Today, I’m still a bit jet-lagged from our Paris trip, and it feels much later to me than it actually is today. I keep looking at the clock thinking it’s late and I’m surprised to find out the actual time is much earlier. Philippe and I have been trying to get things done around the house, so stopping for a moment to sketch a little hamster for today’s prompt was really a treat. I’ve got so many things to catch up on after being gone for two weeks, but I’m still feeling a bit lazy and in vacation mode. It’s like a hamster standing and waiting to decide whether to jump back on that wheel or just burrow into some wood chips for a lovely nap. In this moment, the latter definitely sounds more appealing. Yet, I’m still very happy to be home again and reunited with our dog Phineas. He had lots to tell us when we picked him up, squealing, howling, and yodeling as basenjis do while trying to tell us something. I’ve no doubt he was telling us off for leaving him for so long, but we instead like to imagine he was just telling us about all of the fun things he did at camp. Though he initially had lots of energy and excitedly ran around the house in circles, he’s now just as exhausted as we are and curled up on the couch, quietly snoring.
As slow as time has gone, I’ve not managed to get much done today. I was doing fine all morning, but by afternoon I felt like I was floating in a fog. Then I felt like something zoomed out of that fog and crashed into me. Yet, I keep scurrying about, sort of unpacking my suitcase and then getting distracted by something else that needs doing. The end result is that nothing is totally completed, but I’m so happy to be home again that I don’t really mind. Philippe and I are listening to music and having a glass of champagne to celebrate our return. At least, that’s the excuse we used when we opened the near-empty refrigerator to find a bottle sitting there. It’s the quietest and most low-key celebration as two introverts silently recharge after two full weeks of constant interaction. If anyone wonders how I had time to paint during the trip, it was actually easy and extremely necessary. Without making that little painting break, I would have collapsed in exhaustion. It was a perfect way to escape into my own little world for a moment so I could return refreshed and ready to enjoy friends and family.
Before I formed this little painting habit, I would often find myself not taking little breaks to recharge. I would get irritated and grumpy without realizing why. As it turns out, as much as I love social interaction, I get my actual energy from within. Sketching has become the perfect way to power up and makes me incredibly happy each time I complete a little doodlewash. This is the wonderful thing about art, no matter what form it takes. You can go to a place that’s all your own for a little break in the day, and then return and share that place with others. It’s how a shy introvert like myself has found a way to be extremely social! And, when it comes to holding my focus, creating something is still the only thing that seems to work. I was perfectly reminded today that household chores are not something that holds my interest at all. I was feeling a bit guilty seeing my suitcase still sitting on the floor, when I noticed Philippe’s suitcase sitting next to it still only half unpacked. It’s good to have differences in a relationship, but similarities can be quite comforting. That feeling of knowing I’m with exactly the right person. Someone who loves me just as I am, even if I tend to approach my life like a little hamster.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Yellow Ochre, 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!