When it comes to roller skates, while I find them a perfectly fun invention, my childhood memories of them are nothing but awkwardness. I couldn’t really skate well at all, no matter how I tried. I just hoped not to bump into or roll over the other skaters. But, despite my complete inability to do it properly, I still joined my friends at the skating rink and continued to do it time and time again. I guess you could say that skating taught me a bit about perseverance. Though I never learned to skate with any since of mastery, I did improve a bit. This meant I could propel myself around the entire circle of the rink without stopping to shove off from the walls on the side. This is a moment I remember quite clearly and I felt like I was an Olympic runner taking a victory lap. I had managed to get a bit better. Still ridiculously awkward, and notably less talented than those literally spinning circles around me, but, I improved. I’ve carried this feeling with me throughout my life and it’s one of the reasons why I celebrate simply “doing” above all else today. There’s always a bit of improvement when you do something continually and, for me, that makes the journey the entire reward.
Philippe and I are doing last minute things before we journey to Paris on Friday. I’ve heard the idiom that “getting there is half the fun” when it comes to things, but I’m not sure this can truly apply to international travel. It’s a long and arduous experience that has its moments of delight, but it’s mostly filled with stressful times and a hope that sleep will actually happen to reduce the numbers of hours involved. Weirdly, Philippe and I actually do enjoy our little airline food dinner. It’s not particularly delicious, but each little thing can be unwrapped like a gift, so it makes it more festive. And since they lovingly try to trick us into believing it’s a new day and time for breakfast, you get a second treat before the flight ends. In truth, we arrive at bedtime, and struggle to stay up until 5am our time to have lunch with the family before stumbling to our apartment to pass out for the afternoon. And yet, it’s all still perfectly wonderful. There’s a lovely buzz to be had when running on pure adrenaline from the excitement of being reunited with people you love. In that wonderful moment, getting there is all of the fun.
Much like skating, my daily sketches see bits of improvement here and there. But, it strikes me that my biggest challenge is that beyond a daily one, I haven’t really set a destination for myself. My current practice is simply a fun game of showing up each and every day. I haven’t painted a perfect picture in my head of where I wish I could go. In some ways, I feel I should, and in others, I feel like the lack of that picture is the very thing that keeps me coming back each day. When you have a destination, the journey will ultimately end at some point. And I’m just not ready for this journey to end. When you don’t make that proclamation, you can happily skate along and enjoy the moments that come in the process. But, indeed, I should point my shoes down a particular path at some point. It’s prudent to have a sort of goal in mind when it comes to where you’d like to take your art. Yet, for today, I’m perfectly enthralled to just show up and make a little doodlewash. Each day, learning a bit more, stumbling in moments and shoving off the wall at times to get a bit of speed, still always thrilling to that immense joy that can be found by just rolling with it.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!).. 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!