When I was a kid, a little bottle of soap bubbles could turn into hours of entertainment. Okay, not really hours, as I had a notoriously short attention span back then as well, but I did really enjoy them. Blowing bubbles and then chasing after them to pop each one was a blast. As the reflected colors swirled inside each bubble, I remember being mesmerizing. It was like a mysterious rainbow world of moving and ever-changing colors. Perhaps that’s why today, I rather adore watercolor. Watching the colors move and blend in ways I never anticipating is lots of fun, and holds my interest in the same way bubbles did as a kid. And, as most of you know, I approach watercolor with all of the glee and joy of a child as I make my little coloring page each day. I remember running through a sea of bubbles as well when I was really little, feeling each one pop in a soapy burst on my face. Little pleasures like that sound ridiculous when described, but at the time it was the most joyous thing in the world. Many of the things I enjoy most now in life are the simplest of all. It’s tough for even the most amazing new thrills to beat the simple comforts being home and spending time with family.
When it came to blowing bubbles, however, my lack of patience usually always meant that I would begin by blowing too quickly and not producing a bubble at all. I soon learned to slow down just enough to make a satisfying bubble. This hasn’t changed either as it’s a pretty good description of how I approach just about everything I create in life. I rush in with glee, often too fast, and throttle things back just enough to accomplish the task properly. While having a firm plan in place before one begins something is a good thing to do, I just can never bring myself to approach things in such a methodical fashion. Even when I’m painting, I’ll switch colors and say to myself in my head, “I’m bored with green, I’d rather try some orange now instead.” So, when people asked me to share my process, this was why I was a bit slow to do so. Then I realized that I have a palette, or coloring set as I call it, built around the color wheel and I use basic color theory even if I tend to go out of order all of the time when I paint. So, I do use some very foundational ideas in my approach. It’s not totally the random scrawling of an impatient child that it can sometimes feel like when I’m doing it. I’m just so busy having fun!
This has been a rather fun weekend, as it was mostly about relaxing and getting caught up on some projects. I’m not at all caught up to the point I’d like to be, but better off than I was before so that’s a win in my book. One of the projects was more of a chore in that it was doing laundry. Laundry is not something that’s ever fallen into a pattern in our house. It’s not something either Philippe nor I ever signed up to do. All other household chores are clearly split, yet laundry didn’t end up like this. Instead, it’s like Philippe and I both jumped up at the same time and shouted, “Not It!” like kids and couldn’t figure out who lost the game. So, it’s now more of a game of wills as we each wait to see which one of us will finally crack or run out of clothes first and actually do it. But, all things will get done and we’ll end the weekend happy that we didn’t bother doing very many things that don’t make us smile. It makes me chuckle to think that little has changed since I was a kid. You’ll still find me doing things very like that little boy I was many years ago when I was just running around in circles, happily enjoying the magic of bubbles.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, Indigo and Cobalt Blue. 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!