Our September Art Challenge has begun, and I hope you’ll jump in and join me when you can! This month is a wonderful opportunity to practice drawing and painting all of the common things that we see around us each and every day. I’ve been sketching stuff like this for quite some time now, and each time I sketch something, I learn new things. And, I get a bit quicker in the process, which makes daily sketching much more possible. Today, my mom and sister were in town, and heading our way for lunch and to spend the afternoon with us, so I had to quickly create something before they arrived. I adore my family, and though I don’t get to see them often, it’s always a wonderful treat to spend time together. My mother doesn’t have Internet access, so it’s also a chance to show her some of my recent sketches. It made me so happy to show her the ’57 Chevy I sketched recently and hear her proclaim, “That’s my car!” In truth, she couldn’t afford to buy a new one when she graduated, and later, wasn’t able to get a used one, so by the time she truly considered it, it was already a collector’s item. She never got that car, so I simply signed the sketch in my sketchbook and then cut it out of the book and gave it to her. It’s not every day you can give your mother her dream car, so it was a beautiful day indeed.
As for a light bulb, well, it’s the quintessential representation of an idea. As an object, it provides much needed light, but as a metaphor, it’s about lighting up your creativity. After lunch with my mom and sister, we came back to our house to have dessert. This consisted of my own homemade ice cream, the only thing I know how to “cook,” along with Philippe’s homemade mini waffles cones. My mom and sister loved it, which made me happy since I altered the family recipe just a bit by reducing the sugar and adding a pinch more salt. My mom didn’t mind at all that I changed the recipe, and in fact applauded me for having the idea. Once again, I was reminded of her amazing knack for always supporting my creative endeavors. I asked her about my Christmas present, which is a request for a Paddington Bear that looks like the newer movie version. She told me she’s working on it, but asked if I wanted the head to be jointed as well, because she didn’t know how to do that. I told you, “of course, that’s what I want!” I then hopped online and we watched a video together on exactly how to perform such a feat. I was still totally confused by the end, but my mother simply smiled and said, “Oh yes! I can do that!”
This was the same thing we did together when I was a kid. I had some wild new idea of something I wanted to create, and together we would always figure out how to DO it! In truth, I can’t even remember all of things we created together, as the things themselves ceased to matter as much. It was more about the act of figuring everything out. We both loved the idea of a challenge and would set about trying to figure out how to solve the mystery that any problem posed. I realize now, this is the most important trait to have in any form of arts or crafts. It’s a basic feeling that any is possible. That with a bit of ingenuity and creativity, one can create anything they imagine in life. As I listened to my sister talk about her craft business and success at a recent Comic-Con convention, I was reminded that arts & crafts run deep in my family. Moreover, that insatiable sense of curiosity and a need to make things that make people smile. This isn’t quite the lofty ideal of a fine artist, but instead, simply the folksy heart of a person who simply loves to create. I feel so lucky to have been born into a family of makers who are constantly looking for new stuff to make next. And indeed, throughout the process, rediscovering the important bits of life, while always finding the joy of everyday things.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermilion, and Cobalt Turquoise. 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!
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