For our prompt of “palm trees” today, I decided to include a scarlet macaw to add a touch of color. I often wonder if these birds know just how gorgeous they are so, when I was done sketching, I turned to Philippe and asked, “does my parrot look sexy?” I’m often turning to him to ask ridiculous questions like this as I finish my doodlewash for the day. He’s the first audience for whatever little thing I come up with each day. Though I’m often sketching and painting right next to him, as we both sit at the kitchen counter, he rarely looks over to see what I’m up to so I always present it to to him at the end. In truth, if there’s something terribly wrong, it’s far too late to correct it, but I always show him first anyway. And since the temperatures today were finally above freezing, the warmth inspired me to make a tropical illustration. Where I live, the winters can get a bit cold, and today it warmed up to 61F (16C), causing people to actually put on shorts. It’s still too cold for that sort of attire, of course, but any bit of warmth here causes people to shed their clothes like they’re headed to the beach. I’m quite sure my scarlet macaw would prefer it to warm up another 10 degrees or so first, but it was a lovely and temperate day inspiring beach attire. Sometimes, reality is simply what you make it.
We enjoyed a fun day with good friends going to a matinée of a stage play. The play itself was rather strange and confusing, but it’s always fun to spend time with the people you enjoy most. And when you experience something odd together it just makes the whole experience even more fun. When it comes to storytelling, I’m not very lofty in my approach and I’m really just hoping for a point before it all ends. So, even if I don’t enjoy a play, I have to appreciate all of the focused effort that a playwright puts into it. I’ve no idea what my prose would be like if I ever had the luxury of focusing on it and cleverly editing it properly. But, it’s something on my list of things to try next. Well, it’s been added to a long and growing list that makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to define myself properly. I’m always a bit envious of people who seem so focused on doing one thing and can say they are that thing, as opposed to another. For me, my life has just been a blur of experiences. Each one appending to the next to create a sort of narrative, that is often unexpected, but somehow inevitable. That, to me, is the very definition of a great story, so I figure I must be living a rather good life after all.
What I’ve learned in my journey is that whatever course it takes, it’s incredibly unique to me. There’s lots of people who do this thing or that thing, but, in the end, only I can do my thing. We often like to talk for our dog Phineas and have crafted quite a complex personality for him. He’ll often sniff to express his displeasure and we have no idea why he’s doing it. So, we’ve adopted a rather direct and far from subtle personality for him. One of things we’ll say for him when he’s being particularly inscrutable is something that makes me giggle and still seems to have a bit of wisdom. He’s obviously unhappy with whatever we’ve chosen to do next and just storms off. In these moments, we imagine him saying, “I’m out! You do you!” Silly, to be sure, but I love the idea of embracing individuality and enjoying it. I hope to always strive to be my best self, in whatever crazy form it takes as I move along. Even I can’t always predict what way my life will go or what new thing I’ll get excited about and attempt next. But, as long as I keep dreaming, I know I’ll enjoy every little moment along the way. And there’s much to be said for dreams. Even in the middle of winter, I’ve found that I can enjoy a perfectly warm and wonderful tropical state of mind.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Vermillion, 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!