Today, I had a commission to paint, so that left me with even less time, but I managed this little doodlewash of a canoe since it’s the next thing on the prompts list. I rather like having prompts as I didn’t have a clue as to what I should paint next and it was like the decision was made for me. This is a prompt I can speak to, however, because I’ve actually been in a canoe before, but it’s been years. What I remember most was that it was a lake with really green water and I spent the majority of the trip terrified I would tip into it. While I love taking a dip in the waves of an ocean, lakes sort of freak me out. They’re muddy and the water always seems like it’s been sitting too long. It’s like being in a toilet that never flushes. But as is often the case when navigating a canoe, before the end of the trip, I had indeed tipped over. And that’s when I realized it’s actually the fun part.
Tipping a canoe feels like equal parts failure and giddy exhilaration. On one hand, you failed to navigate properly, but on the other hand, you’re suddenly splashing and screaming and having a generally awesome time. Never has failure felt that good. Granted, the last time I attempted to maneuver a canoe it’s also possible I was also holding a beer in my hand at the time. Though drinking and driving is generally considered something to be avoided, drinking in a canoe is rather accepted. This is probably because it’s highly unlikely to cause much damage while traveling at only 3 miles per hour. But a few beers does help ease fears of what might be lurking in the lake water.
I admit that my fear of lakes is probably irrational, however, and I blame the cinema of my youth. According to movies, if you were near an ocean, you were likely to get eaten by a man-eating shark, but that’s not particularly unexpected. Lakes, however, were always home to bizarre serial killers and should be avoided at all costs. This was particularly unfortunate because I grew up in an area that only had lakes. I’m realizing now that I was denied beaches as a child and yet allowed to watch movies that demonized lakes. Not sure whether that would be considered ironic or simply sad. But none of that would stop me from experiencing the sheer joy of traveling at excruciatingly slow speeds, just moments away from the thrill of tipping a canoe.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Permanent Green Pale, Cobalt Blue, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.