Doodling in French
My friend, Jo Packham, woman of a thousand ideas, asked if I would be interested in doing a doodle book. But of course, I answered, knowing full well that I don’t doodle but unable to say no to an opportunity to create that wonder of all entities… a book! When it came time to do the proposal I thought hard about how I could take Jo’s idea and turn it into something that was “mine.” I went back to the root of my first creative endeavors many moons ago—sketching—and decided to combine this with collage, something I’ve been playing with for the past decade. When I looked around my studio for those first little images to draw, what did I see but so many things from my travels to France. A latte bowl, a fleur de lys covered pastry bag, a stack of cartes postales. It took a few afternoons to realize what I was up to, but it eventually dawned on me that I was doodling in French. Aha! A book of my own was born, one which became a labor of love from that moment forward.
Surrounded each day with decorative papers and vintage ephemera that I’ve gathered from flea markets through the years, I would begin with an assortment of scraps that could be an inspiring background for the drawing itself. I would then find ways to incorporate these random bits into a collage, building a story or simply providing a nostalgic “home” of sorts. It was great fun using my collections… postage stamps, handwritten letters, old receipts—all were fair game. Each page was cut and paste, I never used a computer. This was a maddening process at times, but for the most part, greatly satisfying for someone who still likes the feel of paper and scissors in my hands. In fact, once I got going, it was hard to stop.
These days, sketching has become a part of my process again and I’m thankful for this adventure that brought me full circle.
Are you a Francophile, and if so, what’s your favorite iconic French thing? Leave a comment on Anna’s post below and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of Doodling in French that we’ll reward to one randomly selected mademoiselle or monsieur (giveaway valid in the US and Canada only). Bonne chance!
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