Sometimes I write prompts that momentarily confound even me, like today’s prompt of “glossy.” As I was leaving work, I asked my creative team what came to mind with this word, which quickly prompted suggestions along with a debate. “No, that’s not glossy, it’s shiny!” the debate began, and continued from there. So without intention, I created a nefarious prompt. I began to run through things in my head, having the same debate with myself while I was heading home. With no idea what I should paint tonight, I opted for tomorrow morning’s breakfast. This will consist of some pancakes with syrup, assuming syrup must somehow qualify as glossy, along with even the pat of butter on top? A requirement really, if you’re going to have pancakes properly. Also, it’s been a long week and I’m rather excited for the weekend ahead. Not because we have any special plans, but mostly because we have no plans at all, save the pancakes. To me, that’s the perfect start to a weekend break. An equally perfect start is not bothering to think too much about things and just go with what comes to mind.
But, I was still rather distracted by what actually qualifies something as glossy so I looked up the word. According the dictionary it means “shiny and smooth,” which means that shiny objects apparently count as long as they don’t contain jagged edges. Words are a funny thing indeed. It seems sometimes we have more words than we need to describe things, which only creates a sort of confusion rather than the clarity one would expect. As I type these posts quickly each day, I try to use the words that best fit what I’m trying to say, but I’m often at a loss for that perfect word. The one that changes a bland sentence into the one with a bit more interest as I intended. I think this is when one should go back over a post in order to correct things a bit, but I just type as I think. These are truly just spontaneous rambles, so bless your heart for reading along. As much as art can create emotions and trigger responses, words are capable of doing the very same thing. I tend to approach both with wild abandon, simply hoping the combination comes together in some meaningful way.
The thing that what I love about art and writing is that it’s a wonderful way to press the reset button. I’ve had thousands of things to deal with this week and each night I can just say, “screw it, let’s take a break.” Without my nightly ritual of painting and posting I think I’d probably lose what’s left of my mind. And in those moments while I’m painting and madly typing, I’m not thinking about the week I just survived. I’m thinking about all the little things around me that make my life so special. Philippe is singing along to the song we have playing while dishing out some spaghetti. This is also the sign that I’m nearly at the end of this post or need to be quickly. Phineas is plodding around on the floor like a government inspector, occasionally sneezing at something he finds out of place. It’s all perfectly simple, un-notable really, but it’s the most wonderful feeling of all. The perfect moment when I take my little hour to paint and write about random things that come to mind, even getting totally lost in the question of “what the heck is glossy?”
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
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!