Since I’ve already painted lots of things relating to the ocean, our Doodlewash prompt today, I wasn’t sure what to sketch. Then my inner child took over and I ended up with a quick little doodlewash of a clownfish and blue tang floating over some coral. Of course, it’s nearly impossible now to simply see only that as, for many, these fish have been immortalized in their cartoon versions via two wonderful Pixar movies. We visited our local zoo recently and near the penguin exhibit, there’s a tropical fish tank. It’s stunningly gorgeous, but as I was walking up to it, I was nearly trampled by a group of children who rushed past me to press their faces to the glass. Inside the tank were several clownfish and blue tangs beautifully swimming along and little kids started to point while screaming, “Dory! It’s Dory!” This made me smile as I realized that this little blue tang had suddenly become a celebrity to children everywhere. The fact that there were actually 6 identical Dory twins in the tank did nothing to quell the fandom. Each one that swam by the window of the tank, was the actual Dory and they were all suitably mesmerized.

These fish are lovely and I’ve always found them fascinating, but when you pair them with a lovely story they become something more. Not simply fish with exotic coloring, but fish with a past and a narrative that makes us feel like we might know them a bit better. If you’ve, by chance, not seen these movies, they were Finding Nemo (he’s the clownfish on the left) and Finding Dory (she’s the blue tang on the right). I loved these movies as I do most all Pixar films because it’s always a beautiful story of friendship, family, and hope. These are the most important things I’ve found in life. And though one could simply tell me that it’s good to have family, friends and always look on the bright side, it’s never quite as compelling as when it comes in the form of a story. Last night, Philippe and I watched the movie Christopher Robin, which is an imagining of what happened after Winnie the Pooh’s best friend grew up. It’s a beautiful movie, but yes, a bit sad, and had me crying at many points. I wasn’t even sure sometimes the cause of those tears, but mostly it was sad that someone ever made the horrible choice to grow up.

For my part, I’m quite content being a big kid. I don’t even try to hide the fact that I still adore playing with Legos and many of the films I watch are animated. I didn’t leave my childhood behind, I grabbed it with all of my heart and took it along with me on the journey. I can’t imagine going through life without it. There have been so many turning points in my life where I would have been completely confused had I not had my inner child there with me. He also points in the right direction. Sure, it’s sometimes a silly and even ridiculous direction, but it always leads me to where my heart really wants to go. I gave up on following my mind years ago when it just continued to perfectly disappoint me. So, unlike Christopher Robin, and far more like Peter Pan, I’ve made the decision that I will never actually grow up. Growing old can’t be helped, of course, so it’s nothing really worth fretting about. Things I can’t actually control are not worth my time spent worrying over. But when I have a choice, like choosing to honor my youthful heart, life just gets a lot brighter in the process. And it’s the perfect state to find and enjoy when I’m looking for my next once upon a time.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!
Day 12 - Clown Fish Blue Tang Watercolor Nemo Dory Sketchbook - Doodlewash

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

22 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time

  1. I don’t know what it says about me that my favorites are the Despicable Me movies. Maybe it’s just the desire for Minions. My favorite non-animated movie is Jaws. So we have fish in common. If course mine would eat yours. Lol! 😂

  2. I love the playfulness of today’s painting. It seems to capture the joy of the kids at the aquarium. Like you, I never want to “grow up” if it means losing the ability to enjoy the wonder of each moment!

  3. Well, you hit the nail on the head with this post in so many ways. Hi, I’m Lori, a huge Disney geek, child at heart. It’s no fun to act like an adult. I grew up on Pooh, so I was thrilled to see the animated movie come out. I thank my first grade teacher for my love of him. She would bring little elixir filled stuffed animals of them to school and read the stories to us every once in awhile. That was 50 years ago! I saw the Pooh in an antique store and the memories came back. Of course I bought him and later found his friends. Love your fish, beautiful colors!

    1. hehe! Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! And LOVE that you’re a kid at heart as well. That’s probably why you enjoy it here on Doodlewash! It’s practically a requirement! I don’t want to ever loose that feeling of discovery and joy! Ever!

  4. Before each painting, I pull out the jacks my husband bought me for my birthday, and I play several rounds on my painting table, just to set a playful mood before I pick up a brush.

    One “Twilight Zone” episode, entitled (I think) “Kick the Can,” is especially touching, as it takes place within a nursing home, which is directly across from where children play. One resident picks up the children’s can, feels the magic of his youth within it, and creates a midnight game for all but one unwilling resident. The end is a perfect reminder for the child in each of us.

    The older I get, the younger I get. It’s doubtful I’ll ever act my age, and I accept this. It’s wonderful to love Pixar movies, paint with our fingers, and clap at wonderful news–our own, or others. Charlie, I think you’re in good company with all of your DW friends!

    1. Aww I love that jacks routine, Fanna! 😃💕 And I remember that Twilight Zone episode. It was a wonderful one! And I AM in wonderful company. It’s great to know there are so many folks out there who are just as bound and determined to never lose that child inside!

  5. Just think of how many writers, poets, dancers, artists, and musicians are trying to recapture childhood, and how we celebrate them when they do. You never left yours behind, always keeping it near to your heart. Our oldest grandson, when he was 3, called every fish Nemo, no matter what color or kind of fish it was. You made a lot of little kids happy today with this charming Doodlewash, especially Little Charlie.

    1. Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 That thought makes me happy! I know I made my own inner child really gleeful with this one! hehe And so true, everything we love about our fellow artists are connected to that moment when they decided to unleash their inner child!

  6. Charlie said, ” I wasn’t even sure sometimes the cause of those tears, but mostly it was sad that someone ever made the horrible choice to grow up.”

    My eyes filled when I read that. I’m not sure why we are willing to give up our enthusiasm, our intuition, our openness, or what we hope to gain by doing so. You keep us connected to the best part of life. Thank you!

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