Posts Tagged 'shapes'

Art as a Grand Experiment, and the Great Idea Machine Continued

After yesterday’s new Idea Machine invention, you know I could not go on without making more models of my Idea Machine. Here it goes:

“Idea Machine, Model T,” 8.5 x 11 inches, pen and ink, available here in my shop.

“Idea Machine, Model M,” 8 x 10 inches, pen and ink, available here in my shop

These idea machines are all a little crooked and crazy, and I love them for that. They are just the kind of wild creativity I hope to live in every day! In my shop, I started describing them as coming from the laboratory of my brain, kind of like a mad scientist machine with test tubes and beakers—how true that is.

The more art I make, the more it feels like a grand experiment in making—each drawing is just one little piece in part of a larger exploration. I realized recently how important this view has been in enabling me to continue making art over the long-term—learning to let go of each piece and let it be what it is—a step to the next piece, and the next, in the widening spiral of my creative life.

If you look at it this way, you can go forward fearlessly creating anything that inspires you, and even if it doesn’t turn out quite how you hoped, there is always the next piece. This takes the pressure off and lets you learn what you can learn from the piece you’re working on and then make the next move. To be honest, this philosophy saves me all the time, and I think in order to be an artist or maker of any sort, you must live by it—it will set you free to make the things you are here to make, and let your heart sing, as I so adamantly discussed last week.

Another thought that I’ve been wondering on: how amazing it will be to see what I am making when I’m 80 years old, after 50+ years of experimenting. It ought to be a site! I am saying many soft prayers to the sky hoping that all of us will live long enough to see what we are making at 80! For now, happy experimenting!


Idea Machine, Model A

You know how ideas work—one idea leads to another and another and another, and before you know it, you’re in a completely different place than you ever could have imagined at the beginning? Well, that’s what struck me when I was minding my own business drawing some triangles this morning, and then this idea phenomenon took real form in my drawing:

“Idea Machine, Model A,” 6 x 8.5 inches, pen and ink, original available here in my shop

In my head, I started seeing test tubes and some crazy mad-scientist machine. What fun! Perhaps I will be back with a deluxe model tomorrow!

Happy triangle day! I hope your day has three sides and is as fun as a triangle.


After having so much fun drawing my antelope a couple of days ago, I thought I’d try my hand at another member of the animal kingdom:

“Elephant,” 8 x 10 inches, pen and ink, original available here in my shop

I would like to say that this was a drawing of pure joy and fun, but that would be a lie! Instead, it was a drawing of many ups and downs—wild, abandon, fun from beginning to middle, and then mild panic until the end, as I created some small problems for myself and pondered how to fix them.

I think I’ve said before that my more line and shape (abstract-ish) work is pretty improvisational—I don’t do a ton of planning. This flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants is really fun and free, but you can also easily back yourself into a corner, and there aren’t any take-backs with pen on white paper. I spent the entire morning yesterday on this drawing, and then it stayed in my mind all day as I tried to figure out how to finish it. I finished it in a sleepy mania last night before going to bed, promising myself not to fuss with it anymore.

Ah, perfectionism. Ah, the ego. Today, as I look on it with fresh eyes (without the microscope eye of being in the middle of making), I am satisfied, and as usually happens with something like this, with time I will love this drawing, even if just for the time I put in, and the process of making it. Now, onto the next work—what will I draw today? There’s so much possibility in that question!

What will you make today?

Oh, the Antelopes

This morning, I sat down and started drawing—one triangle, then another, and then I thought, “Why don’t I try to draw a fish?” I was thinking I could leave the inside of the fish empty and use triangles as an outline. After going along for a while, something wasn’t quite right, but I continued on to see what I could make of it. As I sat there trying to figure out where to go, in walks Mike (my husband). He says in passing, “That looks like an antelope.”

I looked at my drawing for a minute, and thought, “hmm, an antelope?” Then, I thought for another moment, and said to myself “An antelope!” This spun me in a new direction and led me to internet surfing for pictures of antelopes, and then drawing a couple more intentional antelopes myself. {thanks Mikes} After a couple of trials, this is lucky version number three, and what I’m calling my final version:

“Antelope,” 7 x 8.25 inches, pen and ink, original is available here in my shop

Yay for antelopes, although aren’t they the ones who always get helplessly cornered and massacred in nature shows? I seem to have a memory of antelopes (impalas?) running around while desperately being chased by a lion or tiger.

I am one of those people who cringes whenever she sees a dead animal on the side of the road, so watching the lovely antelopes leaping around the desert, trying to escape their big bad predators seems so sad to me. But it’s nature, right?!

Anyway, here’s to one of nature’s underdogs with some mighty fine horns (and a blue bicicletta triangle twist)! Happy day to you!

Triangle Dream

What is the difference between a prayer and a dream? Hmmm. An interesting question. After my Triangle Prayer drawing the other day, I sat down to draw another, but found myself thinking Triangle Dream the entire time while drawing, and so it is:

“Triangle Dream,” 5 x 7 inches, pen and ink, available here in my shop.

I am tempted to pull out the old dictionary.

And so I will: From Oxford:

prayer: 1. a solemn request or thanksgiving to God or an object of worship. 2. An entreaty to a person or a thing entreated or prayed for.

dream: 1. a series of pictures or events in the mind of a sleeping person. 2. a daydream or fantasy. 3. an ideal, aspiration, or ambition.

Perhaps I have linked the two concepts in my head more than they ought to be, but maybe a dream is the thing you are conjuring up in your head, and the prayer is the actual asking for it. In that sense, they are two parts of the same process, although I think far too many people stop at the dreaming stage.

I have learned (and learned again and again and again) through this art life of mine, that you must ASK. ASK for what you want—ask the universe, ask a stranger, ask your mother, ask yourself. Ask anyone, just ASK. Put it out there as more than just a dream, but as something you would really love to create or have. You never know what might happen! Of course, after the ask, comes the do. Doing, perhaps is even more important than asking. Doing is the answer to the question.

Well, there is my motivational philosophizing for today.

I also like to think of this drawing as a triangle dreaming. That really amuses me.

Triangle Prayer

a triangle prayer for you today:

“Triangle Prayer,” 5 x 7 inches, pen and ink, available here in my shop

Often the titles of my drawings can excite me as much as the drawings themselves. What can I say, I love words. Prayer. I’ve always loved that word, not because I’m religious (I’m not), but because there is so much hope in the word, and a lot of humanity—like we must pray because we are human and can’t possibly grasp even one tiny part of what’s going on. We pray because we are small.

I also just love the word itself—the letter “y” seems so English to me, and it makes the word sound old. I love old things. Turns out “prayer” comes from Middle English from Old French “preire,” and if you know a romance language (at least Italian), the word for prayer is very close to “prayer,” minus the “y.” So it’s interesting, that “y.” It makes it English.

And I just think about the history of that word, how many tongues it has passed, and hearts, and the little old women kneeling and whispering. This writing is unleashing a torrent of memories, like sitting on the cold marble in St. Peter’s in Rome listening to the nuns praying. There is a very specific moment I have in mind, that one when I had a very severe crush on the person sitting next to me, so there was this complicated mixture of things in my heart—the nuns praying, and my heart praying, and the feel of the cool marble, and the enormous high ceilings, and the longing. In that moment there was the mystery and completely arresting flood of everything.

Don’t you love those kinds of transporting memories? The moment will stay in me for the rest of my life, even if my companion that day turned out to be nothing.

And so, the title of this drawing is so much bigger than the drawing, that perhaps I will have to do more of them under this title. The title gets my brain wandering—what would a triangle prayer look like? And is it a prayer in the shape of a triangle, or is it a triangle that is praying and therefore the prayer of a triangle? Hmm. Deep questions. Oh, how words take me places. What a gift. Language.

Crafting at the DMV

This morning I learned that the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is one of THE best places to craft. Seriously. Crafting turns the aimless waiting, glued to a plastic chair, watching the monitor for your number, into heart-sailing creative time! I suppose there are some limitations—obviously you wouldn’t bring a giant loom or sewing machine to the DMV, but a little handcraft, something that fits in your lap, is perfect.

Many of you are probably nodding your heads right now—especially you knitters and crocheters—you got hip to this idea a long time ago—I see people knitting and crocheting in just about every possible place. In fact, there was a knitter a few chairs down from me at the DMV this morning. But I am a drawer, and I find it challenging to draw anything too serious in a public place without a desk, although the DMV would be an ideal place for drawing people. Today, I discovered a whole new world of fun though, when I brought along a needle, thread, and piece of paper for a new embroidered triangle idea I’ve had in mind. The hour I sat waiting for my lucky number (B011) to come up, went by in a flash, and I walked away with more than just my new car registration paperwork:

I almost wished my wait time had been longer so that I could have finished this new sewn drawing, and I’m almost looking forward to my next (and hopefully last, for a while) trip to the DMV—now that’s amazing!

I think I will be doing some more of these embroidered triangles—they are so much fun, and I love the white thread on white paper. I’ve thought also of doing fabric, but we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s to crafting while you wait!

Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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