The prompt for today suggests a monochromatic mood, and so I chose blue as my color, though I actually used 2 different shades for this little teapot. And I’m not “blue” at all in the sadder definition of the word, since it’s World Watercolor Month! Though I paint daily and always host monthly art challenges, July is always such a thrilling ride to the finish line! I know that many of you only join me once a year, often leaving other painting mediums to focus on watercolor for one joyous month. So hello my friends, and welcome back! As for the subject matter of a teapot, well, I’ve always wanted one of these. Philippe and I just boil water in an electric heater and pour it into a tea carafe each evening, but this version reminds of the old days. While our current water boiler simply beeps, this one comes complete with a horribly shrill whistle that will notify even the neighbors that your tea is indeed ready to be served. Despite all of the advances in modern technology, my soul is still most connected with the more analog ways of getting things done. Like taking a couple shades of blue and make a little painting on actual paper. After all of these technical advances in life, there’s simply nothing better than that!
Philippe and I have tea each evening before heading to bed as a little ritual. It’s not the pricey fancy tea, but simply the supermarket Celestial Seasonings variety with a little Asian bear on the side sniffing in the goodness that is called Sleepytime Lemon Jasmine Tea. Yeah, the little bear totally sold us! But the tea is totally delicious and I definitely recommend it! We ran out of this version and the grocery only had the “Sleepytime Extra” version which sounded only like it might be twice as good. The bear on this box however, looks far less Zen and more like he’s been tragically over-medicated. This is exactly how we felt after trying it for one evening as we realized that the “extra” herbs caused bizarrely weird dreams and a horribly sleepless night. A wonderful lesson is remembering that sometimes what you know and love is often always still the best thing. I very often find that with my painting and sketching. Though I do try some different things on occasion, what feels most comfortable is always the most soothing. While it’s great to always find a chance to jump out of your “comfort zone,” it’s equally wise to honor it. For it’s in that zone that you’ll find the most personal satisfaction.
And best of all, it’s in that zone, that you can actually discover your own personal artistic style. Style is a much sought-after thing in art, and can be made equally complex and almost too challenging. As though it’s something nearly impossible to find. In truth, it’s simply a matter of your personal choices. If you let your heart lead you, you’ll make the right decisions that will reveal a look that’s all your own. Yep, you heard it here. It’s actually no more complex than that. In reality, we start out in our own personal style, just like any child who has only learned how to be true to themselves. The trick is, after learning all of the styles from the masters, combine just the best bits of those ideas that appeal to you with the ones you came with naturally. This blend is better than any tea you could possibly boil. It’s the best of all worlds. A wonderful mixture of masterful ideas and childlike intuition. To me, that’s the very definition of art and what it means to be an artist. And that style that people can recognize as only you, will always shine through, even when you’re in a monochromatic mood.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Indigo, Cobalt Turquoise. 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!