When it comes to buildings, I don’t really have a favorite, but Philippe and I were talking recently about retiring in France and that made me think of the cottage I’d like to have there. This is a fast and loose sketch of one that didn’t quite turn out as I’d envisioned it, but it’s been more than a year since I’ve sketched a building so I’m a bit rusty. But the idea of having a lovely little cottage in the south of France is a nice dream, at least. Actually making something like that happen is far more complicated than they make it appear in movies. According to cinema, you can simply be on a group tour and suddenly decide on a whim to leave your life and buy a little place abroad. Things are just a bit bumpy at first, but everything works out perfectly in the end. Real life, of course, doesn’t go quite this smoothly, but nobody would pay to go see that kind of story. Yet, the artist in me dreams of having a quiet secluded place to paint and write and long days to actually do so. My current reality consists of sneaking in time to make a quick painting and then typing faster than one ever should in order to make a little story about it.
No matter how lazy a day seems, or how little I think I have to get done, I still feel like I’m always short on time. Perhaps, even in my fantasy French cottage, I’d feel the same. I just have so many ideas running through my head and so many things I’d like to do next. It’s physically impossible to do them all and I find myself losing quite a bit of time just pondering them. If I could choose one and focus on that, it would be a much better path, to be sure. But which idea do I choose? How do I know that I’ve made the right choice and not spent my precious time on something that wasn’t the right one. These are the thoughts that I’ve been having lately and today, I realized the answer is quite simple. It’s always been there in that little manifesto I wrote when I first started this site. When pondering whether to DO or not to DO… the answer is always the same. Just DO already! Even if the idea you choose isn’t the best path, simply starting down any path at all will always lead to something new and wonderful!
And maybe that’s all those romantic movies were trying to tell me after all. The main character always achieved a dreamy life, but they did so by actually doing something. By taking risks and trying something that seemed completely insane to others. Sometimes, the risks can be little ones, ones so small and insignificant that you don’t even realize you’re avoiding them. I find that a lot in painting. I will lean toward a particular subject matter or way of painting, because it’s comfortable and I can better predict the outcome. Most of the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. This made me think about how many other places in my life I might be doing the same thing. All these dreams don’t have to be figments of my imagination. I have the power to turn them into reality. That’s a pretty wonderful feeling. And even more so, since now I know that one day, I’ll be headed to France and finally moving into my favorite building.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, and Burnt Umber. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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!