, at the same time, my thoughts were still pretty loud and focused on how much longer I had until D and C were back from the grocery store.

To speed things up, I took the blow dryer to the pinkish/purple canvas to get its dry on faster.  Something I normally don't do. Then I sat looking at the pinkish/purplish canvas with blank thoughts.

I had NO idea what I wanted to paint.  When this happens, just like when I draw doodles, when I paint, my #1 go-to doodle, is always flowers.

I turned the canvas to its side and started to get my calming flower paint on.  So far, I liked what I was seeing.

As I started painting the petals,I kept reminding myself to remember to take pictures of each step that I was doing.  I was starting to LOVE what I was painting.  Looking good, petals!!  You're always my favorite part to paint!

Then, the more I stopped in the middle of my painting flow to stand on the chair and snap a picture from above, the more I realized that I wasn't getting my calm all.

Then it hit me! I realized that...

"I need to video tape this instead!! That way I can get into my calm, stay there, and then still show the steps, from beginning to end to my blog readers.  Yes!"

As much as I love to take pictures, I can't do it while I'm creating in this way.  When I doodle, in order for me to get into that amazing, calm zone that it brings me, I have to only focus on my doodle: drawing or painting.  It works the same with taking pictures.  It helps me focus on the moment that's happening right in front of me.  I wouldn't be able to focus on the moment, like C and L, building block figurines together oh, so nicely, while mixing up cookie dough or writing down my to-do list at the same time I'm pressing the "click" button on my camera.  

Now I have to learn how to make the videos speed up and put them on the Internet, but, once I do, I'll start putting those videos up for your viewing, get your doodle painting calm on, pleasure!

Then, the hubs and C were home and all I could hear was noise.  It wasn't bad noise, it's just thatC NEVER plays for a LONG time right outside my bedroom door.

My awesome Bose headsets broke last week, so I was using a cheaper pair that I bought in the meantime, and with these on, I could still hear EVERY sound around me.

I tried to ignore it, but all I could focus on was the noise.  She was playing nicely, but it felt like she was sitting right next to me on the floor and then when she'd knock on the door while calling out "Mommy!" over and over again, I'd continue to struggle even more to get my "calm" on.

And boy does it show in my flower.  LOL!!

I started adding green to the yellow, yellow to the pink and then pink to the yellow, which had my thoughts screaming out...

"OMG!! WHY did I just do that!?!? YUCK!  YUCK! YUCK! I need to STOP! I can't do this right now. I can ONLY do this when it's absolutely quiet in the house and when I know I'm not needed for awhile."

So, I quit.  LOL!

I'm saving it for another time, when more time allows for me to sit down and soak in the calming, feel good nourishment that doodle painting gives me. That's why, for now, I'm just getting my sharpie, curlie-cue doodles on right now.  And, those are working GREAT!

I'll be happy when more time opens up in my schedule so I can really play with my paints.  Because out of all the doodling I do, painting really does bring me the most calming nourishment!! It's amazing!

I know I could stay up late and paint, but right now, sleep is my #1 priority.  I know this phase won't last forever and before I know it, I'll have more time than ever to get an hour or so of painting in.

In the end, this doodle painting funk wasn't SO, SO awful.

I realized that it's actually WAY better for me to video tape my doodles while doing them, rather than stopping every minute or so to take a picture of every step.  This will allow me to still get my calm on AND, at the same time, still share, my step-by-step, doodle drawing and painting process with you!!  Woohoo!!!

And, because my funk was SO all over the place and I couldn't get myself into that feel good, calming place as fast as I'm used to, that tells me that I'm in some MAJOR need of doodle painting and MORE doodle drawing.  My left-brain, analytical thoughts are totally running the show, which means my right brain, calm and everything looks AMAZING, thoughts are in major need of coming out to play for longer than 10 minutes.

Because ever since I got my doodle calm on 3 years ago, I can SEE and FEEL this message SO clearly!  But, again, when I first started, I was thinking even more, negative, analytical thoughts when I sat down to get my doodle calm on and I couldn't even SEE this message at all.  Yes, my thoughts were worse than this!

I can't wait to play more with my Awful Flower and come back and share how it evolved.  One of the best things about painting!

If you don't like it, paint over it!! Woohoo! 

I hope, that after reading this, you'll see that I don't just sit down and paint the most amazing things right away and that, I, too, have analytical, left-brain funk thoughts that get in the way.

For me, it's not about the outcome, it's about how the doodling makes me FEEL (hello right brain!).  Since I've been doodling in this way, I know that, in order for me to reap the calming benefits doodling provides, my environment needs to be absolutely quiet.  Something that's super hard to get with toddlers in the house.

When you get your doodle calm on, this connection will happen for you, too!

So please don't let your fearful and "I'm not an Artist!" thoughts (hello left-brain!) stop you from getting your doodle calm on. It just takes time and the right environment to let it blossom.  An environment that'll be unique to you.

It will bring you calm and it will clear you mental funk because it is mediation.  Maybe not the first, second or third time doing it (depending on how long it's been since you've doodled like a kid).

But, just like Oprah says, what I know for sure, is the more you keep playing with doodles, the more the awesome benefits that doodling brings will show and the more you'll look at your doodles and say with confidence, out loud to yourself and to others...

"COOL!! I really LOVE what I just did!!" while sporting the giddiest smile on your face and feeling, oh, so calm.

If you give it a try...

I'd love to hear how it went for you!!  Leave me a comment below or write me on Facebook or Instagram!

Until next time...

Life IS colorfully, calm...SAVOR it up!