Waiting For Memories To Appear

Day 13 - Polaroid Land Camera 1000 Watercolor - Doodlewash

It seems fitting that on this lovely Mother’s Day, in certain parts of the world today, our art challenge prompt is camera. I hope everyone who celebrated today or was celebrated had a fabulous time full of memories and lots of pictures. Back when I was a kid, when it came to making smiles, mom would always do so with a camera, and a Polaroid camera was a sure bet. This behemoth of a camera, doodlewashed here, was a top-seller in the late 70’s and called the Polaroid Land Camera 1000. Not sure why it could only be used on land, and not out at sea or in space, but that was what it was called. The very thought of such instant gratification was intoxicating. Just press the button and a loud and startling whirring and grinding sound would spit out a photograph. Amazing! In reality, the “instant” part was a little oversold. Once the photo was ejected, the actual image would slowly appear over several minutes, forming contours, and deepening colors, a bit like watercolor. As much as I enjoyed watching this process, I usually lost interest before the final version was ready and just wanted to see another photo spit out of the cool machine. In many ways, the act of taking the pictures became more of a memory than what came out.

That horribly wonderful sound of the picture being taken and thrust out of the camera was really my favorite part. It was like a tiny factory was inside processing the image. It made the experience feel visceral and important. Each time, it would startle the hell out of me and I would giggle, producing the kind of smiles my mother only wished she had actually captured in the moment before. But it was too late as the tiny camera gnomes had already done the deed and loudly delivered the “almost but not quite a photo, please wait.” These days, the gratification is far more instant as we snap our digital photos with our cameras and phones. But rather than huddling around to enjoy the process of watching an image appear, it’s usually just a quick glance, often to gain approval as to whether we can post it online or need to take another shot. The Polaroid experience made something entirely different happen. The photos became a side effect of a process of giggling and truly coming together in a single moment.

Though I certainly love and use all of the delightfully modern tools we have at our disposal today, I do miss the days when life wasn’t quite so instant. Slower days when the photo itself was the only thing you had to remember a particular time. It wasn’t turned digital and immediately broadcast to multiple places. Perhaps it might find a place in a scrapbook to be enjoyed much later by a select few who were lucky enough to be able to flip through the pages. In many ways, this modern approach can make memories seem less like memories at all. Simply moments instantly captured and instantly forgotten. Saving them online only matters if we take the time to go back and review them. So, that’s what I did today. I went back to the beginning and read some of my earliest posts. I read about an enthusiastic guy who was enamored with watercolor and wanted to create a movement for an approach to art he coined “doodlewash.” Not quite three years later, so much has happened, and yet, I’m thrilled that I’ve managed to capture the journey here. And a special thanks to each of you who have subscribed to receive new posts via email, and continue to support this watercolor passion, while waiting for memories to appear.

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta Cobalt Blue (my Da Vinci Trio, Click Here to Learn More!) + Cobalt Turquoise, and Quinacridone Red. 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!
 Day 13 - Polaroid Land Camera 1000 Watercolor - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
23 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 1 week ago

    Ah yes! I remember the Polaroid Land Camera 1000 well (and your fabulous painting captures it perfectly). I was always a bit fascinated with the flash attachment, the way it popped and the light slowly faded from the bulb. Before the 1000, we had a Brownie Box camera. I have to admit that when the Polaroid photos had faded and the camera stopped working, the Brownie was still chugging along. For such a cheap little camera it was so easy to use and the photos (B&W only, I admit) are still in fantastic shape.

    • Lisa 1 week ago

      You and I hit on the same points. The good old days!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah that flash was so intriguing… I was drawn to it like a bug to a light! hehe And yay for the Brownie! It was an awesome camera!

  2. Mary Roff 1 week ago

    Great rendering of that camera and wonderful observations as always.

  3. Lisa 1 week ago

    I wasn’t sure if you were joking or not, but look up Edwin Land. All things will be revealed. I received my first 35mm fancy schmancy camera as an early HS graduation gift. Before that, we were Polaroid people and before that, Brownie camera people. Now I take quick snaps with my book!!! (Kindle) How the world has changed. Some of the magic is gone. Still, waiting for paint to dry between layers gives some of that magic back. I’m so glad I joined Doodlewash a couple of years ago. It’s been fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying Doodlewash!! Yay! Thanks! 😃💕 And ahhhh… Edwin Land was the culprit for that name. And who would have guessed our books would one day take photos! lol

  4. June Hadaway 1 week ago

    Great job on the camera. Love it. I enjoyed reading
    your memories of the camera as well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 I love those days… they were so much fun!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    Oh, you’ve brought back wonderful memories of my dad’s Polaroid Land Camera! Even more wonderful are my memories of of all the fun occasions when the camera was used. It’s entirely my pleasure to receive your daily posts by email!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Aww thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, these cameras were such awesome memory makers. I really miss them!

  6. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 week ago

    Loved your wonderful story . Apricieted camera. Iwish your treasure always be filled with different stories n happy ness n u always be fit n fine.
    Thanks dear friend.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! That’s such a sweet thing to say! 😃💕

  7. smzang 7 days ago

    My first Polaroid used a film pack that came with a coating stick.
    You had to ‘seal’ the picture when the image appeared or it would fade.
    Btw, it was called the Land Camera because it was invented by Edward Land.
    (One has to be really old to know that…it was in the booklet that came with the earliest model.) I still have a working Polaroid in its original leather case. I even
    have 2 boxes of black and white film. I thought I was going to be
    another Ansel Adams. Alas, I had most everything but his talent.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Hehe… I was just a bit too young to bother with the booklet it seems! Actually… that hasn’t changed even as an adult. 😊I too wanted to be an amazing photographer! That was my first blog journey and although I had quite a few followers, I never quite have the technical skill required. So, that’s why I figured I just offer up the entire content of that blog as free photos references on this site! hehe

      • smzang 6 days ago

        your zest for life is a joy
        it does good things for all of us.

  8. Rickandkim Sells 7 days ago

    So talented!

  9. Sandra Gilbert 6 days ago

    I loved our polaroid. And your right taking photos these days just isn’t the same.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah… I just miss those good old days… hehe… they were so much more fun when it came to taking photos!

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 days ago

    Oh my gosh – you made the Polaroid camera look human! He’s sticking out his tongue – just fabulous, Charlie!

    The newest iteration of these cameras is the Instax, perfect for very little photographers who want to see their pictures instantly but also want to hold them in their hands – a little old and a little new technology. I bought the younger grands a pink one and a lime green one. They’ve been sending me pics showing how adept they’re becoming – fun for all of us.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Maybe I should try humans again… hehe… though I prefer painting objects more. And yay! The Instax sounds awesome!! New lovely memories to enjoy! Love that!

  11. Delores Azary 8 hours ago

    I remember my Dad’s Polaroid! In later years I bought different versions. I am so glad you started Doodlewash! Thank you for all you do!

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