Our prompt today of “Study In Scarlet,” could be anything red, but evokes the title of the book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I loved Sherlock Holmes stories as a kid and read every one! So, I ended up with a magnifying glass, that’s a bit more crimson than scarlet. A Study In Scarlet, originally published in 1887, is notable as it marks the very first appearance of Sherlock Homes and Dr. Watson. Sherlock would go on to appear in 60 stories penned by Doyle and thrill us with incredibly ingenious solutions and practically supernatural powers of deduction. He was my hero as a kid and I hoped I would grow up to be as smart as he was in those stories. I’m not sure that I have, but I still love a good mystery and trying to figure everything out before it’s revealed to me. Though I love being surprised as well, solving a mystery is still very satisfying. I still have it on my bucket list to write a mystery book of my own, but it will be some time before that actually happens. I’m currently working on my Sketching Stuff Activity Book series at the moment so that’s taking all of my writing time. And a huge, giant thank you to everyone who’s purchased a copy of my first one in the series! I really can’t thank you enough!
Philippe and I actually spent the afternoon embroiled in a different sort of mystery. This one revolved around who would win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Not sure who else out there watched this global battle unfold, but it was filled with lots of wonderful performances and others that left a few questions in mind. But, the mystery was eventually solved and congratulations to my friends in The Netherlands for taking home the first prize. I had trouble deducing the outcome of this one as I actually liked the performance by Leonora Colmor Jepsen of Denmark the most. But, it was so sweet, optimistic and positive that it’s really no surprise I would choose that one. Among all of my wild dreams, I once thought I wanted to be singer as well. Like so many of my crazy dreams, that never actually happened, but it instilled a live-long appreciation for other singers to this day. It’s always when we attempt to excel at something that we learn to appreciate just how difficult it is to DO well. These days, I don’t attempt to excel so much as simply play and enjoy whatever it is I’m currently fascinated with doing in the moment. Life is just less stressful and much more fun that way.
In truth, my whole existence has constantly ushered in its share of difficult questions to deduce. I honestly haven’t yet been able to answer that ultimate question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” As a kid, I’m not sure that I wanted to be a mystery writer so much as I wanted to simply be Sherlock Holmes. This, of course, is impossible as he was a fictional character, and we can only be the people we actually are in the end. But, that never stopped me from wishing for the outcome. Life is one of the most insidious riddles as it’s not so much a problem to solve, but an idea to embrace. The final conclusion is one we’re not really present for, so it’s best to live life with all of the glee, wonder and optimism we can muster! Yet, in many ways, I often feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes as I try to deduce what I’ll attempt next on this journey. Like I’m trying to outpace myself and figure out just what my next move will be along the way. More often than not, I’m rather amazed by what happens next. And always happy that I’ve built a satisfying life that’s surprising, but inevitable, waiting for that next moment when I find myself, once again, solving a mystery.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Vermilion, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Indigo, Terra Cotta 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!