Without finding any inspiring way to translate a “caterpillar” prompt into my interest in painting food and beverages, I decided to take a little tea break. Truly, I was just really ready to paint something glassy again. Also, a reminder, that if you’re painting along on this month’s challenge and find yourself uninspired, please ignore the prompts and paint whatever the heck you like! As for me, I simply noticed that as soon as the weather warms up I start really craving tea so I felt like painting some. This is not a stunning or particularly interesting revelation really, just sharing with you where my mind went today. As a kid, I preferred to drink bubbly, sugary sodas. Really any flavor would do. I particularly liked orange sodas, but I think it was mainly for the color as I’m not sure the flavor tasted like an actual orange. It tasted more like the actual color orange if colors themselves had a flavor. But, these days, when it’s not plain water, I definitely prefer tea.
Apologies to caterpillars everywhere, but my muse today just didn’t feel like following a prompt. I think it’s very important to listen to your muse when it comes to creative endeavours. Actually, it’s probably a good thing most of the time. It’s that little voice inside that whispers, “Do this and be happy.” That’s really it, no big long speeches, at least in the case of my muse, whom I’m convinced shares my short attention span and could never be bothered saying much more. Some days, I feel like I’m rushing through the motions and not as inspired. On those days, I always take a step back. No need to try something I’m not committed to doing. I just close my eyes and let my muse tell me what to do next. I’m pretty sure I’ve done this all my life. I remember doing it as a kid. I’m not sure I thought about having something as lofty as a muse back then, but I did have an imaginary friend named Harry. He was always suggesting fun things to do and who was I to argue with him. And had I been caught arguing with an invisible friend, I’m sure my parents would have gotten worried.
It’s really no different as an adult, except arguing and questioning becomes more a habit than an earnest attempt to discover the world. When my muse speaks, I sometimes hear another voice in my head saying, “really? are you sure?” This one though is quieter, more timid and so thankfully, my muse always wins out. The one thing I’ve learned through this art journey is that in order to keep a daily painting habit alive and thriving, I have to make sure I’m often painting what I love most. Not every day, as it’s good to push myself out of my comfort zone, but many days. And if my muse is ever a little a too quiet, I think back to when I was a kid and wonder, “What would Harry do?” Either way, I’m definitely going to figure out the thing I should be doing next. The thing that makes me happiest. Whether it’s sketching a pair of my favorite sneakers or wandering off on a lovely tangent by taking a tea break.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Phthalocyanine Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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!