When I was very little, my eyes were bright “Baby Blues,” our prompt for today. Or, at least, that’s how they appeared in photos from that time. My eyes are still light blue, most often, but have been known to change hue with whatever I’m currently wearing at the moment. These days, with my new bright blue glasses, they’ve turned a new shade of blue with just a hint of green in order to compensate. I remember once when I was a teenager, wearing something that made my eyes appear violet in hue. While this could be seen as striking, with my dark hair at the time and soft face, it just made me look like Elizabeth Taylor. Actually, I inherited my eyes from my mother, who in her 1950’s senior high school photo looks very much like Elizabeth Taylor, causing her principal at the time to say that the photo was, “practically indecent.” This made me giggle, so I of course demanded a copy of the photo and now have it proudly on display in my home. My mother, in reality, is the epitome of decency and always has been, so the very idea that she was ever once considered a bit salacious delights me. But, she did look very much like a movie star during that time. And, since she often retells this story, I know that it also delights her just a bit as well.
My dad actually had brown eyes, even though his County Cork Irish heritage was filled with blue. On my mother’s side, one uncle and my grandfather had brown eyes, but most of my family has blue eyes. Later, I would discover that this eye color is only present in about 8-10% of the world population, making it a touch more rare, but in my life it’s just been perfectly common. William Shakespeare once said that “The Eyes are the window to your soul.” I think this is quite true, and the actual color plays no real part in that. When we look into someone’s eyes we see answers to questions and a thousand unexpressed emotions. Indeed, our eyes can often betray us, because no matter what our mouths might be saying, our eyes will always reveal the truth. I’ve experienced this quite often when working with design clients in my day job. “I love it!” they’ll say, and while I should just chalk it off as a victory, I always look into their eyes instead. There, I will very often discover a touch of indecision or, at worst, a touch of fear of whatever wildly different thing I presented and they just happily approved. Rather than take them at their word, I ask them a few more questions to get to the changes needed that will create something they can truly love comfortably. To do anything less, to me at least, would feel a bit indecent.
And it’s at times like those that I realize I inherited more than my eyes from my mother. Or, I should say, learned to follow the same value system along the way. For example, I’m trying to figure out how to best continually market my new book on my very limited budget, and many of the “proven tactics” I’ve come across to increase a book’s exposure, while effective, lack sincerity or are just about gaming algorithms with no real substance. In other words, they’re practically indecent. I simply can’t participate in that, with every fiber of my being, so I’ll instead resort to reaching out to all of you and saying that if you have actually purchased my Sketching Stuff Activity Book, please help me spread the word and a review on Amazon would be lovely and incredibly helpful as well! I’m not yet sure there’s a place in this crazy new robotic world for the honest guys, but I have to think that with your help, there just might be! So, much love and thanks in advance! And no matter what happens next, I’m thrilled and honored to have my mom’s eyes when it comes to approaching the world. Everything I DO feels just right when I take a step back and look at life through my family’s baby blues.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!