It’s a hot day today, which made me think of the ocean, which made me think of listening to the sound of the ocean in seashells as a kid. Also, I’ve seen others bringing shells on our #NatureDoodlewash hike and realized I’ve never actually attempted to doodlewash one before myself. I had high hopes of drawing a set of different shells, but lack of time landed me with this single conch shell. I’m fine with that as this was always the best shell to place against your ear and hear those magical ocean sounds. Since I didn’t see an ocean until my 20’s, holding one up to my ear as a kid instantly transported me to a place I’d only seen on television.
Living in the very middle of the United States, you have to travel quite a long distance to get to an ocean. When I was a kid, my family opted for road trips that took us into various mountain ranges, so I was quite familiar with those, but the ocean was always a strange mystery to me. When, as an adult, I was finally able to stand on a beach and look across the ocean for the first time, it was one of the most amazing experiences I can remember. Weirdly, it felt like I was being transported inside a conch shell as that’s the only previous reference I’d ever had of that soothing sound. I felt small enough to fit inside a shell next to that mighty ocean, but also felt a sense of peace I’d struggled to find for years.
Of course, as with everything magical, there’s always a scientific explanation lurking in the background. Scientists, who also claim there’s no Santa Claus, say it’s not really the ocean one hears in a conch shell, but an echo of the ambient noise around you. But in a way, that makes it even more magical, doesn’t it? No matter where you are or what crazy stressful environment you find yourself in, listen to a conch shell, and all of that horrible noise around you always comes together to form a peaceful seaside sound. Mysteriously transforming chaos back into a peace only found with the echoing waves of a beautiful ocean dream.
Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Gamboge, Burnt Sienna, and Cobalt Teal. Sennelier: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pens with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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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!