Today’s Doodlewash prompt of cloudy made think of all of the recent rainy days that we’ve had here this autumn. For all of the past three days, there was absolutely no sign of the sun, which only managed to reappear today. In spring, when this happens, I find myself demanding the sun in my head, but in fall, I rather adore these extended rainy days. With no sun to fight for attention, the leaves that fall on the ground are slightly more saturated and beautiful. Pops of lovely color peek out to transform an otherwise gloomy and bluish afternoon. These glowing leaves, swept to the earth a bit too early by the storms, are a brilliantly colorful and beautiful sight. With a light from above that’s perfectly diffused, shadows stay close to each object, and everything around is cast into a brilliant harmony. This is the type of environment that photographers refer to as “cloudy bright” and, as it turns out, a perfect time to photograph the colors of autumn. For me, these rainy days are nature’s form of watercolor. A lovely show of glistening color that reminds me, the sun isn’t always the brightest star in the sky.
As a kid, puddles and leaves after a rain were perfectly fascinating. Seeing those bursts of color and chasing colorful leaves rushing down the gutter on the side of the road was so much fun. Walkways might be nearly painted in gold leaves after a storm, creating a gorgeous and magical pathway. Sort of like the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz. It was a time of pure magic and excitement as the days ticked down to Halloween and the promise of all of that candy. As an adult, I mostly just appreciate the colors. I’m far to old to go door to door begging for candy now, or at least that’s what I’m rather sure my neighbors would believe were I to try. But, I can’t possibly forget the feeling I had back then while seeing that patchwork path of glowing leaves after a fresh rain. So as I’m trapped indoors, waiting for the rain to end, I’m thrilled to be just like Dorothy after the cyclone finally drops her house. Walking outside again, it’s like walking into a dream of glorious color and beauty. And it’s always worth the wait.
It strikes me that there’s something wonderful to learn in this experience. A gloomy day is only gloomy, after all, if I choose to approach it that way. But, if instead of wishing for the sun, I take stock of the gift that the lack of sun has given me, everything changes. That bit of gloom starts to glisten and I take that moment to remember the thrill I once felt when seeing a trail of colorful leaves. It seems almost silly, but something as simple as this always touches my soul. I feel a warmth and glow of hope and positivity. And I hope that by showing up to share a little doodlewash and these thoughts each day I can be that for whoever might be listening. A gentle reminder of all of the good that’s in the world and all of the color that shines, no matter what the day might bring. And I hope to inspire you to do the same. Share what you make and believe through whatever art you choose to create. Together, we can craft a patchwork of art and ideas that spreads across the planet, bursting in emotion and beautifully rich color, like autumn leaves on a rainy day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Vermilion, Cobalt Blue and Indigo. Photo Reference: Erikamthompson. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click Here!
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!