Today’s prompt of “glowing” led me here to this little yellow partyvbulb and thinking about light bulb moments. Those moments made both famous and trite by cartoons with people or animals getting an amazing idea and having a light bulb magically appear over their head. This, of course, doesn’t happen in real life as it would be weird and unsettling. Though if you’re in a meeting and someone suggests something it would be super helpful, because you would know it was actually a good plan before proceeding with a long, tedious discussion about it. So, the simple little light bulb has managed to become synonymous with ideas. My entire career has been about coming up with new ideas and some days it seems like lights are flickering all around my head and others, well, it can feel like a power outage after a bad storm. The thing about creativity is that, light a light bulb, it needs a power source in order to work properly. Unlike a bulb, the power isn’t from electricity, so when this happens, I know exactly what to do next.

Walk away! Stop immediately! Yep… if I feel like my light bulb has burned out, the first thing I do is quit whatever I’m doing and do something else entirely. I never try to force myself to come up with an idea. It never works. I just happily bounce off to something else and come back to the project later. Some days, for my watercolor sketches, I’ve dashed off a pencil sketch at lunch of something I thought I wanted to paint and then erased it entirely and blasted out something else that evening. The fun part about creativity is that I don’t have to follow a linear path, even the one I suggested to myself in the moment. In today’s case, I’m not sure I was prenaturally inspired so much as I still need to keep practicing circles. Some days the inspiration comes full blast and others it’s more of a whisper. Though this doodlewash is a party bulb so maybe I’m thinking I should have a party soon. No, I don’t really really like parties so that couldn’t possibly be it.

There’s not really a second step other than returning to whatever it is I’ve started. Ideas will always come, usually when we least expect them. The fun part is continually moving forward in pursuit of them. A next thing to paint or a new way to rearrange the furniture in the house can lead to something really cool. Oh wait, so there is a second step after all. Never give up. After walking away, always come back and finish what you started. Even if it’s nothing amazing, at least it will be completed and teach whatever it is one is meant to learn from that to make the next try even better. The process is always way more fun than the conclusion. Moving forward, through each success and every little failure to arrive victorious on the other side. Even on the dimmest of days, if we just have a little patience, there will always be those light bulb moments.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalocyanine Blue, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink and second pen with sepia ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 9 - Light Bulb Moments Yellow Party Bulb Watercolor - #doodlewash

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16 thoughts on “Light Bulb Moments

  1. This is absolutely the most beautiful painting of a light bulb ever! You got it just right – the glow, the reflections, the shadows, the transparency, the colors – how can anyone make some so lovely out of an ordinary light bulb? I bet this Doodlewash sparks a lot of ideas for other people. For me, it reminded me to turn on the outside lights – getting dark already. But my mind is still popping. Great post today, Charlie, really love it.

  2. A stunning lightbulb you have painted here Charlie, I think it could be a new fav….and it’s just a light bulb, but you truly have captured this so so well, I stared at it for a while, and that warm yellow tells me you are always full of bright ideas 😀

  3. You really know how to paint light/reflections, Charlie! This is a wonderful painting and a story to go with. Thanks for “brightening ” my day! 😊👍

  4. I’m always amazed Charlie when I see you produce such shiny objects! I have a hard time with that, especially glass. I’ve been working on a champagne bottle for a birthday card for my son. I think it turned out okay, but what did I do after I had the bottle finished – accidentally smudged the side of it. So now I have this dark green blob sticking out the side of the bottle. I have to figure out what to do now. I did put grape vines around the top of the bottle, so maybe I’ll just have to put a grape leaf there or something. Love your posts Charlie, thanks!

    1. Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Shiny objects and glass are my favorite thing to paint next to food! hehe And oh now! Sorry to hear about your painting, but I think your solution is great. Accidents in watercolor just lead to cool inventions! hehe I say add the leaf! 😉

  5. Charlie, your advice to temporarily walk away from the project when the inspirational lights flicker out is good. I also believe each day offers an opportunity for creative progress on something! (just not always according to our plan or expectation). Happy to discover your blog this morning. Regards!

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