Though I love going to the theatre, I had no clue what to paint for today as the options seemed limitless. There are so many different kinds of theatre and my mind first went to the iconic comedy and tragedy masks, but those seemed a bit drab. So I went the venetian mask route to add a bit more drama. It’s the equivalent of taking a traditional theatre mask and pimping it out in full drag. Much more colorful and fabulous. My theatre style of choice has always been musical theatre, though drag is perfectly wonderful as well, if that’s your thing. Beyond just going to the theatre, there was a time, many years ago, that you might also find me on stage, performing in a musical. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to return to the stage, but these days, you’ll instead find me in the audience. Happy to be treated to a little escape into someone else’s story.
Though I only took one painting class in college, I also happily accepted work as a set designer for several shows. I never took a single class in this at all, but I’ve always lived life with a “DO” mentality and figure everything will work itself out after that. I wasn’t so much fearless in pursuing things I had no experience in, as much as I was horribly curious. All the nagging doubts I had about whether or not I could do something were quickly opaqued by my insatiable curiosity. I just wanted to know what would happen if I took the opportunity to try something. That was it. No larger goal or metric for success. Just pure wonder of what might happen next. As it turns out, I wasn’t so bad at set design and managed to create rather interesting worlds to perform in. This led to doing everything anyone would let me do in theatre. I would go on to write plays, write music, direct shows, and even choreograph some dance numbers.
What I learned is that talent is just a dash of natural ability, and most of the real credit goes to sheer perseverance. I never did anything because I thought I was “good” at it. My mind doesn’t usually provide me with such compliments. So, instead, I have always listened to my heart. I can’t imagine what I would have missed in life, if I had let my mind direct the show. I’m sure the script would have been adequate, but perfectly dull. Instead, when I look back on my life, I feel proud of all the risks I’ve taken and all the times I’ve simply nodded in agreement when my heart said, “Yes.” And today, as I find myself writing and illustrating each and every day, I still enjoy that element of surprise. I have absolutely no idea what image will appear or what words will come out each day. And my curiosity still brings me back, as I find out what will appear next, like I’m going to the theatre.
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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Gold, Red Rose Deep, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
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