Today was an exciting event as I got to see my first total solar eclipse, since I was on the “path of totality” which sounds so good I wish more of my life was that lucky. The last eclipse I witnessed was only partial and the experience consisted of peering through a hole in a Pringles can while sitting on the playground during recess. For some reason, this made me think of Play-Doh so that’s where we landed today. We’ll get to that in a moment, but I’m still rather amazed at the sight of the eclipse. We weren’t far enough north to experience anything that lasted minutes, but for a few seconds, it was possible to look directly into the sun! It was such a memorable experience that will be burned into my memory for some time, though hopefully, thanks to the safety glasses worn for the majority of it, not my retinas. There was extra drama, however, since the morning began with a huge thunderstorm and a sky even darker than the eclipse created. Just an hour before the big event, the clouds parted, only to return in patches in the minutes leading up to it. Just as the clouds threatened to cover the big moment entirely, they thinned and parted and a fabulous memory was made.
I truly thought that viewing an event like this would be just sort of fun. Perhaps, that childhood version was still lurking there, which was not particularly amazing, but memorable because I got to make something cool with a can of chips. What I experienced today was nothing short of incredible. A moment and memory that will last a lifetime. And even though that time on the playground wasn’t quite as amazing, it formed in me the excitement of creating something by hand. The mere idea that a simple can of chips could be transformed into something capable of projecting an image of the moon passing by the sun was thrilling! Discovering Play-Doh and the ability to mold something into whatever shape my imagination commanded was equally thrilling. I didn’t grow up to be a sculptor, but I did grow up to be a maker. Fascinated by the idea of creating something from nothing at all. And seriously, the smell of Play-Doh is such an intoxicating thing. I remember, just opening a can, still cardboard at the point, and taking a long slow sniff before jumping into my artistic pursuits.
I didn’t really have an idea in mind of what I wanted to make. I would just play and let whatever happened next, simply happen. I think that has stayed with me throughout my life and shaped the man I ultimately became. I adore each of you for coming to view my posts, knowing that you’ll never quite no what’s going to happen next. Some people have asked me about why I love all of these nostalgic memories. Do I live in the past? No, I respond. I live in the present, but with all of the beautiful memories that brought me here. When I sketch something from my childhood, I’m also sketching what’s happening right now. The memories that made me are the one’s that still shape every moment I’m currently living. That’s the beautiful thing about life. It’s our complete story. And no matter how old we become, we would be remiss to not honor that “once upon a time.” Today, I experienced an incredible moment in the form of a total solar eclipse. Tomorrow, I’ll still be the product of all those amazing memories experienced while enjoying my favorite toy.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Light, Hansa Yellow Deep, Da Vinci Violet, Da Vinci Orange, Da Vinci Red, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Burnt Sienna Deep, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour 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!