Through Concentrated Breath

making images from memory

The Rules of Doodling 5

22 November 2017 by Rey Armenteros

And here I’ve come to the end of the line, and I can only conclude that you can play with rules in your doodles, but you can’t shackle yourself to them. The rules themselves are not important. They are there to serve the flow of ideas and to have the images come together in certain ways.

I can’t say how important the doodle is to my art. On the one hand, until recently, I didn’t doodle at all; I hadn’t done so for many years. But in the random ways I arrive at images, you can conclude that I have been doodling in paint for all that time.

In some paintings, I make the doodle show its genealogical imprint through scribbling lines and incomplete drawings. I have a few examples that emulate the look of doodles and scratchy sketches. The problem is they are paintings and not doodles. I like looking at these pieces with their broad similarities to pen and ink, but I don’t number them among my stronger pieces. They feel forced. What is the point of pursuing a meaningless exercise only to take the “plastic paper” it sits on and adhere it to a painted panel and then call it a painting?

There are more natural ways to incorporate the doodle. The general process is to start something with a doodle and finish with something else. There is an idea I’ve been following where I make rows of rudimentary doodles on a large acrylic skin and then only flesh out the doodles that somehow come alive for me. I add colors or darker lines and locate details. The doodles that get this special treatment remind me of the panels on a comic book page. My mind gets busy turning these possibilities around, and a new path appears before me…

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