Today, we began our May Art Challenge, which comes with a fun color prompt each and every day! Today’s prompt is “True Blue” and I decided to doodlewash some blue flowers in a blue vase, using all three of my blues with a bit of yellow and dark red. The phrase “true blue” itself means loyal, honest and genuine, which I always strive to be in life. In Australia, it’s equivalent to even more colorful and fun phrases such as “dinkum” or “dinky di.” I love the way those sound! When I was growing up, my mom instilled this sense of genuineness in us kids. Later, my sister and I joked about not even understanding exactly how she did it. That’s just how cool moms are. This led to a pay it forward mentality that I’ve always had throughout my life. It just makes the most sense to me. It’s why I always promote other artists and equally why I’m total rubbish at promoting myself. (So, yeah, I launched a new, super fun, instructional art book in the form of an activity book, and if you haven’t picked up a copy it would mean the world to me if you did!! There, I did it!). I hope what I make will be well received, but I’m still so passionate about just getting everyone to play along with me. Sketching daily is the best thing in the world, so I hope people will join me and trust me when I say this. There’s no greater gift in the world than the act of earning someone’s trust.
And, when it comes to sketching stuff, I’ve been true blue all the way! No matter what is going on around me or whatever crazy thing just happened in my life, I’ve always taken that little moment to show up and share something. Sure, results may vary, but I’m always happy that I made the effort and turned that blank page into a doodlewash. As, I begin to near the 4-year mark, I’ve built quite a library of words and visuals now. A mountain of sketchbooks are towering in the corner of the room. They’re like a little monument to perseverance. And it makes me so happy to see them each day, even if I don’t often open them to see what’s inside. What’s inside can be found here on this site, as I’ve posted everything I’ve ever made on this blog. I’m a shy guy, who only recently appeared on video for the first time during Sketchbook Revival, but I’ve never been shy when it comes to sharing what I make. I don’t think that any of us should feel shy about that. What I made is something only I could ever make. My heart and my hand work in tandem to create a visual and a bit of words that reveal themselves each and every day. I’m not sharing something I’ve rehearsed or planned, but something of the moment, a magical moment when some stuff gets created out of nothing at all.
Each day, I sit down to a blank page of a sketchbook, and then an equally blank page of a blog post. It’s a perfectly old-fashioned blog post, to be sure, as it’s not optimized for robots to enjoy and search engines to find. Sometimes, it works that you might stumble upon one of my creations via one of these mechanisms, but most of the time, what I post is only seen by a sort of secret club who has somehow discovered me. And the little kid in me thinks that’s the coolest thing ever! Yeah, the adult in me thinks that kid is a big dum, dum and is still screaming, but they won’t buy your book!! But, lots of folks did! And thank you! They found me as I want them to find me. The real me, without any effort to create a persona. I just can’t escape being who I am. And I think that’s my most wonderful discovery on this art journey. What we each make is so unique that we cannot escape our own personal style. It’s not something we need to find, as indeed it’s already found us. No matter what our creative endeavor might be, there’s a magical bit of our soul in each thing made that makes it truly our own. A beautiful style built of our own passions and feelings that makes everything we touch true blue.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, Indigo, and Cobalt Blue. 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!