This piece took 38 minutes. How do I know? I know this because my phone system told me so.
I was on hold with the phone company, because for the third time this year our fax line was having “outside issues” and faxes were dying in transit. If I happen to be holding a pen while on the phone, I doodle, as many people do. Usually the wait is not so long, and at most I cover an area about three inches square. I usually start with some sort of wavy squiggle, then repeat the pattern just a bit offset until I run out of space. Then I start to crosshatch the remaining white space… then crosshatch over that again… and by the time I finish, the area is solid black. If the pen is especially inky or the paper thin, I sometimes burn right through the sheet.
This time around I started with a really big wavy shape, sort of like the number “2” and off that tail made a big igloo shape…. perhaps you can make those out. Today I knew I was in for a long wait, so decided to do the offset line thing over as much space as I could. I added some flower shapes, a bee, a snake, an eagle’s head, some clouds and a sun, even an elephant’s head and a sort of African tribal mask. Next to the bee I did some free form honeycomb shapes. I had perhaps 85% of the sheet covered by the time I hung up, and decided to zip out the rest (the lower left corner) and completely fill the page. I even worked in a signature.
My kids thought this was the coolest thing ever, and started on their own versions… my wife on the other hand declared “that’s like something a crazy person would do!”