When I was a kid, I was told the lovely myth about conch shells. The wondrous idea that if you hold one up to your ear, you can actually hear the ocean. Being a little boy in the center of America and never having been near an ocean before, I was enthralled. I would hold the shell up to my ear and listen for the crashing waves, made more dramatic when combined with my imagination. It was an incredible experience. Sure, I would grow up to learn the real science behind resonance and even that an empty cup would produce roughly the same effect. But the empty cup didn’t actually come from the ocean, so it just wasn’t the same. Equally alluring was the idea that I was holding a piece of the ocean in my hand. A fragment of some creature that once lived in that mysterious place that I only ever dreamed of seeing. It was pure magic. That beautiful kind that children create in their minds. The place where nothing is off limits and everything is about celebrating the art of the possible.
This little doodlewash was a quick one, done once again without ink in a new style I’m trying. I’m about to head out to the theatre to see a show very soon so I have to be quick about things. I’ve always loved theatre, as an audience member as well as an actor on stage, which happened more than a couple decades ago. I love being in an environment where everyone is given permission to just let their imaginations run wild. I think it’s so important as an artist to let you mind wander into places that don’t always come with a lot of logic. I’m quite certain that if I let my analytical side run the show, I wouldn’t have accomplished anything that I’ve been doing lately. My rational mind would have told me that what I’m dreaming about is just impossible. To forget out that, and move on to things that are more likely to happen. Thankfully, my inner child is still a fighter. He’ll simply run gleefully away from those thoughts and go on and do it anyway.
The thing that propels me isn’t some silly notion of “success.” I’m not even sure successful people could actually define that properly. My goal is simply to never have a regret. To never spend life wondering if that crazy idea I had might actually have worked if I’d taken the initiative to give it a chance. I’m always looking past the thing I’m currently doing to the next thing I might try. Sure, I get a bit jumbled trying too many things at once, but I’m always perfectly satisfied with the outcome. The fact that I truly did that thing I was dreaming about is enough to feel like a win. I guess what I feel is that if you’ve been thinking about trying something, just go ahead and do it! “Do” is the motto that I went with when I first began this blog and wrote that little manifesto that I still use today. Anything is possible when you let yourself believe that it can happen. Whether it’s fulfilling your lifelong dream or just hearing a crash of waves while listening to seashells.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Gamboge, Opera Rose, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil 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!