When I think of innocence, our Doodlewash prompt today, babies come to mind, but since I don’t paint people, baby animals were my next choice. Not knowing how to choose between a puppy and a kitten, we ended up with one of each. Looking at babies is a wonderful reminder that no matter how much we think we might know today, we were all perfectly innocent once. Each new little thing was a total wonder that could be exciting or even a bit scary. Growing up was actually a slow process that contained lessons to be learned both in and out of a proper school setting. Leaving high school or college, I was deemed “ready” for the world, whatever that meant, and told to go forth and conquer life. It was as if all of the teaching abruptly stopped and suddenly it was time to bounce through life without a guide. I remember this moment when I was young. A part of me was exhilarated by the chance to forge my own path, and another part, of rather equal size, was scared as hell! My confident side won out so I could proceed, but I made so many ridiculous mistakes back then that I could have hardly qualified as “ready” for the world. I’m not entirely sure the world was even ready for me. But, it was all part of the wonderful journey of life and I’m thrilled to have bumbled my way through it all.

Today, I often feel like I’m still a student of life. I’ve not mastered its crazy idiosyncrasies and find myself still bumbling at various times along the way. I still spend an inordinate amount of time dreaming of possibilities. I know I should expend more studious attention to completing the ideas I already have brewing, but that next idea is always right there waiting to be developed. This has plagued me my entire life, and it was something that, at one point, I desperately wished I would simply grow past. Now, approaching 50, I can say without a doubt that this is simply part of who I am and not something that will ever change. And I’m now rather thrilled by this fact. I adore that the process of growing up didn’t actually rob me of those very qualities that made me unique. And, while meeting hundreds of artists around the world, I’ve learned that I’m not really all that unique at all. And that makes me happier still. It’s wonderful to know that I’m not alone in this journey of art and life. While it’s tough enough to grow into adulthood, becoming an artist, of any kind, is like starting all over again.

I’m just three months past a three year art journey. So, yeah, in “art years” I’m a toddler. I’m just a little three year old boy who is still trying to learn everything as he goes along. Sharing my art with the world online opened new possibilities, which I’ve adored, and also a world of things that constantly change and have to be learned and relearned as well. It can all get a little overwhelming at times, and make me feel like I’m actually that little boy again. Starting at the very beginning and trying to figure out what step the world wants me to take next while balancing what my heart tells me I should do. And being back in that state is a very illuminating place to be. The answer is simple and has never really changed. I will always choose to follow my heart, not because it feels like a youthful and exciting transgression, but because it’s the one thing I can say I’ve well and truly learned on this journey of life. I’ve found the heart to be the truest teacher of them all. And there’s really no age limit when it comes to the age of innocence.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!
Day 7 - Puppy And Kitten Watercolor Innocence Detail - Doodlewash

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14 thoughts on “The Age Of Innocence

  1. Another saying comes to mind, “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgement.” I think that’s what they mean when they say someone is ready for life – you’ve hopefully got enough school education to help get past the real education – all those mistakes – and eventually to learn some common sense.

  2. Innocence brings to mind my own baby granddaughter who is 3 months old. She’s perfectly curious about any object placed before her, looking intently, like an artist approaching a drawing. Puppy and kitten are cuties!

  3. My nephew and his eight month old baby girl will be visiting us tomorrow. It will be the first time we have met Norah. I’m guessing she’ll cry because we are strangers. Then she’ll get used to us and charm everyone with her giggles and baby jabber. I love that innocence turned to trust, and the barreling forward in the world.

  4. The Zen master Suzuki call it “Beginner’s Mind.” Don’t ever lose it! I started my art journey with my mother was an artist….she never had the luxury of a real studio…so she would bustle around every morning and get household chores finished so she could paint on the dining room table in the afternoon and I would be beside her with my crayons or watercolor tin. Classes in school, and a few at university later, with a teaching career ….I limited myself to scribble sketches in pencil. Upon retirement, I started my life as an artist all over again. Thirteen years later I am still learning! Between drawing/painting, learning calligraphy and continuing violin, there is always something new to challenge me. Hey, I am the eternal kid…..and I do not plan to grow up ever! Love the cute kitty and puppy doddlewash! A year ago we were adopted by Ariel, a gray, longhair kitten! He has three modes: Wild kitty play mode (and everything is a cat-toy to him), eating, and napping! Maybe we should do our art the same way! LOL!

    1. Thanks so much!! 😃💕 What a wonderful and uplifting comment, from another eternal kid!! YAY! And I agree that the Beginner’s Mind is the best place to stay. But now I think I’ll amend that to Ariel’s mind… hehe… SO true! I think Ariel has something to teach all of us! ❤️

  5. Charlie says, ” I will always choose to follow my heart, not because it feels like a youthful and exciting transgression, but because it’s the one thing I can say I’ve well and truly learned on this journey of life. I’ve found the heart to be the truest teacher of them all. And there’s really no age limit when it comes to the age of innocence.”

    That statement is both innocent and wise and one that every living being should adhere to.

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