With truly no idea what I would sketch for today’s prompt of “metallic,” I looked across from me and sketched the first metal thing I found. In this case, it turned out to be our water boiler with the morning’s empty cup of coffee still sitting forlornly next to it. Rather than get up and do the dishes, which was certainly what this scene would indicate, I decided instead to sketch it. I chose to urban sketch it fast and loose as though it were a person on the street that might actually be getting up to move on. I don’t actually sketch people very often, but would like to give it a go this year. Pretending a pot is a person is certainly the first stages of insanity, but it was a good exercise in quick observation. The circus tent of color I included was an exaggeration of what was truly there as the various reflected colors were fascinating to me. The blue is actually our wall across the room, while the red was just a piece of a cutting mat far closer, and the yellow was provided courtesy of a glint of sun that only stayed around for five minutes. An entire moment in a room condensed into reflected stripes, rapidly changing in the light of one innocent heating pot. This, in a nutshell, is precisely why I love sketching.
So many ordinary things go unnoticed throughout the day. There are many more interesting things going on, more thrilling moments to capture, and the mundane things just sit there, doing their mundane thing of nothing much at all. But when you look closer, they become the very handprint of life itself. A story of a little pot that does nothing but deliver boiling water at the beginning and end of each day. Coffee in the morning and a spot of tea before the day finally says goodnight. It’s an important job, indeed. Like a silent narrator that starts and ends our story each and every day. I’ve never found this pot to be remarkable until thinking about it made me realize just how important it has become in our lives. Sure, we could probably get through a day without it, but the day would always be lacking something important. Something primal and necessary. Not the coffee or the tea, but the inexplicable comfort of enjoying a daily ritual that makes us happy.
Soon, our annual ritual will occur as my mother and sister are in town for a visit. It’s annual, because my mother has used the same tax guy for years and drives up from Texas every March to meet with him. Of course, this could all be done online, but she never used the computer I bought her and gave it to my niece instead. She now uses my sister as a computer, standing over her shoulder with Facebook open saying, “Click that! Click that!” This old-fashioned approach, however, means I get to see her so sometimes a lack of technology can actually be a good thing. It’s become a lovely ritual that I wish could happen more often, but alway cherish when it does. So I should probably close out this post now as they’ll be here any minute. Time to unplug for a moment and leave this daily ritual in exchange for an annual treat. Also, the little kid in me knows if I don’t I’ll get in trouble. Though my mother is rather used to it. I spent my childhood always finding ways to end up in a bit of hot water.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue . Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!