For today’s prompt, I made a quick little 2-color doodlewash of just two mushrooms. I had very little time to paint today, so I figured I’d keep things simple and quick. That said, I’m actually a big fan of mushrooms of all varieties so I’m glad I had the chance to paint a couple. Since many species of mushrooms seem to appear out of nowhere overnight, it’s often said that when a small insignificant thing quickly grows into something of value it “mushrooms into something.” As I start these quick sketches, that’s always my hope. After the initial ink sketch and through the time when I quickly begin to splash on color, I’m just sort of hoping the object will reveal itself. I still feel like I don’t have an exact plan when I start so I spend my little painting time just willing things into existence.
I think I’ve approached much of my life this way. Just passionately starting something and doing it until it becomes bigger. Not everything works out the way I’d planned, but the things that do manage to become something, make all the failures worth the effort. It’s so exciting to experience that magic moment when something that seemed so small and insignificant mushrooms into something amazing. Though my art still feels like little practice sessions, the real joy in my journey has been meeting so many other artists. This blog, mushroomed into a worldwide celebration in July and has gone on to host a fabulous World Watercolor Group of talented artists (now over 25,000 members!). That’s just pretty darn cool.
My point, I guess, if I indeed have one in this stream of consciousness writing that I do, is that when we really put our minds to something, it will indeed grow bigger and better. A focus and commitment to daily painting is absolutely guaranteed to make you a better artist. No question. It will always happen. Unlike mushrooms, it doesn’t happen overnight, but the moment you notice that you’ve suddenly improved a bit still sort of feels that way. It’s that day that feels like a breakthrough. Like you’ve learned something that will make every future painting just a bit better than before. It can be months in between all the trying, but it will definitely happen. And the feeling is quite wonderful. So, even on the days when I don’t feel like my work turned out like I thought, I know that it always will again. After all, I’m not trying to become an artist. Each day I paint, I’m just trying to make mushrooms.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Burnt Sienna and Ultramine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with sepia ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.