For our prompt of “Cactus” today, I opted for a blossoming one with a little wren resting on top. The weather wasn’t warm where I live, and there’s quite a lot of snow and ice on the ground. It’s rather lovely, to be sure, but not super colorful. And the effect always turns me into a full on kid again as I just want to stay inside and play all day. Thankfully, it was Sunday and I had the day off work, so I just treated it like a snow day. Like I’d just found out that my school classes were cancelled. So, instead of working on projects, that’s exactly how I behaved today. The end result, of course, is that I got nothing much accomplished, but I had a heck of a lot of fun! I did break out of my restful “doing nothing time” long enough to sketch and color, but that always counts as play for me as well. And this was a fun one today as I just splashed on color quickly without fussing over things at all. I think that in itself is a wonderful exercise and a good reminder to myself to DO so more often. I rather liked the glow that appeared on this one and it matched quite well with my mood today.

Many times, when I choose to take a little break, my adult brain starts nagging me. It preaches to me about all sorts of alarming things. Then the guilt sets in. The fact that I didn’t take the time I had to do something “productive.” What I’ve learned instead is that very often taking these breaks can be the most productive thing of all. There have been many times when I just wasn’t getting the sketch I wanted so instead of worrying about it, I just walked away for awhile. Sometimes, I’ve just abandoned something I was trying to sketch entirely because it was feeling like a struggle. In my childlike world, there should never be a struggle, only joy. Most of the time, when I return to something, it suddenly becomes the easiest thing in the world. This is when I know that my inner child showed up to rescue me. Whatever was blocking me from seeing had disappeared and everything popped back into focus again. Creativity isn’t one of those things in life that can be forced. It always needs a bit of space to grow properly.

So, I adore the days when I choose to fall backward and let the day simply take me where it wants me to go next. And, yes, my adult brain is telling me in this very moment that I’m just rationalizing all of this to make myself feel less like a slug. Yet, that’s the thing. I feel totally great! I feel wonderfully recharged and ready to DO just about anything that comes to mind. It’s quite simple why this happens. My mind has had the time to clear itself out properly. There’s a lot of mental junk that gets stored there. It’s sort of like a closet that becomes less of an organizational tool and instead becomes a way to hide things that we just can bother to deal with in the moment. That’s why I often like to practice a bit of “spring cleaning” when it comes to my brain, even in the middle of winter. And while cleaning out a closet is an absolute chore, brain cleaning is just about having a lot of fun. It’s about giving myself permission to do what I truly want to do in a given moment rather than what I feel like I must do. Weirdly, I get a heck of a lot more done in the process. So my heart always knows that no matter what my brain is telling me or how much I feel I should be doing, there’s often nothing better than taking a rest.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Indigo. 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!
Cactus Wren Flowers Blossoms Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

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42 thoughts on “Taking A Rest

  1. This has such a cheery feeling Charlie! We hit 58° yesterday and 65° today which broke all sorts of records. Unbelievable for January. Yesterday I was chopping ice and getting it off my driveway. Today we woke up to rain and it was already 60° at 5:30 am. The sun came out and the driveway is total dry. Ready for the next change in the weather. Temp is dropping fast. Glad that you enjoyed your snow day! I think it is coming our way on a few days.

  2. I so love your cactus and wren! I think stepping away allows an idea to steep and you can go back and create once the tea is perfect. Unfortunately, I can overdo the tea and end putting things off forever. I am the Great PROcrastinaTOR!

  3. Sometimes, you just have to go to lunch. Even if it’s just 10 o’clock in the morning. A snack and fresh air knocks down some dusty cobwebs in the brain. Metaphorically. And literally, a snack is always good! Ice and snow here means no one left the house. Soon enough, we’ll need food, and Joe will have to go to town.

  4. Beautiful painting. I love using pen and watercolor together. Some of my favorite art are pieces I created using the two. I find myself practicing many different techniques and styles. I wonder if I should settle on a style and finetune my technique in that form. It is all just so much fun! Thank you for sharing your beautiful art.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeromy! 😃💕 Yeah, I realized from the start that ink and watercolor were my thing. That said… how I apply them has changed on a regular basis! hehe… I’m still trying to figure out the balance I love most!

  5. What a lovely sketch! Excitement is in my brain this week, as we might have a dusting of snow. Because we live in such an unpredictable area, no one knows for sure what we will end up. It normally does not stay for long, which is a good thing!

  6. Charlie says, “Creativity isn’t one of those things in life that can be forced. It always needs a bit of space to grow properly.”

    Truer words were never ‘spoke’ or wrote’.

  7. It’s always fun for me to try to figure out what you might have painted when I see the title of your daily blog but haven’t seen the post itself yet. Sometimes you paint exactly what I expected, but this one was a total surprise. And a really sweet painting. Though I have to comment that the little wren can’t be too relaxed on top of all those prickly spines – gotta carefully watch wherever she chooses to rest a wing or she’s gonna be a shish kabob.

    1. Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I discovered something called a cactus wren… they apparent have no fear and actually burrow inside to make their homes. Guess it’s nice to have a house with full home security! lol

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