We’ve come to the end of our Doodlewash March art challenge and I hope everyone who joined in had a wonderful time! It’s been a fun month of unexpected things and beautiful stories. And, of course, I hope you’ll keep right on painting with me in April (my birthday month!), as we sketch and paint like a kid again! Okay, not actually like a kid, per se, unless that’s what you’d like to do, but definitely holding hands with our inner child and having fun! Our final prompt is a good segue to this challenge with “fairytale moment,” which could be so many different things. I decided to imagine a little community where everyone lived in mushroom houses, just because I’ve always thought that would be really cool after watching The Smurfs as a kid. It would be awesome to get shrunk down to a tiny size and experience the world in miniature. Though, if I were also turned blue in the process like a Smurf, the shade would indeed have to work well with my new glasses. While I always treat my sketchbook habit as simply a wonderful escape, it was even more fun to escape to a place that only exists in my mind. This is one of my happy places where the colors are bright and the world is always peaceful and happy.
Today, Philippe and I met up with my family as my mother was in town to do her taxes. Not having a computer and not wanting to switch to different tax account, she travels all the way from Texas each year around this time. Though it seems terribly inconvenient, it’s always nice to get a bonus visit! We went to Sea Life, which is just a couple of blocks from us so we could walk down to meet everyone for lunch. Lunch was at the Crayola Cafe, which was a blast because we got to color on the placemats with crayons. Each one of us had a different drawing and mine was a normal looking house, so I colored it as best I could, but knew I just had to come home and paint a properly whimsical one. My mother’s placement simply had a bucket on it and she asked me what on earth she was supposed to do with that. I told her it was a sign to make out her bucket list as she turns 80 just a couple days before my birthday in April. So, she wrote “Bucket List” on the side of her bucket and then underneath it added the word “Islands.” I asked her if that was the entire list, and she say, “yes, any islands will do really.” Then she pushed the mat over to me and said, “it’s a palm tree.” So, I grabbed my crayons and made a palm tree coming out of the bucket. Philippe had a dinosaur, which was cool since he loves dinosaurs. He colored it in beautifully and then added a meteor soaring through the sky above with a caption by the happy dinosaur that said, “I can’t wait for my date tonight!”
At the end of the meal, my mother insisted on collecting all of the placemats, which made me happy. I know she doesn’t have room on her refrigerator for all of them, but it’s lovely that she still likes to collect art from her children as a memory. Next up was Sea Life and though it’s small and meant for children, it was a glorious experience. I adored seeing all of the fish and sea creatures and learning little bits about them along the way. And the glorious natural patterns and gorgeous and unexpected colors that nature never gets wrong are what inspire my own little doodlewashes. When we got to the end of the exhibits they had one of those machines where you can press a penny as a souvenir for just 50 cents. I didn’t have any change, and was bummed at first, but then realized I had my mom with me so I asked her for some. After nearly 48 years, nothing at all had really changed. My sister jumped in front of me and chose the seahorse design I was going to choose and my mother was right there so I could whine and tattle on her properly. As we were leaving, we stopped to get our souvenir photos. I had coerced my mother, who hates having her picture taken, into doing them with me and they were priceless. We made fish faces together and pointed at a stuffed fish only later to find ourselves in a photo marveling a giant octopus. Even my mother had to agree, they turned out rather perfectly. And, I was experiencing the pure bliss of being a child again with my family and feeling truly lucky that no matter what happens in life, it can still manage to deliver those fairytale moments.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink and 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!