Doodling & Mehandi

Last Sunday in church, my son leaned over and asked what I was drawing. I whispered, “I’m not drawing, I’m doodling.”
Later I explained to him how I can listen more attentively and more easily absorb what’s being spoken if I doodle. It’s the only way I ever made it through high school. I doodled at least one pocket folder a day, mine and the ones my friends would pass off to me in the hall on my way to class. I keep a small sketchbook in my purse at all times specifically for doodling.

I googled “doodling” and, to my surprise, it’s a subject with plenty of research and quite positive results regarding focus and retention of information. Cool, validation!
A few years ago I found a great vintage Mehandi reference book, a technique used primarily in the ancient art of henna body painting. I picked up another book recently with other great designs. To me, Mehandi, (Mehndi) is the ultimate technique in doodling. I enjoy doodling this style in my sketchbook and on 3-dimensional objects, such as my lake stick. Swirls, scallops, leaves, dots, borders, zig-zags, and flowers, it’s so fun and relaxing.

This morning, inspired to do a little Mehandi doodling, I poured a nice big cup of coffee, grabbed my vintage glove mold, a gold metalic marker, linked into favorite inspirational radio station, K-LOVE, and went to it.
This is the result of one hour of pure artistic pleasure, aka: doodling.

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39 Responses to Doodling & Mehandi

  1. #1 - Princess of Everything (and then some) says:

    WOW! That is awesome! I have a friend who is just like. Even doodles during court.

  2. #2 - Kristin F. says:

    That reminds me so much of myself… I doodle in that same style and used to get into trouble in sunday school as a little girl :). I’m a paralegal and I, too doodle in court!

  3. #3 - Kat says:

    I love it!

    I always got yelled at in class for doodles, but it really helped me focus. I used to draw stick figures that made comments on the topic. It got me to remember better…

    My favorite was a series from German Lit. One was a stick figure of Martin Luther saying “man! i have a hand cramp!”

    Ah… I still remember that lecture…

  4. #4 - Shana says:

    Finally! Someone understands! I doodle in church, meetings, school, etc too! When people would ask to borrow my notes, I’d shrug and show them my doodles. They wondered how I ever learned anything if I didn’t pay attention. But doodling totally cleared the pathways in my brain so I could learn and pay attention better. Thanks for posting this!

  5. #5 - andrea creates says:

    Waoh , that is superneat!I doodle ,but not as much as I used to /or would like to:)

  6. #6 - Splendid Little Stars says:

    Me, too!

  7. #7 - the undomesticated wife says:

    I was just thinking that a doodled mantel would be cool…in the right house of course! Don’t you think?

  8. #8 - Sandy says:

    Wow, what talent! I can barely draw stick figures!!

  9. #9 - Wendy says:

    That is GORGEOUS!!! I need to learn to doodle like that…

  10. #10 - Tania Wood says:

    um…you doodled that FREEHAND? WOW!

    I think you are from another planet cathe:)

    Your amazing

    my doodles are mostly little triangle shaped houses with windows and a tree next to it:) LOL

  11. #11 - nano*ink says:

    another doodle delight is a zentangle…google that word for some doodling fun! The same and different. I doodle the alphabet a lot.

  12. #12 - Jen says:

    Only you could pull that off! I would have spent 12 hours and it would have looked like crap! :0)

    I wish I had half your talent!!!

  13. #13 - My name is PJ. says:

    Holy Crap!!! That is unbelievable!!! You should take custom orders. Really!

  14. #14 - Marley says:

    Ha, I wish I could say the same, but I must be opposite because my doodles cost me my pre-calc grade. (Why does a graphic design student need to know calculus anyway?)

    I love henna though! I want to get really good at it so I can offer it as a service at my tattoo shop. So pretty! I was going to get henna tattooed on my feet before my wedding, but my feet didn’t take the brown ink very well on my first tattoos, so I scraped the idea. 🙁

  15. #15 - Katie says:

    OMG, that’s the coolest doodling I’ve ever seen! I always thought doodling was supposed to be random and probably it was for you but it looks all planned out to me! Mine would never ever look as neat!

  16. #16 - Virginia Burnett says:

    A kindred spirit! I’m a compulsive doodler, too and I love the new research coming out that shows that it increases comprehension and retention of knowledge. Thanks for sharing your beautiful doodles!

  17. #17 - momof3girls says:

    you are very talented!

  18. #18 - Deryn Mentock says:

    How awesome is this?! You’re one incredible doodler!

  19. #19 - Salihan says:

    OMG! That is too awesome! Doodle away and inspire me more! –

  20. #20 - Judy says:

    Now that is something!! Love it!

  21. #21 - White Linen ~ Lavender Field says:

    This is beautiful artwork. What a cool relaxer. Doodling in school was a fav of mine also. Your doodled glove mold looks like a gorgeous paisley, my favorite pattern. Very interesting post.


  22. #22 - Patty B. says:

    I spent my entire childhood spending 2 weeks of every summer at Lake Pillsbury!

  23. #23 - cindyb1 says:

    Yes, can’t help myself! And isn’t that what that blank part on the back of the church bulletin was for…? Yours are gorgeous, Cathe!

  24. #24 - sea-blue-sky & abstracts says:

    I so agree when it comes to doodling – but you take it to a new level, the glove! Marvellous.

  25. #25 - sea-blue-sky & abstracts says:

    I so agree when it comes to doodling – but you take it to a new level, the glove! Marvellous.

  26. #26 - Kim says:

    To call this doodling is minimizing it’s impact. I think of doodling as mindless, circles, squares, etc. This is art! Wonderful.

  27. #27 - Persimmons Gal says:

    I started a doodle journal and just love it. If I have a pen in hand I am also doodling. Nice to see fellow doodlers. 🙂

    That glove is fantastic!

  28. #28 - mary beth says:

    I cannot doodle like this, but to me your doodling is an art form that I love!!!!keep it up!

  29. #29 - Anonymous says:

    If you had a dollar for every creative thing you’ve done Cathe Holden, you’d have more money than Bill Gates!!!!

    Have a great Mothers Day..

  30. #30 - Tammy says:

    Gorgeous! Doodling sounds too simple for what you created – that’s art!

  31. #31 - Creative Crafter UK says:

    Just Beautiful. Very pretty doodling – I wish my doodling was as pretty – I obviously should practice more!

  32. #32 - HeatherBabe says:

    i got a henna tattoo once in Florida on vacation.. i loved it… i wish i could have them all the time… but there is nowhere around where i live to get it done and i have no art skill what so ever!!

  33. #33 - Isette says:

    Gorgeous. I love the Mehandi, and using an old glove mold? A perfect accessory for my studio! 😉

  34. #34 - The Main Ladybug says:

    Your doodling is beautiful! I only have one special flower that I doddle over and over and over – my children call it Mom’s flower! That flower is on every piece of paper that I’ve ever touched!

  35. #35 - The Stapelia Company says:

    I too doodled my way through high school and college… but nothing this beautiful! The lake stick?! The hand?! I just can’t believe how beautiful and detailed they are. A far cry from my big heads on stick bodies. 🙂

  36. #36 - Vivienne says:

    That is unbelievable. Seriously. I’m speechless.

  37. #37 - Doda says:

    Cool. I would never have thought of that as a source book for inspiration. I’m going to have a hunt at the library now for similar books! The glove mould looks fantastic.

  38. #38 - Denise says:

    You have gotten my creative juices flowing! You are a doodle-er supreme! I have posted about you on my blog this morning – with links of course. May I use one of your photos as well – either the Mendhi gourd or glove mold? I love, love, love them!

  39. #39 - Kalpana Rajagopalan says:

    I have learned something new today and very interested in your story about doodling and I think I can use that term for now.