While I do love winter snow, I’ve never been a fan of wearing boots. Today’s doodlewash is of the only pair I actually own and they’ve only been worn a few times. These I bought after I realized just how freaking cold it can get in Montreal, Canada. I had gone there for the first time to scout locations for a Christmas movie I was working on for Hallmark. The movie was about Santa’s home town, so snow was required, but I somehow didn’t realize we’d actually be trudging through the stuff during the trip. I had worn regular shoes and found myself knee deep in snow at one point. The others giggled at my lack of preparedness and kept asking if I was okay. Not wanting to seem like a total idiot, I said I was fine, which I was at that moment as I couldn’t feel my feet at all, so they really weren’t a bother. It was heading back to the hotel when I still couldn’t feel my feet that I got a bit concerned. Luckily, I was fine and nothing had to be chopped off, but I returned on the next visit with these boots instead. Though faux fur-lined and visually cozy, they proved to be of little help against the bitter cold, but this time, since I at least looked the part, nobody asked questions.
These were found online and, while I was shopping for boots, the first thing I realized was that most were perfectly ugly. They were all large clunky bricks that I couldn’t bear to wear, so I opted for these, because they sort of looked a bit more like actual footwear. There are many men who looked perfectly sexy and rugged in a pair of bulky books. I, however, am not one of them. Instead, I look more like a child who tried on his father’s boots for a bit of play. Sure, I guess if I managed to complete the outfit with looser, washed out jeans a heavy flannel plaid shirt and one of those furry caps with ear coverings it might help. Unfortunately, I don’t own anything like that as I don’t live in the wilderness fearing the next bear attack or drive a truck. While growing up, I quickly learned that I wasn’t “a man’s man,” or at least in the disappointing way I discovered that it meant. To be that meant you were a guy who loves to prowl around in man packs, go camping, and do manly things. I was never taken on those camping trips, most likely because I asked if there would be appropriate light for reading and if I should bring my violin.
I was only briefly in Boy Scouts, when a neighbor boy who was popular at school joined and I thought it might help me seem cooler. Well it was actually Cub Scouts as I was apparently too young to be considered a boy and instead seen more as a baby carnivorous mammal. The most exciting bit was getting to build a wooden car for the event known as the pinewood derby. The official car kit came with a rectangular block of wood, four wheels, and four nails. I was thrilled at the infinite possibilities and immediately began sketching designs and making color swatches. My car was a vision in bright orange in homage to the show The Dukes of Hazzard, and to my wee little eyes, looked like a winner. Unfortunately, I’d whittled most of the block away and the car was too light to roll properly. One is allowed to stick pennies or drill some lead in I believe, but that would have messed up my aesthetic. It rolled so slowly down the ramp, I actually caught some of the other cubs yawning. Shortly after, I quit the Scouts, and joined a ceramics class instead. I was the only boy, but I didn’t care. By then it was perfectly clear that I was just never meant be one of those men in boots.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Red, Yellow Ochre and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour 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!