With only a week to go before Cornwall’s Open Studios begins, Doodie is racing around ensuring that everything is ready for the first opening day. From the 27th May to the 4th June Artists across Cornwall ‘throw’ open their doors to allow the public to get a privileged and unique insight into the homes of people from one of the most creative counties in the UK.
Hailing from Kent and then slowly working her way to the South West coast Doodie wasn’t always a doodler. It was only a later in life that she picked up a pencil and decided to see what would happen. She started small, just playing around with ideas and concepts, building up her confidence and the size of her drawings as things progressed. After a while it was clear that she was having fun, but would have to move from pencil to colour in order to develop her art. Fantastical images started to jump out the page and Doodie also started to try more landscapes in square format; a format which works surprisingly well for landscapes. She started to receive attention from people who saw her work and wanted to buy.
Now this presented an all too familiar dilemma; she was pleased to make money from her work but at the same time she didn’t want to hand it over to someone else!
The solution? To make limited prints of her work – ideal!
The next revelation came after a visit to a David Hockney exhibition. Considered as one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century, it’s not surprising that Doodie was inspired from one of his exhibitions.
But what was so unique about it?
Technology. Hockney has painted hundreds of portraits, still lifes and landscapes using an iPhone or iPad. This form of digital art causes a variety of reactions in people; some good, some bad.
Digital art – that’s not real art is it?!
Traditionalists snub digital art; there is a perceived element of perhaps cheating by using a computer rather than hand. But wait a minute – it’s still your hand creating the art, just onto a computer rather than paper, using software tools instead of a pencil or brush. Doodie has seen beyond this short sighted limitation and her art has developed in this direction, and one that I applaud.
Interestingly Doodie pointed out that if you make a point of saying that a piece of art was created on a computer, people seem less interested, however if they see the piece first, then find out that it’s done on an iPad – well now that’s an interesting twist to an artwork that has their attention.
It’s an inspired way of working and personally I am fascinated by it.
I noticed that while Doodie has fantastical images she also has a handful of Newquay doodles, I wondered whether that was to cater for the local market or just because the area is so inspiring. She pointed out that when working with galleries they have a certain target audience in mind and therefore are on the lookout for certain images, but luckily it’s not a chore to create Cornish landscape art and the scenery is very inspiring.
Moving on from her process I asked Doodie what her favourite doodle is. Can you guess – if you’re an artist you probably can. It’s the doodle she’s just finished – what an amazing and satisfying way to work.
I also asked her on tips for artists just starting out. The main bit of advice and something I’ve heard many times is; don’t do it for the money. You need to do it because you love doing it and create what gives you joy.
Doodie also said to keep it simple. Creating art isn’t just about the art itself but about what you do with it; getting your work out in-front of people, working on your online presence, printing leaflets, getting out to local businesses – it all takes a lot of time and hard work – always more than you think it will. So keep it simple, don’t try to do everything all at once, focus on key areas and work on those first.
Now the Cornwall Open Studios are around the corner and Doodie is preparing for an enjoyable week where she can meet new people and relish watching peoples’ reaction to her art. While it can be quite hard work putting it together and ensuring that you are available, the reward of being able to talk to other people who also love art is compensation enough. If she sells some work, well then that’s a bonus.
I’m thoroughly inspired – thank you Doodie! I can’t wait to come and see your work in person.
If you’re about in Cornwall Doodie’s Doodles Exhibition starts Saturday 27th May and runs till Friday 2nd June, 11am till 5pm at 3 Riverside Avenue, Newquay, on the Pentire Headland.
Alternatively get in touch with Doodie via her facebook page @DoodiesDoodles