Do You Doodle?


When you were in school taking notes from your teachers lecture, did you doodle on your paper? I know I did and I think most of us did. I don’t envy students today that take notes on their laptops, its harder to doodle and write at the same time like we did “back in the day”.

What about now? Have you doodled lately? How about on your shopping list or your to-do list? Well, why not?

  • Doodling is fun!
  • Doodling is relaxing!
  • Doodling is meditative!
  • Doodling is good hand eye-coordination exercise!
  • Doodling is therapeutic!
  • Doodling is creative!
  • Doodling is soothing!
  • Doodling is beneficial in many ways!
  • Doodling takes you away!

Convinced yet? Give it a try and find out what I’m writing about. I think you’ll like it!  Let me be your guide.  You’ll need a small piece of paper, a pencil and a pen.

If you haven’t done any doodling in a while, you may find a blank piece of paper a little intimidating. That’s why I want you to start with a small piece of paper, business card, book-marker or index card sized. Now using your pencil, put a dot in each corner then connect the dots with lines.  Don’t worry if they’re straight or not, you’re just doodling.  Now that you have a limited area to work with, is it less intimidating? Scribble a simple line or lines around in your framed area and you’re ready to get started.

Next, pick up a pen (leave that pencil alone now, no cheating) and get started. Use your pencil scribble as a guide and fill in the area’s you discover with cross-hatched lines, grids, dots, spirals, boxes, basket weave, spikes, swirls, and anything else you can imagine. Do you have a favorite way to doodle?

I’d like to give a shout-out here to for the idea of framing in an area and using a scribble as a guide.  If you enjoy doodling you should check out their site, they have some amazing ideas for more doodling which you can in find in their  kits.

Here are some of my doodles for you to see how its done.  Don’t try to copy mine, just look at them to get the idea and go do your own thing.  Enjoy!

red doodle

purple doodle

black doodle

brown doodle

Watch this video put out by Jerry’s Artarama (an art supply store)  more information.


Is your painting gathering dust?

Do you have an oil painting that’s covered with dust and/or light dirt?  Even in the cleanest homes, a painting can accumulate dust.  If its an old painting you may want to take it to an art restorer, but for light housecleaning here’s what to do:

Gather the items you’ll need –

  1. Soft Brush – You will need a very soft brush.  An old shaving cream brush, a baby toothbrush or baby hairbrush will do fine.  I found a duster at Dollar General that is like a long haired shaving brush.
  2. Soft bread – This needs to be the doughiest white bread you have.   Sourdough bread, French or Italian bread, or even the inside of a bagel will work.
  3.  Towel – lay your painting on a soft, clean surface, like a towel.

Now we’re ready to start cleaning –

Using your soft brush, gently brush the dirt off.  Don’t apply pressure to the canvas, you don’t want to dent, stretch, scratch or warp it.

Now take your piece of white bread and tear out a piece from the middle.  Use this piece to gently brush and dab the dirt off your painting. Just barely brush the painting in small areas using very little or no pressure.

You should brush dust and dirt off your paintings as described once every 3 months for regular cleaning.


I recently came across an old painting that I hadn’t finished.  I’d like to finish it but its covered with dust, so I’ll clean it off in the way I described above as an example for you.


Mishap…mistake…or misprint?

news (2)Last Saturday I set up my vendor booth at a small town reunion festival in the heart of SC. It is a yearly event on the Saturday closest to the Fourth of July but this year was a little different. The former leader of the reunion committee passed away last year. Eliza Claxton was a wonderful woman, loved by many for her generous ways. I found out at her memorial service that I was only one of many people in Calhoun County, SC that she uplifted in some way. I may never have started selling my art at festivals if not for her encouragement.

8 years ago, I was selling some of my work at the local flea market when a neighboring vendor suggested I get a booth at the Fort Motte festival. I told her I wasn’t a good enough artist or salesperson to sell at festivals. One reason I was working at the flea market was to get used to talking to people about my art and learn how to sell from a booth, but I was reluctant to make the switch to working as a “real” artist at a festival. Anyway, this woman talked me into calling the coordinator of the festival and when I called Eliza Claxton, she was friendly and talked me into getting a booth.  I thought I could do it since it was a small festival and only 10 miles from home (about as close as anything in my rural area).

The first time I showed up at the festival, knowing no one and feeling very unsure of myself, Eliza walked up to me and gave me a big smile and a hug and welcomed me to her community. She continued to mentor me in more ways than I can say.  I will always be able to hear her voice introducing me to people as “our artist”. I felt so proud every time I heard her say this, she really inspired me to share my art with others.

I’m primarily a landscape painter, but sometimes will draw quick portraits at festivals.  Eliza had me draw her many years ago during the Fort Motte festival and after she passed away I felt the need to try to paint her portrait.  I knew she would encourage and support me in this effort if she was still with us, and would share the results with everyone she knew.  So this year, I took the barely finished portrait to the festival to share with those who loved Eliza.  Many people visited my booth to see her portrait and some even took snapshots.

Two weeks later I was surprised to see my painting in the local newspaper printed along with an article submitted by the Fort Motte Reunion Committee about the festival and Eliza Claxtons part in it.  Feeling a little awed and proud, I began feeling worse as I read the article and found no mention of the painting or the artist. I had not given anyone permission to reproduce the picture.  I was surprised that no one told me it would be in the paper, but I was shocked that I saw no mention of my name as the artist.

I realize it may not have violated copyright laws since no one made money from it, but I feel like it was disrespectful and my tribute to Eliza was besmirched and belittled.  I hadn’t even finished signing the work and certainly hadn’t planned for it to be publicized.  What’s the world coming to?  Is there no respect for the printed image now that the internet has made everything public?  I’d like to know your thoughts about this situation.

Are Websites necessary for artists?

Are websites really necessary for artists? I’d like to know what you think.

I feel like I need a website to look professional, but I don’t think many people really look at my website, word of mouth seems more effective for me. My Facebook ‘Hillview Art Gallery’ page has more visitors than my website, but many of my customers are not on FB, making the need for a website imperative. It feels more professional to be able to hand visitors to my festival booth a card with a website address on it.

Do you think an artist needs to have a website with photo’s of their artwork and a biography?

I decided to renewed my website and domain name with They have hosted my website in the past and they are very helpful and informative. I hope you will visit it soon.

Sign my guestbook and I’ll send you a post card featuring one of my paintings.

Before You Start Arguing About Hobby Lobby

Read this very sensible post about Hobby Lobby for the truth about big business vs the rest of us.

The Boeskool

…. Please consider a few things.

Q: Know what happens when fewer women have access to birth control? A: The number of unwanted pregnancies goes up. And guess what happens when there are more unwanted pregnancies…. You guessed it–More abortions. So there’s something to think about….

"The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield." ~ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” ~ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

You know what? The family who runs Hobby Lobby is probably really nice. I’ve never met them, but I’d be willing to bet that if my wife and I ate dinner at their house, at the end of the night we’d would walk out the giant front door, get our minivan from the valet, and while we were driving home we’d talk about what nice people they were (right after we’d gotten done talking about how ridiculously huge their house was). And you know what? The same is probably true for most of…

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