Z is for Zentangle

My first Zentangle

My first Zentangle

I’ve always wanted to be able to draw, but I’m awful at it.

A few weeks ago, I talked about having to Google “how to doodle.”  That’s a true thing.  I did that.

But because I don’t follow directions well, it wasn’t very helpful to me.  I did figure out how to sketch a few specific things.

I like the idea of drawing.  Even though I’m not a visual thinker, sometimes it’s nice to just move a pen or pencil on paper for something other than writing words.  It helps me think.  I can only make so many hearts, spirals, and squiggles.

One day, while I was Googling “art journals,” I found someone who talked about Zentangle.  Zentangle is a form of doodle art that involves sectioning off small squares of paper and making repetitive shapes.  It’s so easy that anyone (even I) can do it.  Even though it’s simple to do, it looks like real art. Making repetitive shapes does exactly what I wanted it to; it gives me thinking time.  I tend to think best when I’m doing something else, but it’s a fine balance to find something that doesn’t take too much concentration.  Sometimes when I try to get into thinking time, I get too interested in what I’m doing, and I forget to think about what I wanted to think about.

There are lots of Zentangle books and tutorials online.  Even if you’re not the least artsy, I suggest giving it a try.

D is for Drawing

For the Blogging A to Z Challenge this month, I’m going to post a different letter of the alphabet every day. I’m trying to stick to the theme of “Things I Love.”

I love to draw.

The fact that I’m not very good at it is beside the point.

My stick figures look like a kindergartener drew them.  When I got back into journaling not too long ago, I wanted to start adding doodles to my work.  I can draw spirals and stars, hearts and 3-D boxes.  Since I wanted to expand my drawing horizons a little bit, I actually Googled “how to doodle.”

Yes, I actually did.


Original artwork by Doree Weller Isn't it wonderful?

Original artwork by Doree Weller
Isn’t it wonderful?

I think drawing is like dancing.  Some of us are just self-conscious about it.  I took art as an elective in high school, and I watched other students.  Their wrists were relaxed as they sketched pencil lines and shaded things that turned into actual drawings.  I never wanted to be an artist, but I wanted to learn how to make those pencil lines.

I think it’s the nature of being human to yearn for something you’re not good at.  I have many other talents, but none of them have filled that space where I wanted to draw.  I use color to make up for my lack of talent.

One of these days, I’ll take a drawing class, and hopefully I’ll learn to relax my wrist.  I don’t have great aspirations of becoming an artist.  I’d just like to be able to use pencils to create a shadow of my internal landscape.  Even if I can never capture it, the fun is in trying, right?

Do you like to draw?  Are you any good at it, or are you more like me?

C is for Creativity

For the Blogging A to Z Challenge this month, I’m going to post a different letter of the alphabet every day. I’m trying to stick to the theme of “Things I Love.”

I love things that wake up the creative part of my brain.

Pinterest is strangely good for this.  I love browsing quotes, interesting places, ideas for journaling, and drawing tips.  There’s a fine balance with this though.  While it can help me get un-stuck, I can also get sucked into the black hole and end up wasting time.

Drawing and coloring also make me feel creative.  I’m not the best at drawing, but I enjoy it, and doodling does give my brain time to get into that creative space.

I used to wait around to feel creative, but it’s true that if I sit down at my computer and don’t allow myself to browse Pinterest, Facebook, email, webcomics, or the million other things that are waiting to distract me, I tend to feel more creative.  Sometimes it just takes a moment to sit, breathe, and remind myself to be where I am.

What makes you feel creative?


San Tan Mountains, Arizona Photo Credit: Doree Weller

San Tan Mountains, Arizona
Photo Credit: Doree Weller


I came across this link for the World Bodypainting Festival, and wow!  I’ve seen body paint done before.  Anyone who’s seen X-men knows that artists can do amazing things with paint and the human body.  Still, many of these surprised me.  Looking at these pictures, I thought how useful they could be for sci-fi writers to use some of these images as inspiration.

I admire and even envy the artists who came up with these designs.  I’ve always wished I could be more of a visual artist and do a better job with describing things, drawing, etc.  I took art classes in high school, and most of my stuff looked like it came out of elementary school.  I have friends who draw, and their hands look so fluid and graceful when they sketch.  These just aren’t things that come naturally to me.

That’s why I collect images and links to all sorts of interesting things.  I know that if I ever need inspiration, there will be artists out there who’ve had the vision I lack.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

As a writer, I think of myself as a pretty creative person.  One place I lack is in the “visual” realm.  I don’t do well at setting the scene.  I love art, drawing and painting.  Unfortunately, my drawing looks like it was done by a 2nd grader.  Even my stick figures don’t look polished.  It’s too bad because my grandmother was a pretty good artist.  She drew and painted, but I didn’t inherit that gene.

When my husband and I visited LA, we went on the Warner Brothers studio tour.  One of my favorite parts was the tour through the prop rooms.  I snapped a bunch of pictures, thinking that when I write a story, I can reference the prop room.  That’s one of the reason I take so many pictures of random things.  My pictures are my own personal prop room, so that when I’m writing a story, I can more easily set the scene if I have something to refer to.

(It was either post about the prop room or post yet another picture of my garden.  You’re welcome.)