Today’s answer to our light and luminous prompt is as unexpected for me as it may be for you. I’m not sure I’ve seen one other person show up today with gel toothpaste, but if you did, then great minds think alike. I was honestly thinking of light bulbs and lanterns, at first, and realized I’d sketched those fairly recently and then my mind wandered, as it’s prone to do, and so, yeah, gel toothpaste. This morning, as I was brushing my teeth, I was feeling a bit exhausted and the glint of the toothpaste made me feel oddly comforted. It’s nothing special, but simply part of a daily routine. Much like showing up to paint each and every day. I do love the routine of it all, but sometimes, it’s fun to push past that and try something rather different. This, I think, qualifies as that. The kid in me loves the green slime this gel toothpaste resembles, made popular by a Canadian TV show called “You Can’t Do That On Television” that first appeared on television in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Whenever someone said the words, “I Don’t Know,” a gooey green slime substance was poured on them from above. Here in the States, it was aired on the kids channel Nickelodeon, and was so popular that the channel itself became synonymous with green slime. A strange thing to be known for, but positive when you think it’s really about challenging us to avoid ever thinking that we don’t actually know something.
In truth, we always know more than we ever give ourselves credit for and should be proud of that knowing more often. From the moment I started painting and sketching, I’ve always pushed myself to try difficult or unusual things. At first, it was busy full scenes with lots of detail and later, objects and creatures with lots of detail. Once, it was a whole month dedicated to odd creatures that rarely ever get painted. One of this best things I’ve learned in my art journey is that the world is incredibly amazing. There are so many things in it that we often take for granted, but when given a thorough second glance, become rather interesting. So, when I’m rushed for time, which is much of the time, and not sure what I might paint, I never get too stressed. I know now that nearly any creature, object or scene in the world can create a little piece of art. After all, from abstract to realistic paintings and sketches, art is always a reflection of life as we’ve lived it. Our goal is to simply share a bit of that experience with others.
Thinking back to the days of green slime, made me incredibly happy today. I had no idea that would be the memory that would surface, but it was well-timed. It was a moment when my family first got cable television and the world was suddenly a new and exciting place. I was only ten years old and happily dancing to “Video Killed The Radio Star” on MTV, thinking this is all just so cool! The song was silly, to be sure, but it was never about the song. It was about the new and shiny thing that had appeared in our lives. The world was changing and we were happily changing with it, at the forefront of the next revolution. This was a rather golden era when we were never too bored or cynical about what came next. It was simply an exciting progression of hopes and dreams made possible in each new invention that came our way. Since that time, there have been hundreds and thousands of new things competing for attention. Yet, my brush and my heart will always resort to the things that have stood the test of time. Things that remind us that no matter how much everything changes, things stay very much the same. Maybe it’s just the dreaming mind of a little kid, but I for one, want my world to always be light & luminous.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!