There’s little doubt when looking at one of these birds why we have a phrase such as “proud as a peacock,” our prompt for today. Beyond the luxurious tail feathers plumped up for visual display, they have a look in their eye that just exudes a sort of quiet confidence. An almost endless sense of self-worth that seems very enviable. And when I make a little something in my sketchbook each day, there’s always a moment when I’m quite proud of the page I just created. Sure, there’s quite often a moment just after that when I intend to share it with the world that I question it. Well, not me, of course, my verdict is solid, this is the opinion of my inner critic. That odd voice that isn’t truly a part of me, but more like a strange bystander. That heckler in a crowd that doesn’t really know me at all. It’s strange to have a voice inside my head that doesn’t belong there, but since I know it doesn’t belong there it makes it quite easy to ignore. Instead, I listen to the voice that is meant to be there with me at all times. This is the voice of my inner child who is my constant companion on this art journey, urging me forward happily and giving me a thumbs up because I showed up, and made us both proud.
In truth, I had to think about pride a bit as I saw this prompt. That’s something that can also have a negative connotation as in being too prideful. But, I think that when we take the time to make something, we should always be proud of the result. No matter what! To me, it’s the act of showing up to create that should be the entire source of that pride. Transforming a blank sheet of paper into a little piece of art is a wonderful thing indeed. Often, sure, I’m going for a completely different look than the one that appeared that day, but I always love that I managed to make something appear in the first place. During my journey with Doodlewash, I’ve heard from a lot of people who are reluctant to post what they make, and I always tell them to simply DO it! Go ahead and post whatever you make each and every day. It’s so rewarding to see people DOing just that and, you know, it’s always something beautiful in the end. That’s the thing, no matter what we thought we wanted to make that day or how loud our inner critic is in trying to dissuade us, the end result is always something new and lovely!
So, that’s why I happily tell people to post what they create. It’s always a joy to see what people have to say about whatever I made that day. Even on those days when I had very little time and I myself wasn’t overly certain of the result. The beauty is always that something resulted in my time spent, however small that time might have been. And these moments of creation are always a wonderful thing to share with others. There’s nothing better than the thing you made yourself that day. A little notion, with a bit of ink and watercolor, or a poem or some words from the heart. It’s a gift that we have to share with others and I think we should always share it with pride. While I’m fully aware that my own coloring book pages won’t likely find their way into a gallery at anytime in the future, I’m still happy with what I made. I never hoped to be in a gallery in the first place. My only hope has always been to create. I hope that I’ll make something that others will enjoy that day. Nothing more complex than that. And, in this approach, I have to admit that I very often find myself feeling proud as a peacock!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!) + Cobalt Turquoise. 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!