Today’s prompt came to mind when I was making the list, because I’ve never really attempted to truly look closely at a pine cone and paint one. During the holidays this past year, I snuck a loosely sketched one into a wreath, but haven’t really tried painting one on its own before. They are devilishly complex and so I just avoided them whenever possible. This is, of course, exactly the opposite of what I encourage other artists to do, so I figured I would set things right and just go for it already! So we have a single little pine cone for today’s illustration and it turns out it wasn’t as tough as I thought. Proof that my inner voice is often just a crazy person mumbling warnings that should most often be completely ignored. There are lots of pine cones on a tree outside my window now, but there was an ice storm today, so we’re hiding indoors at the moment. What looks like snow is actually little bits of of glistening ice and it’s rather beautiful on the grass, but it’s making the roads a bit treacherous.
I think that the groundhog who declared six more weeks of winter was probably correct after all. The temperatures are staying pretty darn low around these parts, and though spring doesn’t officially begin for another month, I’m ready for its arrival. I always feel like the arrival of warm weather gives me some unspoken license to change things up and try new things. This is perfectly silly in many ways as I can certainly do that any time I like, but for some reason it just feels different for me when spring arrives. When I think back to when I was a kid, though, I didn’t seem to have this seasonal affliction. If I wanted to try something new or reinvent myself a bit, I just went for it, no matter the time of year. When faced with an ice storm back then, I spent a week without power next to a kerosene lamp writing little two-minute mysteries. These were simply the front and the back of a piece of notebook paper, and I ended up with a stack of them that week, though I’m not sure if my mom still has them, and I keep forgetting to ask when I’m there.
That kid didn’t pause once to consider if he could or couldn’t do something. He always just jumped in with gleeful abandon and a strangely obsessive nature. While I have all of those bits still in my personality, adult life sometimes feels like it’s dragging me along with it. All the little things that kid didn’t have to worry about are now things I have to juggle while I sneak time for my creative hobby. But mainly, it’s the self-doubt that creeps in telling me that something is too difficult to do and I should make a different choice. Many times, I do so, opting for a simpler path, but I always feel like something was left behind with that choice. Pushing myself to paint something each and every day is a wonderful first step. But the second step now, is to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things. It’s not even anything particularly major, just listening to the less crazy voice in my head, the one that simply whispers, “DO.” That’s the voice that tells me nothing is ever too complex, and sometimes the greatest of adventures can begin with one little pine cone.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.