When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to go see a movie, our prompt for today. I still love movies, of course, but back then it was extra cool to to go see a movie with friends without requiring parental supervision. I loved spending a couple of hours immersed in a visual story, and the treats were a favorite as well. That strange and other-worldly butter substance tasted like nothing else on the planet. Indeed, it wasn’t real butter at all, but something else entirely, a mystery of ingredients that once solved is far less appetizing. In truth, I loved the popcorn we made at home the very most. Our family movie nights were something I looked forward to, definitely for the time with family, but also for the popcorn. We’d melt real butter over the top and it was amazing! On rare occasions, Philippe and I will actually take the time and attention span to watch a movie at home. It’s such an event that I always make some popcorn to go with it. Our dog Phineas gets a few stray kernels as well that we’ve set aside for him. These are dry and fully popped, and would taste like nothing to us, but he’s in heaven and adores our family popcorn nights.
These days, I still like watching animated movies the most. For starters, they’re usually only 90-105 minutes, which is still quite an accomplishment for my limited attention span. Though, when I actually worked on a movie for the Hallmark Channel, called Northpole, even as it was delivered in a 2 hour block with commercials, it was actually a mere 81 minutes, which I loved! Yeah, I watched and enjoyed Titanic, even with its over 3 hour running time, but upon watching it again in 3D with Philippe in France, accompanied with French subtitles no less, I found myself getting a bit bored. Many movies these days seem to add time to the story in an effort to be epic or, at the very least, justify the cost of the movie ticket. These have indeed gotten a bit high, so Philippe and I only got to matinee movies at the theater these days. But ultimately it’s the story that one is telling that makes it all matter. Tell me a great story and I’ll stay with it until it’s complete. If it shifts into something else and tries to do more than that, I start to lose interest. In the end, I just want a good story nicely told. Perhaps that’s why I adore hearing all of your stories that are often shared in the comments of these posts. A world of wonderful memories that always make me smile.
When I was young, I dreamed of being in a movie and secretly wished that life were like one. But now that I’m older, I realize real life is definitely the best movie of all. The kind filled with all of those surprising, yet inevitable, outcomes that make the heart of any good story. The best part about this kind of movie is that I get to write it as I go. There’s no single outcome, no denouement, just a bunch of stuff that appears and manages to trigger a bit of memory. By movie standards, my life is hardly a story worth telling. Yet, I believe that real life has much to teach us and that if we take the time to stop and watch our own movie, we’ll learn more than we ever dreamed possible. Sure, there’s lots of bad bits, but like all good fiction, that’s not the real story. Our real story is made up of the good bits, those pieces that manage to defy that antagonist and overcome everything in the end. Because, that’s what we can all DO! We can’t rewrite history, but be we can write our own history as we move along. One sketch at a time. And so I’m thrilled to show up each and every day to enjoy that moment of reflection that can only come from a night at the movies.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, 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!