A Doodle is a Doodle

Do you doodle? I doodle. Here is something about doodles I didn't know: The word doodle first appeared in the early 17th century to mean a fool or simpleton. Now it means a semi-conscious act of drawing or sketching on a piece of paper when you are bored. Here is part of one of my doodles. The original is done in ink on an 11 inch x 14 inch sheet of Canson drawing paper.

This next piece is not necessarily a doodle but, I suppose some people might consider it to be so. In the beginning of my art education, the students had to do a series of 'Master Drawings' where we copied the masters. Each semester we had to do ten Master Drawings. The reason we did these is that our brain remembers what it sees and draws, thereby embedding the skills of the masters into our brains. The following is a copy of one of Dega's drawings and is done in charcoal on an 8 1/2 inch by 11 in sheet of Canson drawing paper:

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
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51 Responses to A Doodle is a Doodle

  1. ellinidata says:

    I doodle very often too,the shapes are always into flying birds but still in a doodle shape!Pam,I like your doodles,they could be a scientists favorite paintingI adore Degas,the grace in his drawings makes me want to correct my posture right away! :DPSit is no secret that I love Barack Obama and that I did my very small part for his election(like most of my friends did),the news about his boodles sold are not known to manyso,please allow me to add this :http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/a-doodle-is-worth-2000/never leave your doodles behind πŸ˜€

  2. edwardpiercy says:

    It's hard to describe my doodles. I start with the pen down on the paper and then make straight lines up down right left, forming this interlocking pattern of rectangles and squares, some of which I color in and some of which are left blank.I'm quite insane, actually.

  3. PainterWoman says:

    Angeliki: Thanks for the link. Wow, $2000 for a doodle. :eyes: I could handle that. I could pay all my bills with my doodles. A few of my doodles were done sitting with my mom whenever she had to do chemo. It would immediately take my mind off the situation and I'd become engrossed in the curly cues, lines and dots. Her oncologist, Dr. Ellen, would tell me they sometimes looked like things you'd see under a microscope. Ed: Well, if you're insane, I must be too. :p Another person asked me if I was OCD after looking at my doodles. :confused: Keep your doodles and post them. I'm serious.

  4. PainterWoman says:

    The part about keeping your doodles and posting them is to both of you. We should have a doodle posting day on Opera.

  5. ellinidata says:

    "Dr. Ellen, would tell me they sometimes looked like things you'd see under a microscope"yes, ineresting that I said above very scientific :)I am glad you shared this with your friends Pam πŸ™‚

  6. gdare says:

    I was doodling a lot when I was school boy but since I am working with computer, I stopped :left:It just occured to me that you all must be pretty sane, because doodling shows that your brains are very active, projecting thinking process through the lines and drawings on a paper. On the other hand that puts me on insane territory :insane:

  7. Huong Lan says:

    I used to doodle, and most of the time I doodled small flowers. πŸ™‚

  8. PainterWoman says:

    Darko, you are far from that territory. I think all of us are quite sane otherwise we wouldn't be able to communicate with such civility here on Opera. I'm betting that the computer has downsized the amount of people doodling because you no longer have a pencil or a pen in your hand. The mouse and surfing the web has replaced it. Lan, you can start doodling again. I have always doodled, ever since I was able to hold a crayon or pencil in my hand. Des, when I was going to art school, many of the students were doing the anime characters. I even did one, but I have to find it. p.s. I wouldn't be surprised if there has been a study on doodling. Uh oh, something else for me to look up on the internet.

  9. Des An says:

    Hi Pam,i love your doodles and i doodle my fave Japanese Anime characters especially gals :devil:

  10. zetorres says:

    Bye the way your draws are beautiful! :up:

  11. zetorres says:

    I'm almost every day! :):):)

  12. PainterWoman says:

    Hi Ze. Thanks. Yes, I draw, sketch or doodle a lot too but not everyday.

  13. zetorres says:

    :up: I believe you have much more nice draws! ;);)

  14. Suntana says:

    BTW, Pam, I don't know if you're into sports, but I see that your local Arizona Cardinals won the NFL NFC Championship and are set to go to the Super Bowl. Phoenix and all of Arizona must be going absolutely crazy right about now. I'm a Dallas Cowboys Fan myself, but since THEY are out of the picture, I hope the Arizona Cardinals win the Super Bowl. I don't want either Pittsburgh or Baltimore to win it.

  15. PainterWoman says:

    Oh no, not that clutch plate again!:lol: I can see where it does look like 'bravo' but no, I was just making little shapes inside the lines. I think I named this one 'worm doodle'. Yeah, I doodle when I'm on the phone too or if I have to wait a very long time. The big pad of paper I used to carry around got too cumbersome. Now I carry a small book of paper. As to the Cardinals, I'm not a huge sports fan so I wasn't around any sports bars, parties or anything like that but I did notice hardly any traffic earlier when I went to the store. Everyone must have been inside watching TV. I'm glad I don't live near the stadium OR have to drive anywhere near it when the game ended.

  16. Suntana says:

    Do I doodle? Well, I'll give it a shot.Yankee Doodle went to town Ah ridin' on a pony.Stuck a feather in his …:doh: That's not to what you were referring, right? :p I wouldn't say it's always necessarily that we doodle when we're bored. It's almost impossible NOT to doodle when we … Okay, when I'm on the phone. It seems to not matter whether it's a business call or an entertaining, interesting FUN call. If I happen to have a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, there WILL be doodle-age … Ummm, doodling activity. πŸ˜€ Pam, in analyzing your top doodle … you may not have realized this yourself, but I think you subconsciously doodled part of a Clutch Plate. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜† You know … in that 4th snake-like thing from the bottom, I think I ALMOST see the word "BRAVO" doodled on there. See it?

  17. gdare says:


  18. studio41 says:

    Your doodle is cool and seems complex. Is there symbolism behind it that you've thought of? Very cool practice about the master drawings. That would make good sense. Did you learn any techniques inadvertently while doing this exercise?

  19. studio41 says:

    That is an interesting something to know!

  20. PainterWoman says:

    No symbolism behind the doodles…just random lines and such.I think with the master drawings I learned that every tiny detail isn't necessary.

  21. PainterWoman says:

    πŸ˜† A square? I remember that term during the beatnik days. Beatniks were before the hippies. When I was 16 I had a black turtleneck and black peddle pusher pants (I think now they're called capri pants). That was the cool, jive talkin, finger snappin days. 😎 πŸ˜†

  22. gdare says:

    Beatniks? There is a book I remember one Beatnik wrote, Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance He described his travel from one to another side of USA riding a bike πŸ™‚

  23. PainterWoman says:

    Darko, I've heard of that book. Someone mentioned it over in Isabel's blog. Now it's going on my list of books to look for next time I go to my favorite used bookstore.

  24. FIFINELEB says:

    Second World War: your doodles make me think of a dreadful nazi weapon: the doodlebugs. There fell a lot of them in Belgium as well as everywhere in Europe. Werner Braun was experimenting them.But it also makes me think of something more funny when in the country: "Cock-a-doodle-doo ……"I think doodles can show a small side of our personality sometimes. Yours are very promising.Pam. Kind regards.http://timewitnesses.org/english/doodbug.html

  25. PainterWoman says:

    I had no idea there was a weapon with that name. I swear, I learn something everyday on here. The word has taken many names, from a simpleton in the 17th century, to a weapon, to a subconscious act someone does while on the phone, at a meeting, etc. In one of my psychology books, there were many pictures of artwork done by mental patients, mainly people with schizophrenia. It was quite interesting to see and read about. They seem to fixate on one subject and draw or paint it repeatedly. Once, I traveled about 200 miles to a small town in Arizona to see an art show of a man who had just died. He had been a mental patient. The work was all done on 11 x 14 in paper or canvas. The paper ones were done with ink pen and colored markers. All of the work would have one subject matter and he would duplicate it. I remember one being hundreds of cans of Coca Cola all piled up and filling the page. Each can was probably a half inch tall and all had the word Coca Cola on it.

  26. PainterWoman says:

    Wow, Graham, that sounds like an extremely scary procedure for the patient, especially not knowing what the outcome would be! There were times in drawing classes, where the teacher would tell us to change hands with our pencil or charcoal. Many of the students grumbled having to draw with their opposite hand. Some of us loved it. It's kind of freeing cuz you don't have the same control and the drawings aren't as precise. Then I started drawing with both hands which freaked them all out. I can't do two different drawings though, it's more like a continuous line…it's hard to explain…I start with my right hand, then continue with the left hand…and so on.

  27. gdare says:

    In 1990. when I was in Prague (Chechoslovakia back then) I have seen a street painter, one of those who will make a portrait of you for a small amount of money, with pastel colours. A thing that amazed me was that he used both hands simultaneously, at the same time. I watched as he draw a portrait of a kid, it was finished in less than 10 minutes :eyes:

  28. PainterWoman says:

    We have those street artists here too Darko. I don't see them often. It's usually if there is a fair going on or once in a while in a shopping mall. It is fascinating to watch how fast the drawing comes to completion.

  29. PainterWoman says:


  30. FIFINELEB says:

    I am afraid I can't doodle very well except when sowing in the garden. My rows of peas are often curved. Must be the wind! Haha.

  31. FIFINELEB says:

    What a big temptation! How could we resist? Yummy…

  32. PainterWoman says:

    Jean, that is classic!:lol:Angeliki, I just had pancakes so my Sunday started off quite sweet. πŸ˜€

  33. PainterWoman says:

    It surely is!

  34. ellinidata says:

    :lol:I had icecream with toasted waffles and my young and I finished the whole thing πŸ˜€ life is sweet :p

  35. Weatherlawyer says:

    Re Obama's drawers:> May 29, 2007, 5:24 pm > A Doodle Is Worth $2,000That would be worth a lot more now. Pity the recession is the time you have to sell your prized heirlooms.The Glen Miller band famously payed through a bombing run of those first unmanned missiles. They'd never experienced front line warfare, having only just come out from the USA and were naturally nervous.Then a bomb came over and the engine cut out. (At which point it falls, dead, to explode like an ordinary weapon.)And the band played on, as they say. After that he could do no wrong. His band stormed the country and "Swing" became popular here overnight -which eventually gave birth to the pop industry we all know and ermmm…He went on to become the first true great musician of a long line of future greats to die in an airplane. Cellar V1.

  36. greenwitch3 says:

    Your blog is as interesting as ever….let me answer you that yes, I doodle…even over the blackboard, hehehehe…kisses for you dear friend.

  37. greenwitch3 says:

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  38. PainterWoman says:

    WL: If someone offered me $2000…..no wait….$200 for one of my doodles, I'd sell it right now. Rocio!: I bet your students love it!

  39. Dacotah says:

    Interesting to find out the word doodle. Great doodles. πŸ™‚

  40. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks. Yes, the word doodle has taken on many meanings throughout the ages.

  41. Dacotah says:


  42. Weatherlawyer says:

    Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.

    Beatniks? There is a book I remember one Beatnik wrote, Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. He described his travel from one to another side of USA riding a bike

    It's not about motorcycling or about maintenance, it's about self analysis.You may not grasp the theme until the last chapter or so. I had an hard time getting into it but it is worth the effort if you like psychology stuff.It has a fairly nice ending of sorts. I might read it again one day. Someone'd have to be pushing it at me though. It's in the style of On the Road but it hasn't much to do with Beat.I think the book you were thinking about is Jupiter's Travels. It's about a lad who kits up to go on a world tour using the last of the old British bikes a Triumph Bonneville. He didn't get far before the oil fell out but like an idiot, he repaired it and carried on.That was Beat Generation waiting to happen. I wouldn't recommend reading that one. I've read a couple of other uninspired travel books like that.One of them had three Europeans gold prospecting in the Amazon. They were treated with the respect they deserved by their guides and thought it was genuine.I got half way through that before realising I should read it as a satire. I'd like to get hold of that again and re write it as a work of fiction.The other one was some miserable trek over the Sahara I couldn't finish. Somebody Moorcroft IIRC I think he also wrote Songlines – which is better but still depressing. It is worth reading for the content not the style.Some real Ozzie should write the definitive travelogue of some of the world's greatest explorers: The Australasian Aborigine.Preferably not a white man.I hope you don't think I am trying to pose as well-read; I just went through a phase of reading real adventure stories after I'd read all the fiction adventure stories at my library.It had never occurred to me that people would publish drivvel in that genre. But how can you be selective on a subject you know nothing about?

  43. PainterWoman says:

    Personally, I think we are all well read….in the chapters of life.

  44. PainterWoman says:


  45. quentinscrisp says:

    I like the charcoal drawing. The doodle is very interesting, too. It looks like some kind of biological (or perhaps geological) cross-section. I sometimes doodle. I seem to draw the same things all the time – plants, arrows and cliff edges. The reason we did these is that our brain remembers what it sees and draws, thereby embedding the skills of the masters into our brains. I've heard of writers doing this, too, to cure writer's block and so on – just copying out a piece of writing by a writer they admire.

  46. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks Quentin. The doodles look biological to me, like some type of amoeba. I like Degas drawings because they are soft with few hard edges. I'd have to agree about the writer's block. It makes sense. I had a terrible time in primary and secondary school when having to write about what I'd read when doing homework. I found it impossible to put things in my own words. Of course, my dad standing in back of me loudly telling me to 'WRITE' didn't help much. I finally solved this problem. I started copying down what the author had said then taking each sentence and changing it around, or changing a word or two. He never knew exactly what I was writing cuz he never read it. He just wanted that pencil to be moving.

  47. BornChimera says:

    I'm totally ignorant of art and knew nothing about doodles. your doodles do look like cells under microscopes and I like them. :)well my doodles are mostly formed into weird shapes and sometimes even weird words- which seem to spring out of nowhere and surprise me when I'm conscious again.

  48. PainterWoman says:

    Fahima, thank you for your visit and comment.I remember first drawing, or doodling, at about age 3. I had done a couple of them on a small wall space underneath my father's desk. No one knew they were there until the desk was moved to paint the wall. My parents painted around my little drawings instead of scolding me. I am glad for that. Often I doodle when waiting….such as in a doctor's office or other place. I am surprised too after I get home and remember to look at what I doodled. It is a somewhat unconscious act.

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