For our prompt of “Drinks” today, I chose my favorite summer drink now, which is actually just a glass of ice cold water, usually without the ice. That’s not a very exotic summer drink, so the kid in me likes to include a bendy straw to transform it into a bit of awesome. I’ve no idea why, but I’ve always loved bendy straws. In my defense, they are more practical than their pencil-straight cousins. We actually use washable metal straws today to avoid recycling issues, but I have fond memories of the neon bendy straws when I was a kid so that’s what I depicted here. Beyond bending them you could also stretch them and generally just play with them. This was a time before all of the fidget cubes, fidget spinners, and the like, so bendy straws were quite popular for many things beyond the intended use. There was also something called a “crazy straw,” a clear hard plastic straw, that looked like a shoelace that hadn’t been tied properly. I remember thinking it was cool to see a bit of red Kool-Aid work it’s way through the labyrinth of tubing as my eyes crossed to watch the show. I also remember that the straws smelled horrible, but it’s no doubt that I had a knock-off as we didn’t have money for the name brand things.
I’ve actually painted bendy straws a few times here on Doodlewash, since they remind me so much of childhood. I got chickenpox when I was young and had to stay home from school for a couple of weeks. I was a bit older than I should have been, but thankfully this meant that VHS rental stores were just in vogue. So, my mother rented all of the Alfred Hitchcock movies for me to watch while I was recuperating. This, and a can of Sprite with, yes, a bendy straw, completed my care. Also, and a mysterious homeopathic remedy for my skin that my mother dutifully applied that left no visible scars. Perhaps this is why I still like bubbles and mysteries to this day! But, it’s definitely why I absolutely adore my mother and credit her for pretty much anything I end up DOing along the way. When you have someone in your life who loves you in that most ridiculous way that always makes if feel like the sun is permanently shining on you, it’s a beautiful gift indeed. And, no matter what I accomplish in life, I’ll never forget the source of my own creative energy.
This actually came from both of my parents, as I inherited my dad’s impulsive and curious nature. He would jump into any new thing that seemed interesting and fun, completely ignore any of the prerequisite skills. He taught me that I don’t have to know everything in order to move my dream forward. And my mother, who constantly encouraged me no matter what I wanted to try next. No doubt, she saw a bit of her husband in myself and figured she should just roll with the outcome. The result was me, the guy standing before you who likes sketching stuff each and every day. A guy who wants to change the world, but has too much exuberance to ever implement that plan properly. I’m not particularly famous, or notably accomplished, but I’m a product of two wonderful parents who wished the most for me. And, that makes me feel like a complete success! I’ve not come close to achieving the dreams they imagined for me, nor even the imaginative dreams of my littlest self. But, each thing I DO each day brings me one step closer to that dream of me that my family and my littlest self once had. Though, despite this formidable cheering section, I oddly find myself pausing once again to once more experience the joy of bendy straws.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Leaf Green, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!