Once again today, I found myself rushed for time and then had that moment where I thought I wouldn’t be able to sketch something at all. I’ve faithfully shown up each and every day since the moment I started sketching, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some days where I’m sort of wondering if I’ll make it happen. But, then I saw this little penguin looking back at something and it made me look back and remember all of the fun I had when I first began. Those days were all about the new and exciting thing called watercolor sketching that I’d discovered. I still remember barely being able to sleep because I was so thrilled to get up the next day and try out my new hobby. That was over 45 months ago now, and so I should be a pro at this right? Well, that’s really not that much time at all in an art journey. I’m still just a kid learning each and every day and I’m so happy for that. And when I remind myself of this, all of the stress falls away and I happily get out my art supplies and just color! Suddenly, that time I thought I didn’t have appears and becomes the very moment I needed to happen that day. What on earth could I possibly DO that’s this much FUN! So, yay for the sketching habit that just can’t be stopped. It’s made my life so much better and more rewarding in the process.
Last night, while I was sketching, Philippe was watching a French documentary about fries. If you’ve not been reading along, it’s important to note that one of his favorite shows is one that takes a single and common item and goes on a feverishly in-depth exploration. From carrots, to cauliflower, to pickles, nothing is off limits and surprisingly has a full hour of history to discover. I think it’s really funny and it makes me giggle and then I stop and realize that while he’s been doing that, I’ve just spent the last 45 minutes visually studying a single thing of my own. So, I guess we’re a pretty good match in the end. We both adore the chance to dive deep into something, especially the most mundane and common things imaginable. And indeed, my favorite subjects are always the ones that we can all recognize and appreciate. From bits of nature, to animals, to food, to memories of a childhood long ago, I just love sketching stuff. So many wonderful things have happened since I started writing and sketching and it all started on a whim during a holiday weekend one summer.
There are dreams we actively chase and then there are dreams that actively chase us. They aren’t something we even take seriously in the moment, but something our hearts latch onto and so we just follow along to see what happens next. I love these dreams the most. The kind that my mind has already written off as silly and not worthy of a second thought while my heart screams, “Listen to ME! I want this!” That’s the dream I’m still living today. It’s the one that started Doodlewash and the one that continues to evolve as I follow my heart and ignore my mind just a bit. I have to believe that this penguin sees something that I simply don’t. Something unexpected and wonderful that my rational mind would right off as a mere distraction. My inner child is my best friend and I know he would never lead me astray. So, yeah, I can seem a bit childish sometimes as I’m always following a heart much younger than the laugh lines in that betray my face. Little Charlie seems to think that the penguin knows best. And I have to agree with him. There’s something magical to be found when you take the time to spend a few precious moments each day just looking back.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Blue, and Terra Cotta. Micron Pen 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!