As the work week comes to a close, I’m feeling tired and yet refreshed. So, for our “Mellow Yellow” prompt, I first thought of a bit of lemonade on a summer day. When I had this drink as a kid, it was usually after a lot of feverishly intensive play of some kind. That’s why I tend to think of it as an elixir that helps you feel more me relaxed and mellow. I never get too terribly stressed out about things as I know everything will somehow sort itself out in the end. But when I have a ton of projects all going at once, I sometimes get a little distracted and find it difficult to keep up with everything. This is precisely why my little sketching break has never been optional. I feel like I’ve found the perfect elixir to ease a busy mind each time I sit down to sketch stuff. This weekend we have lots of plans, including two theatre shows, which is completely rare for us, so I’m already figuring out the timing of when I can sneak in a bit of sketching time. I’m a super mellow person, but still thrive a bit on the excitement of having just a bit too much to DO! It’s like putting together a puzzle and figuring out just how the pieces can all fit together. I’ve always loved putting together puzzles, so it’s not at all surprising that I’ve built my life to resemble one. It’s a such a thrill when all the pieces find their place.
Though I loved lemonade as a kid, it has a bit too much sugar for me as an aging adult. I sometimes feel like my body is betraying me. Like it doesn’t realize we’re 8 years old and ready to take over the world one day with our gigantic dreams. I have way more to do in a day, yet my body tells me I’m tired and need to go to sleep. My first response to that is from my inner child as he declares my body a complete buzzkill and then curls up his face and sticks out his tongue. But, my second response is a bit more thoughtful. Taking that much needed rest is what helps me figure out the current problem I’ve been riddling. Sure, I’m known to actually dream about the solutions themselves while sleeping, but it’s still made possible from at least an attempt to rest properly. Last night, I had a rather wild dream that woke me at 3am. It wasn’t a typical nightmare worthy of stirring me out of my sleep, but simply a comment from someone who appeared there. A man who I had apparently worked with me at one time, but I couldn’t recognize properly in his dream version, said, “you can’t lose sight of what made you show up here in the first place.” A perfectly ridiculous and inexplicable comment to be sure, but it shook me awake.
I’ve no idea who this dream person was, but those words haunted me today. They are, of course, my own words as it was my own mind, after all, dreaming up these things. But, our minds are a clever thing indeed. They can bury much of what we need to consider until the very moment we need to consider it. So, why did I show up here in the first place? Well, I was excited about sketching each day and coloring my sketches with watercolor. I wanted to share that joy with the world and get as many others as I could to try it with me and feature works from beginners to masters. Yet also, in my heart, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Learning to illustrate my words was a wonderful thing indeed, but it was just a final piece of the puzzle. That’s why I’ve shown up here each and every day. I’m not sure that what I have to say or ramble on about, as is my approach, is noteworthy or even, at times, of any value at all. But, I continue to show up with my illustrated story. And that little kid in me, who used to write stories and doodle illustrations in the corner of his notebooks at school is smiling at us both now. It may have been through quite a circuitous path, but I’m truly living my childhood dream. And, when you finally get the chance in life to figure out the riddle of yourself, that’s certainly one of life’s most refreshing moments.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Vermilion, Leaf Green, and 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!