Doodling is a stim, and here is a doodle about stimming. A stim-themed doodle-stim/stim-doodle.
How very meta.
[Image: A portrait-orientation doodle, in coloured pen, featuring the word “stim” in ALL CAPS repeated five times, in varying fonts, colours and styles. The words are decorated with, and surrounded by, many line-drawn shapes and patterns.]
This image is much more overtly a “doodle” than some of my others. I started it in a manager’s office at work, where I’d been give some space and time to recover from a severe crying meltdown in response to some bad news, delivered some six months ago. after a period of uncertainty.
I see it as being more of a stim than a piece of art. The repeated stars somewhat irregular in position and size but nevertheless predictable in shape, the comfort and reassurance of a palette restricted to seven colours, albeit bright and cheerful ones, but in muted pencil instead of loud pen – all these things served to soothe the pain of my shaken, chaotic senses and emotions.
Plus, rainbows and stars. What’s not to like?
[Image description: a doodle, in portrait orientation, of five-pointed stars outlined in black fineliner pen, and filled in with colouring pencils in rainbow colours. Some stars overlap others, and they vary in sizes.]
I stopped for 20 minutes painted this on the iPad on the way home from work last Thursday. It’s a good exercise in discipline to try and do art work within a tight timeframe — I prefer obsessing over detail, but I think it’s helpful to hone my skills of observation and composition, in particular, by dashing some stuff off very quickly. I also feel somewhat as if I’m laying myself bare by posting something so “imperfect”, but that doing so helps me agonise less over others’ perceptions of me.
Detail is beautiful, but for my own self-care I’m occasionally trying to let it go, as a way of addressing some aspects of my anxiety.
I still have so much to learn.
[Image description: A full colour, landscape orientation digital painting of a wooded area of an urban park in springtime. The sky is blue, and there is a red-brick building in the background, and a path to the right of the picture. The painting style is rudimentary and impressionistic. The composition is not ideal, with rather too much grass in the foreground.]
This is another image doodled in pen in one of my little Moleskine journals back in the autumn (fall) of 2017. But regardless of it not being bonfire season at the moment, there really is something about fire and flames that makes this worth sharing now.
I don’t light fires for fun.
But I find the intricate shapes and patterns caused by rising flames to be mesmerising and soothing. During the autumns and winters of my childhood, I remember so often sitting in front of the open fire, losing myself in its warmth, the gentle crackle, and the captivating, fluid orange glow. A powerful stim if ever there was one.
[Image: A stylised full-colour drawing of a bonfire, drawn in fineliner and felt-tip pens, with many swirling flames against a midnight blue background.]
I deliberately lengthen my walk to work these days so I can take myself through a couple of parks and get a little bit of nature before I set foot in the office. And I’ve resolved to use painting and drawing as a method for mindfulness, given that I’m the kind of person who struggles to keep still long enough to do a seated meditation – to stop off and try and capture something in the moment, as well as giving me a good way of practising both technique and skills of observation.
I’m still messing about, really, when it comes to digital painting. I have a lot to learn!
At the moment I’m aware I use too many different media/brush styles in one picture. But it’s fun to play around with the tools.
[Image description: a digital painting of an ornamental cherry tree in full blossom.]