The dictionary defines doodle as an “aimless or casual scribble, design or sketch” but don’t tell that to many of the ElderSparks seniors who put pen to paper in a session devoted to that ubiquitous form of expression. We may have made a mistake by providing sheets of drawing paper, rather than napkins, telephone message pads, and backs of envelopes because nearly all the participants approached the task with a surprising degree of purpose and discipline.

Here, for example, are Ruth’s four doodles that progress (l-r) from representational art to abstraction as I prodded everyone to loosen up and become freer in their scribbling.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

For four rounds, Dorothy drew almost identical tight images despite my urgings:

Finally, I asked her to cover the entire page by going into all four corners with her marker.

My colleague Cynthia and I were ready to outbid each other for these drawings — that’s how good we thought they were. Of course, they more properly belonged on a wall in Dorothy’s room that proudly displayed her artwork for visitors.

For our final exercise, each of us chose an ElderSparks circular badge  — the ones imprinted with details of our students’ art — to use as the starting point for a final doodle. I thought Jeff and Dorothy did a terrific job with theirs.