When thinking of our prompt of “innocent” today, my mind quickly went to the opposite and the notion of guilty pleasures. Those little things that we indulge in that really aren’t all that bad, but not always all that good, like my penchant for desserts. Since there’s not really that much harm in simply wanting a dessert, I tend to think of it an an innocent craving rather than something one should ever feel guilty about. This is, of course, simply something I convince myself of in order to justify what I want. That is, after all, the very core of being human. In my defense, I don’t actually indulge whenever I think about eating dessert, but I do think about it quite often. There’s just something wonderful about that perfect ending to a great meal. It’s the cherry on top, even if it doesn’t come with a cherry. A smile maker and happy bringer that I thoroughly enjoy! But yes, it’s mostly a fantasy, save the occasional bite as I’m still on a bit of diet heading into the warmer weather. But for each bite I don’t take, I’m still happy imagining what it must be like.
I’m never really one to plan very far ahead and though I can pull it together to give the illusion of being on task, I’m always trailing a bit behind. So many things that I know I should do make the list and sit there waiting until the last possible moment to be completed. It’s a masterful form of procrastination that I’ve been developing over the past several years. I’m always enthralled and amazed at people who can jump right in and get everything done right away. I’ve instead been the type to require a deadline, and even with that, I’ll still wait until the last second to complete it. But, in my defense, my mind simply doesn’t work in a sequential and organized fashion. I have to push everything together in the blur of the moment in order to think properly. It’s also how I paint. It’s not perfectly layered or structural, but a quick and frenetic approach that yields whatever it yields. For me, it’s super fun and energetic. It takes all the academia out and lets me color like a kid again. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t made a tutorial yet. How can I teach you how to simply embrace your inner child and paint without restraint?
That said, I do intend to try this year, so stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more of my crazy approach to painting and sketching in the coming months. It’s not textbook, but was happily influenced by lovely masters who took the time to share what they know. I’m no master at all, but I do show up each day with enthusiasm and a paint brush. I think sometimes, this is probably the most important thing to do. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to art, despite what curators and critics might tell you. It’s a mingling of color, lines, and emotion that really can’t ever be explained. Like every great story ever told and retold, we can analyze it, but that fails to get to the heart of why we actually love it. Beyond technique, there lies another world, controlled entirely by impulse and feeling. That, to me, is the real world of art. The one that evokes memories forgotten and connects with us in a way that can’t always be immediately described. Just a visual that rekindles our most primal feelings and, sometimes even, our quiet intimate cravings.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue . Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!