Saturday, January 10, 2009

Journal Day 10 - Sudoku Portrait

Numbers can intimidate me in the abstract. Calculating yardage and quilt blocks doesn't because it's not abstract. I use a lot of simple math with my jewelry designs. But algebra and calculus are not for me. When I first saw Sudoku puzzles, I didn't give them a second look. I could never do the typical number puzzles in crossword puzzle books. I inherited my Mom's love of crossword puzzles.

But one day I was reading the newspaper while waiting for my husband. I was waiting a long time and I decided to take a look at that number puzzle by the crossword puzzle. Hmmmm. It was fun. I didn't have to do math. I was quickly hooked. Now Hubby likes to do Sudoku puzzles, too. He's got a program on his computer to do them. I like my books edited by Will Shortz. I'll attempt all difficulty levels, but I can't always complete the most challenging. My favorite are the moderate puzzles. There are books that have only moderate puzzles. I'm working on my second one.

My favorite time to do the puzzle is when I go to bed. It helps my mind slow down from the day, and I usually fall to sleep faster if I work on a puzzle or two before I turn off the light. If I read art books or magazines at bedtime, I usually need to work on a puzzle to get my mind to settle down. Otherwise I tend to get bombarded with imagery that keeps me from sleeping very soundly. It's just the creative part of my brain getting all churned up.

Last night I doodled this face on an envelope while talking on the phone and decided to incorporate it into this collage. Once again, I struggled with getting my eyes even. It didn't help that I was working in ink.

This page was colored with Nupastels and Distress Ink. The portrait was colored with Prismacolor pencils. I cut a frame from a catalog. I tore out a page from the last book I completed.

Lest I forget, many of my puzzle pages have doodles all over the bottom of the page. They work like a list for me. You know, when you're at work and your personal life keeps intruding your thoughts. I just stop and jot down reminders to myself so that I can put those thoughts away til I'm done at the office. The doodles on my puzzle pages help me let go of the creative thoughts that would keep me awake.

How do you help transition your brain activity from the creative mode to help you sleep?


Anonymous said...

I'm a reformed Sudoku addict. I had to quit cold turkey because I was losing too much time here and there working out just one more puzzle. :)
I haven't touched one in over a year. Isn't that hilarious? I'm so glad that's the worst of my addictions.
Love the art journal pages.

Anonymous said...

Great art pages these last two days! I love Sudoko as well, and often do it or crossword puzzles before I go to sleep. Sometimes, I work in my journal, and at other times, just curl up and read.

BlueDragon said...

I limit myself to two sudoku puzzles a week, done on Sunday, as it can become consuming. However, I find a variety of other mental challenges to be beneficial. Not only do I enjoy solving puzzles several times a day -- I also enjoy creating puzzles.

Under the advice of family and friends, I have created a book that is now available. If you are curious, you can check the website at