We Are Nature – Inspired doodles

Spontaneously recurring themes

The themes of my drawings tend to reveal themselves a couple of hours into the process.
Each one develops spontaneously under tentative strokes of a 2B pencil.
Most often, my drawings seem to be about the built-in courageous heart and innate resilience we can enjoy as beings interconnectedness of All that is in the Universe.
They are also about our cellular connection to Nature.
This is illustrated by the connected blending of lines and curves with one another.
And by the free-flowing blending of colours through all shapes.
Overseeing the whole is the pervasive presence of Soul as symbolised by the various female figures who appear in several drawings.

Inspired Intention
At times, I am inspired to draw ‘Woman’ as a spirited being who joyfully does her thing against a backdrop of prehistoric fauna and flora, as in the drawing entitled, I Breathe – I Am a Tree.
Elements of ancient spirituality, casual references to our energy system and allusions to the basic emotions of the human mind show up here and there.

Whether tiny or enormous, one of my intentions is to ALWAYS make potentially scary creatures smile and appear ready to offer support rather than bite or kill, as is the case in Rafting Towards our Rainbow.
And, finally, I do my best to make each drawing as vibrant and subtly meaningful as possible.

Why do I draw what I draw?
No idea, really.
I have no recollection of playing with colouring pencils as a child.
A couple of decades ago, I did a few oil paintings. They were figurative in Nature. The invented shapes were somewhat whimsical and idiosyncratic.

I find it interesting that my current drawing style has evolved from a one-of ‘vision board’ type of drawing I did back in 2019 while keeping my 85-year-old mother engaged in colouring-book activities.
The content of that first drawing was sparse.
The human forms were stick figures, and the rendition of objects was intentionally naive.

Once that first drawing was completed in 5 hours spread over two weeks, I felt inspired to try another approach by allowing shapes to show themselves on the page and test the possibilities of basic colour pencils.
Lucid Mind-Meanderings and Which Way Is Up, transitionary drawings, are also sparse in detail.

When rotated bottom up or sideways, certain drawings like Lion-hearted, We Are, Gecko Me and Mmm …, several other-wise unidentified shapes will come into focus.

Clearly, but for reasons unbeknown to me, my current art form has developed a penchant for ancient objects and prehistoric ‘life’ as main motifs. However, I have never had any particular interest in those topics. Nor for rugged, sparsely treed yet water-fed backdrops where weird, often skeletal little creatures like to frolic.
Figure it 😊

Still today, I draw only when in my mother’s company to encourage her to keep colouring despite the deepening Alzheimer’s related decline in vision/spatial issues and hand coordination.
The drawing entitled Alzheimer’s Is captures one of our joint drawing moments.

Our drawing moments take place on the balcony of her room in the Aged Care Centre where she now resides.
One day, I gently challenged her to draw the tall palm tree directly in her line of vision, and, at some point, I was moved to capture this moment.
The ‘tree’ on the left-hand side is my mother’s rendition of the palm tree which I later drew next to it.

The process
My current drawings are done on A4 (210mmX297mm) sketch paper.
They take between 15 to 20 hours to develop in a stop-start manner, about one hour per session.
I see the process as a metaphor for life generated, as it is, through the continuous choices we make throughout the string of nano moments that make up our 3-D reality underfoot.

Here is why:
Once I decide to draw a couple of specific motifs, the clock starts with the first stroke of the pencil on the page.
And then comes the slow but enjoyable and always surprising detailed emergence of each of these motifs as they reveal themselves through the gentle erasing of the first set of markings on the page.

I observe the faint outlines that remain and notice where within those lies an array of possibilities to explore through more light and tentative pencil work.
I repeat the process of rubbing out lightly and observing where new markings might be exploited until, finally, I am satisfied with each motif, as it finally appears on the page.

Reality check: I find it fascinating to see how faint pencil marks suggest a potential shape which is up to me to accept and develop or reject
Isn’t this how we ‘do’ life throughout our day-to-day?
One emotion, one reaction, one choice at a time?

It goes without saying that in its finished form, whether it’s a tree-woman, a goddess, a dragon or a lion’s head, each ‘featured’ item looks incredibly different from what I had in mind at the start.
Then, before applying the first layer of colours, I go over every shape, however large or minuscule it is, with a fine line pen.

Once the first layer of colours is applied, I turn my attention to the background, which also emerges from mostly rubbed out shapes.
Then comes the unpredictable arrangement of ‘lines and blobs’ that creates the texture of the background.
It results from sliding a smooth piece of bark, rock, shell or carving under the page, rubbing over it with a colouring pencil – and mixing it up.

After a while, colour pencils no longer add colour over colour and, too soon, what was almost bright enough becomes dull.
So, I print the drawing to produce a new, pre-coloured base layer ready to receive added colours.

Always on the lookout for more emerging details, before adding the new layers of colour to the print, I outline each shape again and again with a black pencil or fine marker, depending.

Finally, here and there, I smear dots of watercolour to add more depth and vibrancy to the whole.

In Progress :-)

I write a lot more than I draw and I draw only when in my mother’s company to encourage her to keep colouring despite the deepening Alzheimer’s related decline in vision/spatial issues and hand coordination. One day in 2019, six colouring pencils on a sketchpad began shaping my 1st ‘inspired doodle’.
Lovin’ it :-))


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Tous Lies – Interconnected

Aren’t the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and extreme weather events illustrating very graphically how, as humans, fauna and flora living within the cosmos, we totally interconnected and interdependent on each other?


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Lion-Hearted, WE Are

Uncomfortable questions: how to become bold and brave?
How to develop calm as we raise a fist in peaceful protest against our herd mentality?
Against glaring inequities?
Against whatever we think is wrong near and far and wish to make right in our homes and in our communities?

Maybe ‘bold and brave’ is what overtakes us once we realise the need to show up for our selves.
Maybe it’s what happens when we realise the need to show up for each other.
‘Bold and Brave’ is what infuses us once we realise – and accept – that whatever happens in our day-to-day is on us.
It is what comes upon us once we realise What-Is is ours to deal with it in the only real moment that is – the moment which exists between each of our deep inhales and slow exhales.

It is then – and only then – that we enable our selves to actively and coherently surrender to What-Is in the moment underfoot.

So, we let go of the ‘poor me’ mindset.
We let go of the impulse to shift blame, too.
We no longer indulge emotions that make us say, “Look what you made me do!” or “Your bad karma is making me sick,” or “Bad things happen to good people. I really didn’t deserve that!’

Reality check: our emotions are ours.
Our thoughts and beliefs are ours.
Our actions/reactions/inactions are ours.
Our coherent responses to what-Is are ours.
They are the best we can do in any given moment.
We can always do better tomorrow.

Heads up: as we raise a brave but peaceful fist, we understand that we need structure.
That we need discipline.
That we need to break down the wall of fear.
We have to let go of the fear that, just as we are – even when we feel we are feeling/thinking and reacting at our best – we are not seen as relevant.
Not worthy of trust, of genuine connections – of love.

Once we begin to truly understand and accept all of that, then, we become Lion-Hearted.

We see what there is to see – we feel what there is to feel – with our kind lion’s heart. 😊


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The Moment Flows By

We would never beg the universe to bring upon us a challenge just so that we can recalibrate our feelings, thoughts and priorities, but these moments are delivered to our doorstep anyway.
Our negative inner voice is not going to change.
It cannot change on its own.
We need to interrupt the unconscious flow of thoughts that we accept as ours the split second we notice them.
So, we need to limit the flow of our words.

And we interrupt the automated language of our everyday consciousness.
In doing so, we allow in creativity and insight.
We smile encouragingly at our selves.
We appreciate our own efforts.
We are curious as to where ‘all that’ will lead us.
When we’re ready to begin a courageous conversation with our selves, we begin to tackle the roots of the CAUSE for that negativity.


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Rafting Towards Our Rainbow

True mastery of rafting begins with the management of the currents.
Of submerged rocks.
Of the winds.
Of greater, stronger, faster waves.
Of their peaks. Of their troughs.

As we trim down our little sails, we trim down our objective to bite-sized habits,
We anchor new habits like refraining from judging anyone.
We remember the golden rule to treat others as we would like them to treat us.
We refrain from gossiping about anyone.
About anyone at all.
No exception.

We refrain from complaining. Instead, we cultivate the understanding that, after all – and no matter what – our glass is more than half-full.
We develop the courage to tell those whose behaviour is hurting us that we feel the hurt.
We forgive even the ones who have wronged us.

We develop a new form of courage, too.
Like that of saying sorry a heartfelt sorry even when we’re not totally at fault.
Though we don’t have the luxury of dropping anchor anywhere, we do anchor our intentions.
We acknowledge each of the moments we handled as best as we could in the moment.
We celebrate ourselves so whole-heartedly that our mind gets the message that doing ‘it’ in that new way is what makes us happiest.


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I Breathe – I Am The Tree

Soul is never ‘troubled’.
She is never ‘lost’, Never dark or sad.
These emotions and moods belong to our ego-persona.
So, we understand the scientific confirmation that we are truly made of the same protons and neutrons as all that IS.
Alan Watts was the British theologian who, in the 1950s, brought ancient spiritual philosophies to the west.
As he said, “What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”
And so, we consciously choose to expand into an awareness of oneness with ALL that is, be it seen or unseen – known or unknown – near or far.


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Warriors We Are

Courage comes from our willingness to trust and be humble little blind mice in a maze. No idea in which direction lie the coveted morsels of cheese. No idea behind which are hidden the punishing electrical pulses.

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Tough Stuff: thought control

It's Cultural. It's Not us.

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