When it to comes to patterns, our prompt for today, a peacock came to mind, with its gloriously opulent feathers that make it seem like it’s some kind of bird royalty. I often think a peacock knows it’s rather fashionable, as it seems to strut more than simply walk around. I have to appreciate that level of confidence in any creature. I can remember getting a new outfit of some kind, though, and feeling like I look rather good in it. That rare and wonderful moment when a good hair day combines with just the right look to make me feel rather good about that reflection in the mirror. Most days, I’m just donning whatever I can grab and ruffling my hair a bit before heading out the door. I don’t spend a lot of time and energy, as some do, on looking “put together” and instead end up looking “casually created” most of the time. This is a side effect of my age and not really worrying too much about what I look like in that fastidious way I did when I was younger. These days, I figure if I appear clean, combed and somewhat orderly, then life is just how it should be. Fussing over things can be such a bore. Life is far too short for that.
Most of the time, these days, I just want to feel generally happy and content. It’s not that my bar has somehow lowered, it’s simply that I’ve come to realize that being truly happy is all that really matters. As I grow older, I love the perspective I’ve earned and can now apply to my life. Things that seemed so incredibly important in my youth, are now, nothing more than faint memories. I would get so worried over things back then that really didn’t matter much at all. Today, I just focus on living a happy life with friends, family, and lots of positive thinking. And I’ve come to embrace my own little quirks as not something problematic, but something that simply defines me as a person. Sure, it’s a person whose inner child is sometimes more in control than the adult, but that’s just how I am. And it makes life so much fun! As I gaze it awe at others who are ridiculously organized and seem to always have everything in order, I’m instead, skipping along to music only I can hear. This is something that plagued when I was younger, but as an adult, I wear the distinction like a badge or honor.
And when it comes to patterns, I know that I’ve fallen into a very particular repeated way of doing things when it comes to my daily sketches. In art, this manifests itself as a style. A way that I approach my little doodlewashes that makes each little disparate thing I create still somehow seem like it’s born into the same family. Much of this phenomenon is simply the lovely side effect that comes from the hand of the artist. The way I sketch will always be just a bit different than the way someone else does, simply because that’s how nature works. Though I often adore and envy the style of others, in the end, I can really only create my own look and style. My hand, mind and heart will do whatever they choose and I’ve learned to not question them too much. Instead, I’m rather pleased to show up and share what only I could have made that day. Even when two artists paint the exact same thing, the result is never really the same. There’s something else happening there. Something almost magical that always makes the image on the page reveal that bit of uniqueness. And I, for one, think we should always embrace and flaunt this gift as we enjoy the stylized beauty that it produces, like patterns on a peacock.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermillion, Leaf Green, 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!
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!