For today’s prompt of “cool” I first thought of cool colors, but then immediately thought of a cold mug of iced tea. Apparently, I’m thirsty. It also made me think of cool in the other sense, as in someone who’s considered cool. You know, like all the cool kids that used to haunt the halls in high school. Perhaps you were one of them. I certainly wasn’t. I didn’t have the cool clothes and although I loved music, I couldn’t even tell you the names of half of the artists who sang those songs. I was a geek who loved doing whatever seemed fun rather than whatever was deemed to be popular at the time. I wasn’t a rebel, that would have been too cool, but I just didn’t like being told what to wear or what to do. I guess I was stubborn. I liked the group I used to hang out with because, for everything we had in common, we still celebrated each other’s differences. We were each definitely cool, in our own unique way. As I continue to grow up, I realize more and more that the little things that define us as individuals are the things that make us the coolest.
Sometimes, I still find myself going into comparison mode when it comes to other people. Particularly when it comes to my art. I marvel at all of the illustrators who have such a wonderfully loose and energetic style. A unique voice. My style still seems a bit cramped and fussy, as I just love trying to bring something to life on paper. But I have so much fun doing it, that I don’t really care in the end. That’s how I know this is a lovely little hobby to keep. I’m not doing what I’m supposed to, and rarely follow the “correct” techniques. I just paint like a kid grabbing for crayons, intently trying to make a unicorn appear. It’s this feeling that reminds me that whatever the heck I’m doing, I’m doing it with a lot of love, so it must be the right thing. Hey, that’s pretty cool after all! And if you’re out there doing what you truly love and painting in whatever style moves you most, than I’d have to say that you’re pretty cool as well.
Sometimes, I struggle with what to paint or what to ramble on about in these posts. I hit a moment where I have no idea at all in my head and wonder if anything remotely meaningful will appear here. Some days are better than others, but so far, I’ve managed to always make it happen. I really can’t thank you enough if you’ve read this far, as these little posts are part of what I make as well. Not sure if it all adds up to “art,” but that’s always been impossible to truly define. I’m just going to keep on sketching my way through life and see where it all takes me. There’s a list of a million things I’d like to do one day, rumbling in my heart and clouding up my head, but if I just keep doing things as I can, then it will all work out just fine. When I was young, I wondered what it would be like to be cool, but now I realize, that’s the wrong way to think about it. I was cool all along. We all were. Life isn’t about trying to become cool, it’s always been a journey of listening to our hearts so we can simply remember how to stay cool.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Quinacridone Gold, Sennelier Red, Phthalo. Green Light, and Phthalocyanine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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!