For Day 8 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Flying High,” I opted for this little hummingbird. I figured that any height is rather high for a hummingbird as they’re quite tiny creatures. Many times, I have to admit, I find myself thinking of things as though they might be absolute. This is, after all, human nature. But then, I stop to consider that every creature is very different. Indeed, every person is different and has a myriad of unique tastes. That’s why I created Doodlewash, and why I always strive to encourage people to use their art supplies in whatever way their heart demands they should use them. It’s equally why I founded World Watercolor Month as simply a celebration of the medium itself and didn’t restrict people as to how they might use it. I always tell people that mixed media is perfectly fine as long as the art includes watercolor, because whenever one uses watercolor, it always sort of steals the show. It’s rather impossible to use watercolor in a painting without having it sneak its way to center stage. The glowing, luminescent colors are what attracted me to the medium and it’s still my absolute favorite way to color my quick doodles.
My sincere hope in everything I DO is to bring the world of traditional painters, abstract fine artists, illustrators, crafters, hobbyists, and more, all together in a single place. I think we have much to teach one another, even if our styles and approaches are incredibly different. As a writer, or wannabe writer, I feel the same about that art form. While one should certainly read all they can in their particular genre, it’s stepping just outside that known world that produces the most intriguing ideas. What I’ve found in my own creative journey, both professionally and personally, is that I learn much more when I dip a toe in the water of someone else’s vision. Being at the hub of this quilt of an art world I’ve started has been the most rewarding experience I could have ever imagined. Because, in my own art journey, I’m just looking for a new way to think. I’m not on the hunt to exacting techniques, though I love learning about those. No, I’m just looking for the next idea. The thought that someone put into something they created. And, in fact, many times, some of the most clever ideas come from those who just picked up a paint brush for the very first time.
This is precisely why I always invite people to go back to the very beginning and embrace their inner child. I’ve watched over these past four years as people who’ve never made art before picked up a paint brush for the very first time in their lives after retirement. And I’ve received letters from people who are 80 years young or older and trying watercolor for the very first time. If these people had failed to mention their age, I would have been at a loss to guess it. That’s the beauty of discovery. It makes us all the same age. That beautiful age when we were too young to bother with questions that didn’t actually relate to what we were currently DOing. Back then, we just set out on the beautiful journey, excited for whatever lies ahead. And today, that’s the spirit I wish for anyone reading this as it applies to whatever creative endeavor has currently captured your heart. Explore everything you can in this world, especially the things that don’t seem perfectly relevant. You’ll discover, as I have, that at our best, we’re not creating a world of art, but simply a world of ideas. Thoughts and notions combine and swirl together to create new questions in our minds. This is when, as artists, we discover that, we’ve moved beyond the expected approach and are now, quite happily, flying to great heights.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!
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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!