As you churchgoers know, sometimes sermons aren’t the most gripping. In order to make myself listen, I bring a notebook and pen and try to take notes, even though there’s a vanishingly small chance I’ll ever look back at those notes. But sometimes sermons are so not-gripping that I end up flipping to the back of the notebook and doodling while listening. I’m almost done with the current notebook, and I thought I’d scan and save my doodles, since I particularly like some of them.

Church doodles - Forest and mountains
I like to draw landscapes that make me feel peaceful.
Church doodles - Sandpipers
I like how the sandpipers turned out in this. The ocean, well, I’ll keep working on it.
Church doodles - M'rica
This is facetious. I hope you recognized that right off the bat.
Church doodles - Meadow doorway at sunset
This picture captures a lot of the themes from this set of doodles — sunset, sweeping landscapes, sailing ships, a doorway to somewhere else. I also spent a lot of time experimenting with drawing sunset-shadowed clouds and sky.
Church doodles - Into the western sunset
Still trying to draw the ocean and sunset, with limited success.

Church doodles - Glory to God forever

Church doodles - Flying sailing ship
More sunset clouds, more sailing ships, more improbable scenarios.
Church doodles - Flying cow and city doorway
The flying cow is a theme from a previous set of doodles (“flying cowtoons”). Also, more doorways to somewhere else. I liked this one better before I put the cow in.

These were drawn over a period of about a year, from May 2014 through May 2015. I mostly used a Cross fountain pen, but sometimes used a Waterford fountain pen or a ballpoint, if my fountain pen ran out of ink. Next time I think I’ll get a nice sketch pad with good paper (this paper is really slick and cheap).

What’s interesting to me is looking back at these, they reveal some of what was on my mind subconsciously during this time: the improbable/surreal; sunsets; journeys/doorways to a new place. Lots of endings and new beginnings. The last few years have seen so many changes — Benji’s birth; my two closest friends moving out of state (and, more recently, entirely out of even my time zone); changes in my job, my responsibilities and relationships, level and type of biking… It’s been hard to adjust. Looking back at these doodles makes me realize I’ve been subconsciously working through much of this stuff over that time, but my drawings reflect the sense of ending and longing and even surreality I’ve felt over this time.

Note: If you’re interested in more of my doodle sketches, here are a list of posts with “flying cowtoons” in them:

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