For today’s prompt of “Pot Of Gold,” I ended up with a gold pot of tea. It’s been a busy day, so the idea of relaxation was the first thing that came to mind. Sure, I’m Irish, so lucky leprechauns with actual gold also jumped into my head, but I’ve yet to ever meet one one of those little guys. Instead, a lovely spot of tea seemed more in order. It’s funny, though I’m a very laid back person and not prone to getting too stressed out about things, I don’t spend a lot of time relaxing. At least, not fully. My mind is always going a mile a minute, even when I’m sitting still. Reading books is probably the most relaxing thing I do. Jumping into someone else’s story distracts my own mind from obsessing over my own list of unfinished tasks. And has the delightful side effect of helping me to learn more about myself in the process. One wouldn’t think that relaxing, the very idea of simply doing nothing much at all, would be so difficult to DO. But, it’s always been a challenge for me. My body acquiesces quite nicely, but that darn mind won’t shut itself off properly. Curious to know your favorite way to truly relax, so let me know in the comments!
I think all of you already know that my favorite way to relax is sketching and coloring with watercolor. It’s a tiny little part of my day, but it’s the one time during the day that my mind floats away a bit and stops trying to solve a thousand riddles at once. Just one fun riddle of what colors I’ll choose that day and the rest is simply a bit of joyous sketchbook play. At least, that’s the way I approach it! It’s why I’m so addicted to sketching stuff! Using words like addiction has a bit of negative connotation. But, if you apply the thought, this drug is cheap, effective, and only has positive side effects. In truth, I’ve always loved creating most, and it’s what I do for my day job. Yet, that’s a job and the kind of creating I DO in the evenings is simply whatever makes me happy. So, even if you’re a full-time artist, I hope you’ll plan a little playtime on the side to just enjoy your craft without the dread of mastery or a deadline. The kind of fun you have in a sketchbook where, perhaps, it’s only you who ever sees what appears there. I actually have quite a few doodles in my sketchbook that never make it into these posts.
So, I’ve started a Sketching Stuff Facebook Group for the launch of my new Activity Book series, and I’ll be posting some of my unpublished doodles, bloopers and outtakes there. I hope you’ll come join us to post your pages out of my Activity Book, or truly, any fun thing you’ve colored that day in any medium you choose! This one is a Closed Group, so only members will ever see what we share! It’s super small, and a fun place to share something, particularly if you’re just starting out and feeling a bit shy about going public with what you make. Come play with us and we’ll get you confident and ready to jump out there and strut your stuff with pride! Some days, when I’m doodling enthusiastically, I’ll scribble something that looks off and not at all like what I wanted to make that day. I just giggle and quickly turn the page. But it occurred to me, that I’ve no problem posting everything I finally make each day, so why not post those little false starts as well. I can’t post them here as they don’t apply to what I’m talking about in my stories, but meet me in the group and I’ll start to post them there. In many ways, I think there’s much to learn from our practice and warm-up sketches. They may not be perfect, but what they have to teach us, and others, is like finding a pot of gold.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. 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!
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!