For our prompt of “Surreal” today, I wasn’t quite sure what to sketch. Then, the more I thought about it, I realized that most of my sketches are a touch surreal since I use animal stand-ins rather than people. So I just imagined a quiet little birthday party with two of my favorite animals. When I was in art school I did enjoy some of the actual surrealist artists we studied like Salvador Dalí. But, what I loved most about Dalí was that he was just so weird. It was freeing to think about having permission to be weird and think thoughts that didn’t always come to other people’s minds. My own thoughts weren’t the dark nightmares that many surrealists shared, as I didn’t really have dreams like that. My dreams were more optimistic and always centered around happy impossible things. Those things that a kid might imagine so vividly that it feels like it simply must be possible after all. So, today, I simply dreamed about being invited to an impossible party to celebrate the life of a little baby elephant.
It’s actually been years since I’ve either had a birthday party for myself or attended one for a friend. As everyone got older, those parties seemed to happen less and less. I have to admit though, that I never really enjoyed being the one who was the center of attention. It felt a bit stressful to mingle and make sure I saw and thanked everyone who managed to show up that evening. The reverse is much simpler as I only have to say something nice to the birthday boy or girl and then grab someone else who’s planned to do the very same thing and head off to a corner where the two of us can chat quietly all night. Though yeah, I did like opening gifts, just because little surprises are a wonderful thing indeed. Yet, when I think back to when I was a kid, I can’t remember many of the birthday presents I received. Perhaps because my mind is instead immediately filled with lovely thought so cake and ice cream.
Philippe’s birthday is coming up next month, so that’s likely why this idea came to mind. I’m not sure what I’m getting him yet. I personally always have a wishlist of some kind going for all of the little treasures I happen across, but Philippe is much less inclined to do so. In truth, if either of us actually want something, we tend to just buy it already. So, when these special occasions come, it’s truly tough to come up with something to give each other. I opt for small things as neither of us really need anything else to add to our lives. But, necessity is not what birthday parties are all about for me. I think they’re best enjoyed when you get something that would never appear if such an occasion never occurred. Something fun and unusual that seems completely frivolous, yet oddly perfect. It’s not quite like a dream come true, but more like a dream discovered, in one of those happy impossible moments.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Terra Cotta. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!