For our prompt of “Candle” today, I imagined a mom reading bedtime stories to a little one by candlelight. Since I only had a brief time to sketch today, I decided to simply create a little doodle of what was in my imagination without using any references. I typically use a mood board of references, but I wanted to see what would happen if I just tried to create something entirely from my mind. This seemed fitting for the topic as when I was a little kid I loved to imagine the scenes from the bedtime stories my mom and sister would read to me, painting each one with a mental brush in my head. Even if there were pictures, I preferred to imagine it all by myself. Indeed my mind still fills with images when I read stories. And many of the things I imagine are still far too difficult for me to sketch at this point. But it’s a fun exercise to DO, and see what happens while trying to sketch a dream.
My sister always loves to tell the story of how I started reading all on my own as if by magic. “Who taught you to read, Charlie?” she’d say surprised. The truth was that she actually did without realizing how effectively she’d done it. For this reason, I think that’s why I have no recollection of picture books, except for Dr. Seuss books, which had incredibly clever rhymes that made me smile. Many of the picture books that were written for kids my age were too young for me and felt like they were for “babies” as I used to say. I wanted to be a grown up so badly back then. Now, it’s quite the opposite, of course. And though I do still enjoy children’s literature and shows, they have to be a bit elevated and smart. My inner child is really just that same little version of me, after all, so he still doesn’t like being talked down to in a story.
Of course, now when I go to bed, I read all by myself. Philippe hasn’t offered to read me a story yet, but if he did I’d totally be on board with that. He’d have to agree to dramatize it a bit and do the voices though, as that was my favorite part. My sister used to make even those baby books a little more interesting with the way that she read them. That was all a very long time ago, and so it’s just part of my earliest and happiest memories now. I used to read to my nieces and nephews, but they each grew up so quickly and now there’s nobody left to read to anymore. I considered reading a book to our dog Phineas, just to see what he’d think, but I’m not sure he’d enjoy it unless he got a treat in the end. For me, books have always been a treat and finding a particularly wonderful one is like discovering gold. I’m always sad when those books finally end, but thankfully there’s always a new book waiting for me. In many ways, not much has changed since I was Little Charlie, taking a wondrous journey to new world each night as I continue to enjoy those bedtime stories.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, Pthalo Blue, 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? 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!