Today, it’s Mother’s Day here in America, so since my mom loves butterflies, I decided to paint one for her in answer to today’s prompt. Since she doesn’t have internet access, she won’t actually see this, but it’s the thought that counts. I called my mother today to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and she told me she’d received the books I’d sent. I sent her a couple of my Sketching Stuff Activity Books and she asked me if she was actually supposed to draw something in them. I told her, of course, that’s the whole point. She told me that she hadn’t drawn anything since grade school. It was a poster for a contest, that included a drawing of person, and hers was awarded third place. Though quite crafty and a pro when it comes to crochet and sewing, this was the first time I’d ever learned she’d been awarded a prize for drawing at one point in her life. That was quite a wonderful thing to discover! So, of course, I told her that I can’t wait to see what she makes in the Activity Book and will be looking forward to seeing her pages when we visit this Christmas. She laughed and said, “okay, we’ll just have to see then won’t we?”
I’m not sure if this actually meant that she’d try her hand at drawing again. My mother has always been good at avoiding making promises that aren’t certain to be kept. I’m never once known her to over-embellish anything and certainly never outright lie about something. But, I secretly wish she would draw something in that book. I’d love to see my mother’s drawing style and it would transform it into a most amazing keepsake. Though I’ve kept letters with her handwriting on them, and still have many of the stuffed animals she made me, having her version of the same kind of art that I make would be incredible. I’ve no idea if I’d see my own style in hers, but it would sure be interesting to find out. It strikes me that so many of the stories my mother shares are of my own childhood and now the ones of her grandchildren. I love hearing her own stories of being a kid, but had yet to hear the one about that time she used to draw. It’s a story we all experienced as kids, but if she hadn’t won third place, it wouldn’t have become a story at all.
So, I hope my mother will try drawing again, just as I hope anyone reading this who hasn’t yet, will do so as well. It’s nothing so difficult that it’s only reserved for a select and talented few. We we all born artists, and drawing is simply another form of handwriting that some of us practiced more than others. Whether it was doodling in the corners of a notebook in school or winning an award for a grade school poster design, we’ve all doodled as kids. As I grew up and continued to create and make things, I once won first place once a continuous line contour sketch of a pair of sneakers. At the time, I was thrilled, and I remember my mother being quite proud and saying to the teacher, “This talent for art. I just don’t know where he gets it!” I’ve always known and credited my mother, as every needlepoint, quilt, crocheted doll, and sewn item of clothing were always, in my mind, a work of art. She inspired me to create my whole life, so maybe, just maybe, I’ve sent her the Mother’s Day gift that will finally return the favor. And, after all of these years, I’ll finally get to see how my mom sketches stuff.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Indigo, Cobalt Blue, and Benzimida Orange. 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!
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!