Tonight, we have a quick little doodlewash of some kind of lemony treat, simply because I was unexpectedly in a mood to paint with a bit more yellow. I can’t even begin to guess why, but I’ve learned not to question these things and just roll with it. Friday evenings are a bit cramped for time as I’m perfectly exhausted from the work week and ready to just crawl into bed early and watch whatever Netflix suggests I should watch next. Though I wasn’t able to talk Philippe into making me a proper dessert this evening, we have friends coming round tomorrow evening, so I have a feeling one might still be in my future. As ever, I ended the week getting many things done and yet still have a list a mile long that I failed to complete. I’m happy for the things I succeeded in getting done and yet feel a sense of loss for those things I promised myself I would complete while thoroughly failing to do so. This is the way I end each week. I’m in a rather reflective mood, wishing I’d managed to do just a bit more. But I’m also always a bit giddy that the weekend is here and I can actually revel in relaxing and doing simply what I choose to do. It’s the best dessert ever!
Though I always dance through my art journey with a crazy amount of optimism, there are times when I feel a bit lost. Those times when I can’t immediately feel what to sketch next or indeed, what to even write about here. These are times when some might suggest taking a break, but for me, it’s more therapeutic to just keep going and push through it. The truth is, I showed up tonight extremely tired and not really wanting to sketch anything at all. I could have leaned into that feeling and done nothing, but instead, I did what I always do. I made something anyway. And while I was doing it, bit by bit, all of the stress of the week started to fade away. I immediately got lost in the moment again and a few minutes later, when I was done, I felt a wild sense of accomplishment that made up for all of those little things I didn’t quite do this week. I still managed to make another little doodlewash in my sketchbook and complete my daily journal via this very post. And now, any bits of regret or sadness that happened during the week have faded to the back corners of my mind.
It’s in these moments that I realize why I show up here each and every day. I’ve learned that the best cure for a lack of inspiration is simply to force myself to make something. Anything at all. It’s not the end result that matters most, but instead, it’s the very act of creating that enriches the soul. Taking a page of a sketchbook and making a mark of some kind. Then following those marks where they lead to create something that wasn’t there, just a moment before. People often talk of talent as a gift, but the real gift is the opportunity to create, which every single one of us has been given. Perhaps that’s why, as I head into the weekend, thrilled about taking that break, I’m happy to do a little something more. If I only spent my life taking things, I can’t imagine it would be as brilliant as a life spent making things. My joy comes from creating, and I simply have to honor that joy each and every day. And my commitment to this is returned tenfold as I once again feel the incredible delight of making what I love, even when life gets bittersweet.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Blue, and Terra Cotta. 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!
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!