Though I sketch a lot of animals and adore them all, dogs are definitely one my favorites. I decided on a French bulldog for today’s sketch, really just because Philippe was showing me a long Buzzfeed story dedicated to bulldogs last night. They are rather adorable with their cute little folds of skin and “please take care of me” eyes. And most of the photos were of them being impossibly cute in various states of relaxing. It struck me that as I was watching I grew a bit jealous of these lucky canines. How glorious it would be to relax like that through much of the day. My days are a bit more hectic and frantic as I rush to getting everything done. But, then I thought about my little watercolor sketching break and realized that I DO get those dog days after all. Each and every day, in fact, even if it’s only for 30-45 minutes. And, when I saw those adorable little dogs just enjoying a moment of sitting still, I realized why I always demand my little bit of sketching time each day. It’s the most wonderful way in the world to relax and let my mind take me on a lovely journey. Each time, a blank page is transformed into something that wasn’t there before and that’s quite an amazing bonus!
Many of you know that I’m prone to jumping into new things all of the time. I always have a new project that I’m working on along with a full-time job and this website. It’s a little crazy, but I’m having so much fun that I often don’t even realize when I’ve overextended myself. Which is pretty much all of the time. What’s been wild for me to discover in this art journey is that this site makes me twice as productive in the rest of my life. The creative energy I get from showing up each day and seeing all of the fabulous things posted in our community here, propels me forward. I’m so inspired each and every day to make art, and I’m fiercely protective of my daily art time. Especially on days, when I get extremely busy, I’ve learned that stopping to make art is required. Any bit of stress I’m feeling simply falls aways as the lines begin to take shape and the colors swirl into place. I’m quite sure this is true with any creative endeavor. Writers would likely feel the same way. It’s a form of escape that has all of the glorious positives of a beautiful restful nap, yet comes with something special and new in the end. At least, if it’s approached with glee and wonder, of course.
Sometimes, I place a bit of pressure on myself as I show up each day with my performance art, such as it is. I wonder or worry if people might like what I drew or wrote that day. This is part of being an artist, to be sure, but what gets me through it is that no matter what I make, there’s usually always at least one person out there who adored it. Yeah, that doesn’t seem like a very large number, but it’s amazing to think that something I made connected with someone I haven’t even met yet. And each time I make something, I’m more at ease. I feel more like I’m me again and can face all of those things on that unbearable list of things that I have to do next. I guess, what I’ve really learned is that if you want to get things done in life, be sure you’re making time to sit still and enjoy it. I had no idea when I first started painting and sketching that I’d discovered something miraculous. I just thought it was quite fun so I diligently gave it go. Now, over three and half years on, I can attest that it was actually the very thing missing from my life. A chance to let everything go, and let my creative spirit play for awhile. Indeed, I had no idea that in my moment of excitement for watercolor sketching that I’d actually discovered the art of relaxing.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta 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!
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!