While thinking about “Boats,” our prompt for today, my mind drifted to thinking about a ship in a bottle. These models have forever intrigued me as I’ve always loved puzzles and mysteries. This is what’s known as an “impossible bottle,” which is any bottle with an object inside that appears far too big to have fit through the bottle’s mouth. It’s something that obviously happened as it’s right in front of us, but there’s no immediate solution as to how it actually occurred. It’s as though something mysteriously appeared there. Things like this were exciting to me as a child, mostly because I preferred to accept that it was indeed some sort of magic. It was far more fun that way. As an adult, if I wasn’t able to figure out exactly how an impossible bottle was created, I would still assume there was simply a clever human trick at play. A bit more cynical than my childhood self who would imagine all sorts of impossible scenarios for that impossibility. I miss those days quite a lot, so whenever I can, I remind myself to stop looking for so many solutions and take a moment to just enjoy the mystery. Sometimes, instead of looking for answers, it’s better to just revel in the questions.
That’s one of the things I love about art. There are endless ways to approach it, and not one of them is ever the definitive solution. In the end, it’s simply a matter of taste that decides if something is revered by millions or adored by just a few. Either way, it’s a glorious journey filled with lots of impossible moments. Today, for example, I only had 15 minutes to sketch something, which certainly seems impossible until you stop and actually try it. As it turns out, anything really is possible if we just try to make it happen. Much of the time, when I have to get something done quickly, I often find myself choosing the simpler path. Or, at least, what I think is the simplest thing I can imagine. In reality, we are capable of doing much more than we can imagine. So, sometimes, I find it fun to try something a bit too difficult for the tiny bit of time I’ve set aside. It pushes me to invent ideas quickly and the outcome is always rather surprising.
Part of the reason my time was so short today is that I took a very rare break. I played games and did nothing of any importance and just had a lot of fun. Sure, I’m behind on things now, but I’m ahead emotionally, so that’s always a plus and it means I’ll catch up very quickly. Tonight, Philippe and I are enjoying some leftovers from last night and continuing our lazy day. After managing to do one productive thing by filling the car with gas, we felt that was enough adult chores for the day. It’s been incredibly refreshing and based on the way I feel in this moment, something I’ve needed for quite some time. And the best part is, my head is spinning with brand new ideas that I’d like to try next. Not today, of course, as I’m still adoring being lazy, but sometime in the near future. Tonight, I’m going to relax and revel in the blissful parts of life that require no thinking whatsoever. Moments that I can simply experience as they come. Even if something truly unexpected were to occur in this very moment, I would simply embrace the magic, just like I did once years ago, while marveling at a ship in a bottle.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. 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!