Friday, November 2, 2012

Infinite Doodles

Barney with his dog Arlo
Barney Saltzberg has a wonderful message for children of all ages as his through line: There are no mistakes, and there are no limits to the imagination. Andrew, the hero of his latest book, Andrew Drew and Drew, might say that there are infinite doodles.

Andrew knows there will be times when he's not inspired, and the key is to doodle through them. Suddenly something new emerges from his pencil onto the page. To the child who says, "I can't draw" or "I don't know what to draw," Barney Saltzberg says, "Of course you can draw," and "Just begin." In Beautiful Oops! Saltzberg demonstrates how a spill or a rip can become part of the composition. In Andrew Drew and Drew, the half-pages that unfold mimic the artist's sense of discovery as he follows the doodling pencil to its destination--as an alligator, a rabbit or a fantastical night creature.

All that's needed is a paper and a pencil. No fancy dancy supplies required. The main thing is to have fun, and not to sweat it if your pencil needs a rest. The doodles will return, Andrew's example shows us, more plentiful for their dormant period. Barney Saltzberg believes, and also instills in us the faith that there's a limitless supply of doodles.

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