For our prompt of “Turtle” today, I chose a sea turtle, underwater and chasing a wave. Or, at least, that’s what I had in my head when I made this little sketch. I imagined my turtle spotting a surfer and wondering what it might be like to be just like him. Sailing through the air on top of a wave instead of always swimming beneath it. I think many times in my life, I’ve felt like this turtle. I see someone who’s doing something that looks absolutely amazing and then wish I had their particular skill or talent. But also, as I’m sure this little turtle discovered, I soon realized that I’m only ever at my best when I’m being the best “me” that I possibly can. For example, there are always people out there who are way more skilled at creating art than me, but I keep getting a little better each day. A little doodlewash a day, as it were, and something I encourage everyone to DO! What I personally love is watching people improve on a daily basis without even realizing that it’s happening. Sure, there’s the occasional worry, a feeling of being rushed and not always having enough time. But, we should always be proud of our own unique skills. For example, though a sea turtle can’t navigate a surfboard, he can hold his breath for 4-7 hours. This indeed would be inviable to that surfer sailing above those waves.
What I’ve learned in life, and keep relearning as I continually remind myself of this fact, is that we all have a unique and wonderful talent. There’s that one thing that we have that’s just special and not quite like anyone else. Sure, there’s probably more than one thing, but there’s always that one very noticeable thing. The thing others mention about us. Most likely, it’s not even about our technical skill in whatever creative thing we’re making, but something more. An intangible quality that many remark on, but everyone has a slightly different way to describe it. So, sometimes, we fail to even realize what it is. But it’s always there, defining us in the best way possible. It’s that spark inside of us that makes us attractive to others. Any art we create is simply an expression of this spark. So, I contend that it’s always beautiful. When I often like bomb people and seem to tell everyone that what they made is beautiful, I’m not just being nice. I truly see the beauty in everything that people create. And when I’ve seen several things from the same person, the work just keeps getting more and more beautiful to me. I’ve met their spark. I know them. And it’s absolutely lovely.
Though I started this art journey on my own, I feel like I’ve found a new family in the process. The hallmark of family is that they just “get you” in a way that most others simply cannot. I think that’s the beauty of painting, sketching, and blogging together. We’re not alone on this journey. We’re not setting out to impress those who have never met us, but simply sharing a bit more of ourselves each day with those who know us. Well, at least, that’s what keeps me coming back each and every day. I’m thrilled when someone I’ve not met before enjoys my art, of course, but my heart fills up when someone I’ve already met takes the time to comment again. And I’m fully aware that I still don’t DO all of the things everyone else does. I’ve managed to make one instructional book with two others nearly complete and I’m still rather shy about making videos. But, that’s the thing. I just show up as me. Perfectly flawed and never trying to be someone else… me. I’m sure there’s a better me I could affect, but that would break from my own philosophy. My goal has only ever been to be the best me possible. And as I watch others online and I wish I were more like them, I have to admit that I rather love the special place I’ve found, surfing under the waves.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermilion, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!