You can Boggy Doodle anywhere you find nature: your garden, local park, woodland or riverside. But it's most rewarding when you can get out into the wild a little bit, away from the crowds.
It was half term last week. We had no plans but decided to take the Pumpkin, our new camper van, on a spontaneous little adventure to the Isle of Coll. It's a beautiful, remote and sparsely populated Hebridean Island.
Coll is also the inspiration behind Katie Morag (for anyone reading this with primary school-aged children!). Our son has been learning all about Katie Morag's island home at school this term and was curious to see the island for himself. It was great having such a knowledgeable little tour guide with us.
Coll is one of those idyllic places that forces you to relax and reconnect with nature; there is little else to do. We undoubtedly saw it at its best, in May during a Hebridean heatwave, and were rewarded with blue skies, empty beaches, turquoise seas, beautiful machair, numerous hares, friendly seals and an incessant cuckoo (I won't mention the midges…).
Midges aside, it really is a Boggy Doodler's paradise. I was completely smitten and wanted to bottle the tranquility and bring it home. Instead, I doodled.
Boggy Doodling is a brilliant aide-memoire. Photos matter too — I take hundreds of photos — but because sketching is a slower, multi-sensory activity, it helps you notice and absorb more. It's always my doodles that trigger the most evocative holiday memories.
Unlike traditional plein air painting, Boggy Doodling is quick, informal and ultimately very personal — noone needs to evaluate or comment on your doodles; they are merely a means of enhancing your experience and recording what you see, enjoy and want to remember.