For our prompt of “Dragonfly” today, I opted for super quick sketch of one admiring a flower. I was thinking today about how I’m always striving to see the world with fresh eyes, but how it’s often very challenging. Even a kid at heart like myself struggles with kicking that adult mind to the curb every now and again. Just today, I was struggling to solve a problem on a project and then had to just stop and walk away. It was then when an idea burst to mind that was so simple it was almost ridiculous. And, indeed, it ended up being the best solution in the end. I’ll often wander away like this in order to think about things differently and then hope, upon all hope, that when I return I’ll see things differently as well. We humans lack the amazing sight of the dragonfly whose entire head is made of eyes. They can also see colors that we can only dream might exist. Yet, even though I don’t possess the dragonfly’s magical gift of sight, I’m still reminded that I can still always look at the world with a new perspective.

I have to admit that sometimes I feel almost embarrassed when I come up with a solution that feels like a winner. Each really good creative idea I’ve had in life shares the same thing in common. The idea is totally obvious only after I’ve managed to come up with it. It’s also how I can tell when I’ve got a winning idea. I love it when I can come up with something that’s new and surprising, yet feels so comfortably natural. Like it always existed and I just failed to notice it before. That’s why I always try to take a step back from things and look at them as though it’s the first time. When I worked in corporate America for a few years, I was on an innovation team. The company had lots of buzzwords that were bandied about freely, as most companies do, and for a time it was very popular to talk about the company’s “orthodoxies.” These are those widely held believes that get sort of locked into a culture and become “truths.” The problem is that they do more to hinder thought than promote new thinking, so it’s always good to spot them and define them.

These days, I blissfully don’t have people whispering buzzwords in my ear all of the time, but I still use what I learned from being around them. I often challenge myself about the things I’ve decided must be true. It’s sometimes hard to spot and question them, however, since some truths feel almost non-negotiable. Some things are simply what they are and there’s no changing that, right? Well, not really. Not when you’re an artist of any sort. That, to me, is what makes it so much fun! I’m always free to imagine and manifest something in a completely different way! All of the many rules that I thought existed in life become less rigid and start to bend with each new thought. It’s the sort of mental approach that feels just like when I was a child, before I learned all of the rules that might slow me down later in life. And it’s still not easy to break free of those common perceptions, but each time I DO it’s so rewarding. It’s why you’ll always find me being a kid again and enjoying the world much more as I continually practice seeing with fresh eyes.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, Indigo, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) 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!
Dragonfly And Flower Watercolor Sketch Sketchbook Detail


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32 thoughts on “Seeing With Fresh Eyes

  1. I don’ think it ever stops. It’s so hard because I tend to love my ideas at first but they don’t happen on paper as I dreamed. It’s always a negative thought that ruins it all. I am working on this and I’m doing better. I love reading about other artists because I feel not so crazy and most importantly among friends. Charlie I wrote about the same thing for today’s post.

    1. Oh wow! That’s so wonderful, Mireya! 😃💕Yeah, that’s why I created this community… we really need each other to know we’re not at all crazy. Or at least, only crazy in that good way! hehe It’s tough to create sometimes, but always worth the effort!

  2. Oh well, do I remember the ‘orthodoxies’. I wasn’t with a company that wanted them identified or challenged either. Not fun. Retirement’s so much better. Love your dragonfly and flower!

  3. It is so pleasant to watch dragonflies late in the afternoon on a summer day as they dart about my yard eating flying bugs. I think that I read that they can eat massive amounts of mosquitoes. I am hoping that is true. I love your dragonfly and flower Charlie!

  4. Dragonflies are my absolute favorites, though I tend to photograph them rather than sketch them. I love your sketch, Charlie, and am enjoying your recent switch back to your Lamy Safari with sepia ink. There is a real softness with sepia that appeals to me more than the sometimes harsher black outlines.

    1. Thanks so much, Mike! 😃💕Yeah, I think the sepia ink is a fabulous pairing with watercolor. I jumped back to play with that a bit, though when it’s glass or metal, I tend to like black a touch better!

  5. Orthodoxies as far as I can remember is a buzz thing that never hit libraries. Thank goodness! We jumped on so many corporate ideas it made me crazy sometimes. I think it was because a lot of board members came from the business world and they thought we would be better off copying that model. Wrong!!

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