I had every intention of going with the sailboat prompt today, but thinking about sailing lead me to think of ships… and then pirates. So, instead of a boat, we ended up with an early form of nautical communication that makes the phone with the curly cord look downright high tech. As a kid, I thought the concept of using a message in a bottle to communicate was a bit ridiculous, since the odds of anyone discovering it seemed so slim. But that didn’t stop me from being perfectly fascinated by the idea of me finding someone’s message in a bottle. Now that would have been awesome. Like stumbling on a mystery that’s waiting to be solved. Granted, this form of communication didn’t exist in the 70’s. People actually sent letters. A behaviour, which many people today might find just as ridiculous as sending a message in a bottle.
Today, whether we’re sailing the high seas or simply taking a European vacation, we can simply text or post something to social media in order to communicate. For example, we can share a picture of our feet on Instagram to prove we’re having a fabulous time at the beach and far to lazy to stand up and take a proper photo that might actually interest you. Everything is instantly sent, and instantly conveyed. Today, receiving something written by hand feels particularly special, but finding the card or note without a reply button makes responding confusing. I’m guilty of this, as though I absolutely love to receive snail mail, I haven’t purchased a stamp since the 90’s, and this makes sending anything back rather complex and terrifying.
Though we live in an age of instant gratification, I do sometimes long for those days when you actually had to wait to receive a reply. Every word and message seemed to matter more back then. With no delete button you had to actually think about what you were going to tell a person and would work hard to make each word count. Perhaps that’s why I write my posts in a stream of consciousness style. I have a delete button, but I simply choose not to use it. I’m interested in knowing what’s really on my mind. Like my art, I don’t edit, I just make what comes to mind. I’m much like those people in nautical lore writing messages for whoever might find them. And if you’re reading this now, that’s so wonderful… you’ve just found my message in a bottle.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Gamboge, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
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!