When it comes to travel, one of the things I enjoy most is sneaking out away from the crowds and finding a nice quiet place to sit and enjoy the view. Our prompt of palm trees made me think about how birds, or specifically in this doodlewash, a couple of parrots, have the best view of all. High above all of the hustle and bustle. Since I’m not able to fly and just a bit too heavy to sit on thin branches, I can only sit under a palm tree. That’s equally relaxing if it’s perfectly secluded. And like these little birds, if you can cuddle up next to someone you adore, it’s twice as amazing. Though we should adore those people equally the same all year round, travel does add a touch of magic to the experience. And for this month, I’m on the hunt for new views, focusing a bit more on trying to find unique vantage points in my sketches. Perspective is one of those elusive things that’s always something worth exploring in art, and in life, really. Pushing oneself to think about things a bit differently and look at the world from new and unusual viewpoints. Travel is a wonderful thing to inspire this thinking, but even if you find yourself in the same old place, as I have this month, you can use those memories to help you discover new ideas.
Though Philippe and I aren’t traveling anywhere this month, we’re still finding fun new things to do. Tonight, Philippe made homemade bread that was so amazing it felt like we’d traveled back to France. This reminded us that we still need to plan and book our next trip to visit our family there, so we hopped online to look at rates. By rates, I mean the perfectly arbitrary numbers that show up next to whatever date selection you enter into the system, in the very moment you decided to enter it. Move things by a single day, wait a few minutes or even a couple days, and you could miraculously save hundreds of dollars. This is a stupidly devious and exhausting process. It strikes me that booking travel is not unlike visiting a casino. If you happen to arrive at just the right moment, you could be the lucky winner, or if you’re willing to sit with a drink and wait things out, you might still just hit the jackpot. I’m rather sure the two systems use the same game logic and algorithm. Thankfully, everyday things like buying groceries don’t work like this. “I’m sorry sir, it’s 2pm on a Thursday, so that eggplant will cost you $8. If you’re willing to wait 22.5 minutes, it will only be $3, but if you wait 22.6 minutes, the price will be $10. Thank you so much for shopping Mugger’s Market!”
Despite the trials involved in actually booking travel, we’re quite accustomed to the game by now and can play with aplomb. And though travel comes with plenty of initial stress, which seems devilish that the airlines would start your journey with a casino game, it’s always worth the effort in the end. As comfortable as it may be to stay at home, travel gives us new perspectives on life that we simply couldn’t experience any other way. After returning from a trip I always feel a bit transformed. It makes me reconsider things I thought I knew and look for new things in my everyday life. I try to bottle up this feeling and reapply it, even when I’m going nowhere special at all. Though I adore my daily routines, it’s easy to get trapped in them and forget to look just beyond to see what other possibilities might be waiting there. And when we show up to sketch and paint each day, it’s good to remember that although there’s what we see in front of us, there’s also a wealth of past memories to be used as well. Between the now and the past, we can always piece together something rather extraordinary and always succeed in finding the best view.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Indian Yellow, Permanent Green Pale, Permanent Green Light, and Cobalt Teal. Da Vinci Watercolors: Indigo. 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!