For our prompt of “Children” today, I opted to sketch something that reminded me of Little Charlie. I’ve always loved teddy bears and still have my very first teddy bear with me to this day. Well, not all of the time, these days. I liked to spend a fair amount of time alone as a kid, and that hasn’t changed much as an adult. But, I was never fully alone, because I always had my teddy bear by my side. My first bear was actually bought in the store, but the teddy bears that came after that were all made by my mother. In fact, for this Christmas, I’ve requested she make me another Paddington Bear, this one based on the current movie version, as he’s my favorite bear of all time. It’s not just about the bear, of course. It never really was. I always thought that my mother’s ability to create a teddy bear from scratch was perfectly magical. She’s always been able to make anything I could dream and then surprise me with things I had yet to imagine. She doesn’t make as much as she used to, so of course, that’s the main reason for my requests these days. When someone has a talent for something, I just can’t stand it if that don’t DO something with it! So, I’m not at all above challenging my own mother to make a little bit of art.
I adore crafts of all kinds. The term “arts and crafts” seems to create some sort of distinction between the two, but I’ve never personally been able to understand it. For me, I adore the word “craft” as it’s the one used for making amazing teddy bears as well as the one used for doing anything with a high degree of skill. My mom has that level of skill and it was a joy to watch her make things as I was growing up. What struck me most was that she was never daunted by any challenge. If there was something she didn’t know how to do immediately, she just figured she could learn how and then did so with aplomb. So, I grew up much the same way, though I have to admit that I’m not sure I’ve quite reached my mother’s level of crafty self-confidence. Today, for instance, I was quite ready to show just a teddy bear in a wagon, but figured I should challenge myself by adding a rare human form as well. It’s what my mother would have done without even questioning it. If something is needed to tell the story, then it just has to appear there. Figure out how to make it, and then make it happen.
There’s really no better way to approach life, and that’s why I’ve modeled my mother’s approach throughout my own. Well, at least I try to most of the time. Sometimes, I have a bit of self-doubt that stops me from trying something. She, no doubt, had this as well, but it was always well hidden and all I saw were the amazing treasures creating by her efforts. And when I was a kid, I was riddled with a crazy mix of self-doubt and unwarranted self-confidence. I was rarely as good at the things I thought I excelled at, and far better at the things I’d overlooked. Today, I’m happy to excel at one very important thing. And that’s simply being true to me. I’m still that kid who ventures out on his own in search of an adventure. But, I’ve grown into an adult who adores being part of a community as well. Not just any group of people, of course, but one born out of a love for making things. The love that I enjoyed with my mother while growing up and the one I now share with people all across the globe. There’s nothing more noble in this world than to be a bit crafty. My mom taught me that. It’s something I’ve taken with me throughout my life. A life that began as all good stories do. Once upon a time, there was a little boy and his bear…
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!
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