When I was kid, we would often use the phrase “lucky duck” to describe our envy at another child’s good fortune. That’s what came to mind today for our prompt of “Duck” so we have this happy little mallard to illustrate the concept. I wasn’t able to find the exact origin of the phrase “lucky duck,” but duck as been used to refer to people for quite some time and, well, it sort of rhymes so that’s always a winner. There’s another phrase of “odd duck” that’s meant to describe someone who, as they also say, marches to his own drum. I’m rather sure I had this phrase applied to me at times back then and perhaps even now. I’ve always liked doing whatever I personally enjoyed, even if it wasn’t the mainstream thing that everybody else was doing. I’ve never been remotely trendy, though I’m usually well aware of the latest trends, there are few I follow. And when I do, I usually just dabble like a duck. To me, it’s very lucky indeed to get to take a little bit of time to do what I love each day. Though I wish for much more time, of course, and though I’m usually rushing to make something, that rush is all of the fun. It’s the way I prefer to create things. It’s fun to see something rapidly appear that wasn’t there before and almost feels like a bit of magic.
And, as many of you might know by now, I often put a bird prompt on the 8th day of each month. The annual Draw A Bird Day is on April 8th each year, but many of my good friends, who also blog on WordPress, rightly thought that once a year was simply not enough. So we’ve celebrated it on the 8th day of every month on and off for a few years now. Having art friends who have encouraged me from the start makes me feel very lucky indeed, so much love to all of my fellow birders today! Without the initial support from my blogging friends, I’m not sure I would have been able to keep showing up each day. It’s tough when you’re first starting to learn how to do something. Things don’t always turn out like you’d hope and it can be a bit scary to share what you make. But I did, and I’m thrilled I did. A handful of truly awesome people thought it was worth it to take a moment and leave a comment. Those earliest comments made me so motivated. Along with the ones today, of course! I was thrilled to know that people enjoyed what I was doing. That’s why I encourage people to post, even before they think they are “ready” and have built several groups so people have a space to share and get feedback. By the way, not all of the feedback on my own work has been positive, but the critical comments were appreciated as well.
I’m actually horrible when it comes to giving critiques because I’m just like a little kid who spots the joy and awesomeness in everything and just gets super excited about it all. And since I don’t believe in a single “right” way to do something, it makes giving a critique super difficult. I honestly cannot tell someone they are doing something incorrectly, because in art, doing something incorrectly is exactly how every art movement has happened. It would be horrible to think we’d never have had the opportunity to experience cubism, because someone had actually managed to convince Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque they were doing it all wrong. So, instead, I turn into a psychologist and say, “how did it make you feel?” and “how did you want to feel?” To me, if those two things line up, we have a winner! Yeah, probably best never to ask me for a standard critique, I guess. Perhaps, I am just a bit of an odd duck after all. But I always know how I want to feel when I sketch and paint. I just want to feel a bit of joy. And I always do! So, I think, in the end, I’m doing things correctly for me personally. That’s all I could ever hope for anyone else. And when your passion makes you feel the way you hoped, it’s a glorious experience that could undoubtedly make others say, “you lucky duck!”
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!