For our prompt of “Blue Crab” today, rather than the making the official crab of that name, I simply sketched a little crab and I liked and colored him blue. Crabs are odd and fascinating creatures, and I’ve found over the years that I really enjoy sketching them. Indeed, I actually think they’re rather cute in that alien sort of way that invites whimsical fascination. Today, I felt a bit tired and though I managed to get a lot of things done, I was longing to take a break with a lovely trip somewhere to spend some time on a beach. Indeed, we live in times now that have put such trips on hold, but I found myself in a wistful mood. Then, when I sat down to sketch this little crab, I was suddenly transported. My whole demeanor changed and though I can’t actually go to the beach, I was still able to visit one in the pages of my sketchbook. And, I even ended up with a little crab to keep me company. After that, I wasn’t feeling quite as crabby anymore, and that was a lovely thing indeed.

Indeed, during these trying times, I’ve managed to keep my signature positive outlook. But also, living through these times can just get downright exhausting. So, it was cathartic to put those momentary blues into my sketchbook instead. And a beach will be my first choice of destination in the future. Philippe and I were watching a documentary show called The Toys That Made Us on Netflix and this particular episode was about the iconic Barbie doll. In one segment, they talked about the popularity of Malibu Barbie and one of the interviews was with its creator. She’s been retired for a few years now, but she was so delightfully charming. Each time she appeared on screen, I took notice. Perhaps it was because she seemed like a really cool and fun grandmother. The kind that would let you eat a bit of extra chocolate and vow it’s “just our little secret.” I simply had to giggle when she talked about how Malibu Barbie “had that sun-kissed complexion that we all thought looked healthy. It would be much later, of course, when we’d find out it was actually bad for you.” Indeed, there are so many things like that from my youth.

When Philippe and I actually do go to the beach, we wear so much sunblock, it’s like we’ve just applied a second skin. While I find this more than appropriate, I think Philippe feels there could always be more protection. I tease him that he should carry a parasol, and before rolling his eyes at me, he actually stops to consider it. But, the last time we were on a beach, it was grand and we both enjoyed it tremendously. While the sun can indeed be questionable, it’s the sights and the sounds that I love. The sounds of waves crashing against the shore is one of the most therapeutic sounds I know. It’s that reminder that nature is enjoying its own dance and we’re all just spectators in the moment. In those moments, I find myself experiencing an infinite calm. And, simultaneously, realizing just how rare that is for me. While it makes those moments special and unique, I think that’s a feeling worth having more often. So, I’m gentle with myself whenever I feel less than super happy, and I always quickly find refuge and joy in the simplest memories that always come to rescue me, when I’m feeling blue.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta,  and Ultramarine (Green Shade). 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!
Blue Crab On Beach Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


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30 thoughts on “When I’m Feeling Blue

  1. When we go to the beach, we always bring lots of warm clothes because we keep a window or the sliding door open almost the entire time we’re inside so that we can hear the waves.

  2. Fantastic crab Charlie! I hope we all can do something special when this is all over. I just got a book called “The Coast of Maine” which is filled with wonderful photos of places that I have been to and some that are on my “to visit ” list. Nice to dream.

  3. He looks like he just said, “Yes sir, no sir!. ” With a salute. Add a sailor hat and a flag and he is good to go for Memorial Day. He is very cool. I chose to sketch a crab on a little boys toe. Lol, maybe I will get around to posting what I’ve done this month. ;p

  4. Beautiful doodle. While thousands of people are in lock down, the company I work for are overloaded with work. I’m working 11 hours a day and am really tired by the evening. After dinner I get my art supplies out and doodle. It relaxes me and I feel like I’ve been resting all evening.

  5. Joe and I watched that toys that made us documentary. As a big Barbie fan, I was fascinated by the fact that the inspiration for Barbie was a loose woman doll. Lol Since my Barbie was dating my troll doll, I can assure you that there was no hanky panky going on.

    I miss beach life most of all. Having grown up surrounded by water, it breaks my heart to now live a dry life.

  6. Wonderful crab, I especially love his salute! Thank you for reminding me how lucky I Am to be a West Coaster all my life… growing up in SF and now living in British Columbia in the Coast I have always had the sea in my ears and eyes it is so indeed what feeds my soul, how good of you to carry the memory so strongly, better days will come.

  7. Thanks for keeping my spirits up by your lovely sketches and words to go with them. I thought I was ok until last couple of you been feeling on the crabby side..but I am disconnecting tomorrow and spending day with art. And I am sure I will feel better..Be blessed..and like you I hope we get to the beaches and parks soon!

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