It’s New Year’s Day and also the start of a brand new Doodlewash Adventure! This month, we’ll be exploring Childhood Memories, by taking a tour through some of the fun things we enjoyed as kids, so if you’re looking for ideas to paint, then please join along! To kick things off, today’s prompt is board games and the only one that popped into my head was Mousetrap which is ridiculously difficult to sketch. But this was one of my favorite games, not for the game itself, simply for the ridiculous contraption that was the centerpiece of the game board. I can’t remember actually playing the game, but the object was to move around the board and build a mousetrap to catch your opponent’s mice. Even with no friends around to join me, I’d pull the game out and build it just to see the little balls roll down twisted tracks and trigger the various mechanisms. After awhile, though, I grew bored and decided to use the pieces to build an even better one.
Using anything I could find, I set about trying to invent the ultimate impossible machine. This sounds grand, to be sure, but beyond the plastic pieces of the game my additional supplies were mostly crafted out of spent toilet paper rolls and tape. The original trap was cool, but I wanted to extend the experience a bit before the little plastic mouse was captured. I formed additional tracks for the ball to sail down and when that wasn’t enough, I decided to add some dominoes to the mix. This was another game I owned but never used for its intended purpose. It was far more fun to stand them up in rows of various patterns and watch them fall. They proved to be just what I needed to make the experience more elaborate and soon I had covered the floor of our rec room with an incredible, albeit hideous looking trap that was only impressive in the sense that it miraculously ended up working flawlessly.
As the years went by and I moved into adulthood, this urge to modify things and make them into something different has never changed. It’s great to be able to do something new that you’ve discovered, but I find it even more enjoyable when you find a way to transform it into something else entirely. Something only you could create. As I move into a new year of doodlewashing, I’m excited to try some new things and add to what I’ve already learned along this journey. Whenever I get a bit frustrated that I can’t seem to get the watercolors to bend to my will or my fountain pen to draw the correct perspective, I just think back to childhood. Those times when I was literally unstoppable because I was far more interested in the learning and doing than the result. Truthfully, this is still how I approach life. I’m always looking for new things to try, and when I get bored, I don’t immediately walk away. First, I take a second look. Who knows, if I just think about it for a bit more than maybe, just maybe, I’ll find a way to build a better mousetrap.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!