For Day 25 of #WorldWatercolorMonth and our prompt of “Shades Of Pink,” I opted for a flamingo, as I know many others did as well. It’s no surprise, really, as when it comes to shades of pink, a flamingo seems to be sporting all of them. This is only the second full flamingo I’ve ever sketched and I decided to make one resting so it would better fit in my sketchbook. What I find fascinating about these birds in that they begin their life in shades of grey. They get more and more colorful as they get older thanks to their diet of brine shrimp and blue-green algae, which due to a natural dye causes them to gradually turn pink. I rather love the idea of this process and think it applies metaphorically to humans as well. When we’re young, everything seems to be in shades of grey as we try to figure everything out in the world. As we get older, we learn more and more and gradually we change to our true colors in adulthood. Or, at least, know more than we did back then. I think I’m still changing color each day, blending hues of knowledge with the next and always morphing just a little each time. And it’s wonderful to move from a black and white sketch to glorious color each day. It’s the gradual transformation that makes for all of the fun!
I’ve met people who tend to live their lives in black and white where everything seems to have an implicit answer. I find this a terribly dull approach to life, as my favorite part about it happens to be all of the various nuances that can be found there. I still use the same eyes of my childhood self used to explore and discover the world. And, now I realize, it wasn’t exactly in shades of grey at first, as this would imply total confusion and a lack of color. Instead, I set about looking for those nuances and shades of color and putting them back together in a way that made sense to me. This is precisely how the mind of an artist works. It’s not about creating reality, even in a realistic piece of work, but creating the artist’s impression of it. A sort of alternate reality that’s a blend of the artist’s imagination and the world we all know. This is equally why so many of us love and are drawn to creating art. It’s an incredible experience to view the world, and then translate it into a medium of some kind. My mother still does it to this day by crocheting and sewing things and the effect is equally magical. It’s all art to me, even when they call it craft. I’ve not yet been able to understand the difference.
What I know in my heart is that when we make something new, we make something wonderful happen in the world. This world can be as small as our own home, and the people who love us there, or as large as the global stage that social media has offered us. And, though, on some days, it feels like we didn’t make a difference at all, when we share what we create, we always DO! When I first started posting the stuff I sketched, I was thrilled when I received that very first comment! The entire idea that someone else out there enjoyed what I created enough to pause and say so, was the most incredible feeling in the world. And yes, I still adore every comment I receive to this day, and still try my best to comment back to every one. This gets harder every day as Facebook and Instagram filter comments by “Most Relevant’ and I have never figured out what that really means. To me, any comment is a relevant one. So, thanks to all of my friends who comment on my posts for encouraging me to keep DOing each and every day! It means the word to me! A world that was once shades of grey, but has now been transformed into lovely shades of pink! 💕
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. 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!