Since a prompt of “cool colors” could be anything at all, I decided to do a quick doodlewash of a typewriter because I’ve always wanted to try sketching one. This is an object that may seem as rare as a unicorn to the younger readers of my posts, but once upon a time, this was how we put words to paper. I learned to type on one of these machines, and still remember the thrill and terror of doing so. There was always a bottle of Wite-Out nearby to correct any horrible mistakes, as many occurred in my fevered attempt to type quickly. I soon got much better and could type without very many mistakes at all, but imperfections still found their way to the page. I rather loved using a typewriter, and I even had a fancy one where you could change the style of type used. The mere act of needing this feature should have been a signal that I would end up in a career of graphic design and marketing. I wanted full control over both the words and the visuals. But the efficiency of computers to deliver both at once soon won me over and I quickly converted. Today, I often feel like I spend most a my time typing, so it’s nice to pause and pick up a pen and paintbrush instead.
But typewriters have a special place in my heart. They were the analog equivalent of drawing. While I can happily dash something off on paper with my ink pen and quickly color it with a brush, I’ve always struggled a bit more with writing. It wasn’t until I started blogging that I even began to write on a regular basis. But my current rambles are all actual stories about life, and my real goal is to write a bit of fiction one day. November is National Novel Writing Month and, each year, I get the urge to make a book. Last year, Philippe and I publishing our little cookbook, called DO Cook!, and this year, I’ve assembled some of my favorite writings and illustrations, including some brand new rambles, into yet another book. Tonight, I just hit the “publish” button, which means, if things work out as intended, the book will be available in hardcover and paperback on Amazon and elsewhere very soon. I’ve no idea when this will occur exactly, but once it does, I’ll be announcing it properly. Doing so, though, took me back in time to when I was plunking out words on a typewriter. There are many stories that I told one plunk at a time on those things and all of that paper has now been quite lost. Even my mother, who collects everything from when I was young, has no record of those stories. So as cool as this old technology is, I have to admire the updated version as it’s nice to have what you write captured a bit more permanently.
There are some stories I’ve written captured on a dot matrix printer. These were 2-minute mysteries that I wrote one time when a winter ice storm took our power out for a week. I have to giggle that my writing hasn’t really leapt past this short format. Today, I’m still just writing a couple of pages of story and then leaping onto the next one. So, a full novel seems like something nearly impossible for me to write. Yet, I’ve just hit publish on a book with nearly 50,000 words and over 180 illustrations so perhaps I have it in me to write that novel after all. Life is a strange and wonderful thing. Our dreams are simply a guide to direct us in a particular direction. They’re never a perfect replica of what might actually occur, but a perfect hope of something that might just be possible. So, I dream on with wild abandon and let those crazy thoughts do whatever they intend. Who really knows what the future will bring? Perhaps, one day, my dream of writing that amazing piece of fiction will come true. But, for today, I’m just thrilled showing up to sketch and tell stories, while I happily enjoy a bit of typing.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. 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!