Graduation


As time went by the KerDoodles developed. As my skills progressed, so too did my ability to accurately express what I was seeing in my mind. Oh, there were moments – there still are – when the right line just wouldn’t come, when the right shape just won’t manifest. But in general my skills were greatly improved. The roughness of the early days was gradually giving way to a greater sophistication in subject and technique. Eventually, I was pleased to label some of my works as being beyond mere cartoons. I actually started producing KerDoodle art. But more on that later.

In the graduation phase I became better at eliciting a mood. My ability to show, or infer, movement improved, too, and more and more often the actual completion of the drawing was tremendously rewarding, spiritually. I got into a high-paced routine of drawing them, finishing them, and sharing them.

At this stage I still hadn’t come around to putting clothes on them all the time. They still had not learned the kind of modesty that requires them to cover themselves. To me, this is evidence that they were still more ‘in my mind’ than ‘of the world’. It’s okay, though. Plenty of time for shy and demure later on.

Here’s another homage. I’ve long been an enthusiast of the rock band, Pink Floyd, and this is a peek at one of their albums – The Wall. This little moment in time captures a KerDoodle listening to music which is much too loud to be good for him. As Pink Floyd’s album did, this speaks to the collective habit we have of submitting to our environment, and of immersing ourselves in the sensate and the evocative. In drawing it I wanted to point out, if only subconsciously, my appreciation for the critique. I know, it’s pre-clothing. Or, perhaps he’s just a rad kerdood lounging around his home with nothing on, to signify his resentment of the repression of ‘the man’.

This next one came to me in a flash, on – you guessed it – a windy day. I think you can see how the KerDoodles have developed by this time. It’s ©2019, so it’s probably about a year later than the Pink Floyd homage. I can see at a glance how much more confident the drawing is. Two different colours in the background, hand-drawn signs (meaning, I didn’t use the ruler tool), and a sure and positive KerDoodle suffering the effects of a very strong wind. Not only him, though. His little canine friend is tied on to the post because it’s taking both hands for the KerDoodle himself to stay tethered and not blow away.

Have I ever mentioned that I love the English language? I suppose I must, since my two little ‘pieces of paper’ relate heavily to it. One of the things I love about it is the opportunity it provides for linguistic play. ‘Word play’, as they call it, is the use of a word in a way that was not originally intended for the purposes of creating irony or a punch line of some sort.

By now, of course, you’re fully in tune with the ‘humour of some sort’ I like to hit you with. I like nothing better than to catch you off-guard with a linguistic witticism. A marriage of ideas, a dance of meanings. I don’t know if doing this makes you laugh, or groan, or throw things, but when it happens you can safely picture me somewhere in the room, tossing my hat in the air with glee. The need to do this led to this little thing, and to the creation of the KerDoodle horse.

Surely we all knew that sooner or later there would be critters in this village – in this KerDoodle world – that reflect our own wider experience. By this stage I’d already drawn dogs, of course, and cats. I’d messed with rabbits and birds. So why not horses? Anyway, all in support of the play on words (horse, hoarse – get it?) I started drawing a few equines.

In my mind I saw Thelwell. You remember him – a real artist, drawing cartoon horses, kids, adults, showing the world of equestrianism as he saw it. His art was brilliant, complex. His work was just right – ironic, subtle, often hilarious – and I’m still a fan. My horses looked like his in my mind, but once it came time to drawing them they seemed to be a little bit more… innocent. But that’s ok, because that’s what I can draw, so that’s what they are. This one’s a play on words. I got a chuckle when I drew it. Yes, I tossed my hat in the air.

Back and forth, and back and forth! Another early one, but one which I think deserves to be included. This one is me being witty. The quickie joke of course is that saying that all generalizations are false is in itself a generalization, therefore it’s a falsity. It’s a self-defeating affirmation. As for the KerDoodle, you can tell it’s an early one because…? Because he’s totally naked, of course.

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