Today we start our brand new “Fun In The Sun” art challenge for June! So, this was a lovely opportunity to sketch a conch shell, which is my favorite kind of seashell. Though it’s sunny here at the moment, there was a very brief thunderstorm earlier that darkened the sky and turned a scorcher of a warm day into a shower of cold quarter-sized bits of ice known as hail. That’s the wild and unpredictable weather we’ve been experiencing here, so a month of at least dreaming of sunny days is a wonderful thing indeed! Philippe and I stood watching the hail come down and I have to admit, it’s rather mesmerizing. Seeing bits of ice bounce on the ground captured our attention fully for the short ten minutes the show lasted. Just ten minutes after that, the sun appeared and immediately melted each piece of ice as though the whole event were only a dream. Nature can be rather unpredictable, especially where I live. And, though I had the opportunity once to move to southern California, my choices have kept me here instead. And while I don’t like extreme weather, of course, I adore the four full seasons and, truthfully, I’d really miss the snow. But, sure, right now, I’d kill to be sitting on the beach with cocktail in hand!
Instead, I’m just once again sitting at my kitchen counter, typing a bit after playing around in my sketchbook. All of this in the center of the United States, so there’s not a beach for miles and miles, or even in a neighboring state. But, it’s fun to sketch something and let the memory of the thing take me back to a particular place in time. This time, I went back to just last year when we visited southern California. It was wonderful to catch up with dear friends and spend time just walking along the beach. There’s a beautiful feeling of time standing still when I’m just watching waves roll in and retreat across sand. Though my attention span is typically quite short, I can spend hours just sitting or walking on the beach. For me, it’s that impossible combination of feeling lost and found all in the same moment. Looking across the ocean to get a rare glimpse of infinity while a cool breeze blows by me and I make that silent wish to return to this very spot. Those wishes are made to be broken, of course, since Santa Monica and Laguna Beach are the only ones I’ve ever been to more than once.
But, Philippe and I are considering a trip in August after the festivities of World Watercolor Month in July have passed. Nothing at all has been planned, but we’ve been having fun discussing the possibilities. Imagining where you’d like to be next is a trip all in itself! Though we haven’t settled on a location, a beach comes up more than anything else, so it’s definitely the current frontrunner. As much as I love to travel, I have to admit that home is where my heart is all of the time. Despite the erratic weather and the very occasional ice chunks spewing from the sky, it’s a really lovely place to live. What makes it actually home, of course, is being with my husband and our little dog Phineas. Phineas doesn’t get to come on vacations with us, so that’s the part that always makes Philippe pause a bit committing to making plans. He doesn’t like to leave his baby or be too long gone from daily routines. And I can understand this feeling. As much as I love to be somewhere new, I’m equally thrilled to be back home again once it’s over. Even though I’ll still find myself slipping into my imagination to enjoy a beautiful and relaxing break, at times, somewhere by the sea.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Turquoise. 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!
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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!