For our prompt of “Windy” today, I sketched a little mouse experiencing what happens quite a lot where I live during the autumn months. We often have what’s called a blustery day, which sounds rather nice, but it means winds so strong you can sometimes lean forward into it and still remain standing. Indeed, there are strong and sudden gusts of wind that will nearly cause a tree to go completely bare, losing all of its remaining leaves in one big whoosh. As a kid, I loved watching the sudden burst of leaves sailing through the sky like a little tornado. Yet, sometimes, as an adult, I find myself a touch bothered instead. For example, I might be walking into a building for a meeting, all groomed and thinking I look rather nice that day, when a wind gust decides to give me a sudden makeover. My hair is standing straight up as though I’ve just seen a ghost and my clothes are suddenly covered in leaf dust. Just when I’m about to feel truly perturbed, I hear my inner child giggling with glee. And, I’m reminded that once upon a time, nothing so silly and simple ever really bothered me.
Indeed, as a child I just busy exploring new things and letting the world blow over me like a wonderful wind. I didn’t try to fight with what was happening, I just leaned into it. It was far more fun to see where the next breeze might take me than to insist that I follow the path I already had in my mind. These days, I try very hard to do the same. The difference is that I’m an adult with those silly adult responsibilities requiring me to do certain things at certain times. What I’ve learned is that while it’s all well and good to have a plan at times, it’s perfectly wonderful to proceed without one during other times. Whenever possible, I like to just set out with just a bit of intention and see where it leads me. When it comes to my art and writing, I have only the vaguest notion of what I’ll sketch or write each day. And if while in the middle of doing either, my mind travels someplace else, I just sail right along with it and follow.
The best thing about this approach is that I’m never disappointed and quite often pleasantly surprised. Something even better than what I’d imagined will often appear and that’s the coolest experience of all. And though I can still make mistakes, I’m always moving forward. I’m always failing forward and learning fun new things along the way. A new idea for shading or color that I then use in my next sketch. It’s not a technique, in the traditional sense, just a notion or feeling of what makes something look a bit more interesting. I hope to keep on trying and experimenting like a little kid throughout my art journey, but indeed, I do have those books I’d like to illustrate and write somewhere along the way. Yet, I don’t put pressure on myself to achieve something. I just give myself permission to play more. I know whenever I do that, those other things will magically happen somehow and I’ll continue to be surprised by my own art. Sometimes, even blow away.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, 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!