When I was a kid, coming in from the colder weather was a treat, mostly because of the hot cocoa waiting there. This was made extra awesome, of course, with the addition of little marshmallows on top. I never got quite this many marshmallows in my drink, but that would have been awesome! In the moment, at least, until the sugar coma hit, and not really so much for my mother who would have had to endure the horrors of a little boy on a sugar rush high. Philippe made homemade hot chocolate once last season and it was delicious so I’m hoping this will serve as a reminder to try it again this season. He didn’t add marshmallows and made a yuck face when I asked about them, reminding me once more that our upbringing was quite different. He made the same yuck face when viewing my doodlewash tonight, and though it’s a very quick one, I hope that was just his disdain for this version of the drink in any form. And my childhood hot chocolate was really just hot cocoa that came in a pouch, marshmallows and all. They were tiny and shortly after being magically reconstituted would melt away again, much like Frosty the Snowman, but it was still a really fun treat!
In truth, looking at this concoction now, I can sort of see Philippe’s point. It seems like a perfect lesson in excess. But that’s precisely what makes me smile. Why simply add one little bit of goodness when you can just as easily dump in a handful. It’s this line of thinking that makes me feel super lucky that I’ve found someone like Philippe to balance my overly impulsive nature. While it’s wonderful to chase every dream possible, it’s equally wonderful when someone who loves you tells you to just slow it all down a bit and take a step back. Sometimes, with a bit of polite redirection and other times with just a yuck face. A little signal that reminds me to look before I leap and take each little moment in stride. As artists, we can spend quite a lot of time in our own heads, so it’s nice to invite someone else inside every now and again. That extra layer of perspective is a wonderful gift. It’s the same gift we get when whenever we share what we create online. A mixture of what people say about it and what isn’t said at all. It all provides such a fabulous bit of insight to our creative journey.
I adore hearing the comments that people have on what I make. Sometimes they’re glowing and, other times, ripe with touches of criticism. No matter what, I adore each one! As I’m sketching stuff each and every day, and writing, or rambling, about what comes to mind after, I’m always so appreciative when people take the time to comment. And you’ll find that I always take the time to comment back, because, wow, that’s so cool you did that! And also, because these posts are nothing more than conversation starters in the end. I never tell the full story, just the piece that came to mind that day. For that richer, better story, I rely on all of you. As my own memories mingle with bits of yours, we together, are creating a beautiful connection. An illustration of life that’s made complete by the stories that it evokes. I’m not sure if sketching conversation starters will ever land me in a gallery, but I’m still incredibly happy enjoying where it’s brought me today. But it’s fantastic to remember that as each of us shows up each and every day, sketching stuff, we make the world a touch more beautiful, with marshmallows on top.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). 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!