Today the prompt is wrapping paper, but this is as far as I’ve gotten with regard to wrapping gifts. I’ve collected bits of the elements like these required for such a project, shown here in this 3 color doodlewash, but have failed to wrap a single one yet. I don’t actually mind wrapping gifts, but I’m really quite horrible at doing it. I see these beautifully wrapped gifts with surgically creased folds and gloriously tied ribbons and I’m in awe. I’m usually just lucky if I can cut the right amount to paper to cover the object in question and the sides always look like a hyperactive child was allowed to play with the cellophane tape. I lack the patience necessary to calmly fold the paper over the gift appropriately. I figure as long as it’s fully concealed it will serve the intended purpose so I don’t fuss over it too much. Often, the mistaped sides will start to come loose under the tree as if the gift itself is aware it’s been humiliated and is actually trying to remove its embarrasing cover.
Looking back, I’m not sure I was ever instructed in the proper way to wrap a gift. Sure, as an adult, I could probably watch a YouTube video or two and learn the appropriate procedure, but I’ve never done it. I still wrap gifts like I did when I was a little kid. I would love to say that this gives them a childish charm that’s endearing, but more often than not it just make me look like an idiot. Still, to this day, I just unroll some paper, plop the item down, cut off the excess and quickly fold and tape until the object disappears from sight. The upside is that even if the object came in a perfect box, my wrapping job is so poor the shape is perfectly disguised. Once I’ve a stack of these little oddities, I just cram them under the tree to expose their “good side” and nestle them in such a way as to hide the most egregious errors and everything looks just fine.
In truth, I love being a kid again this time of year and that includes the way I wrap gifts. No restraint, stress or worry. Just boundless enthusiasm and a joyful rush of taping bits together. I’ve found with this as well as painting that though there may be a “proper way” to do something, I’d rather just revel in the joy of actually doing it in whatever way comes naturally to me. Worrying too much about the proper way seems to rob an activity of the pleasure entirely. No, I’ll just keep on rushing at my activities with unbridled exuberance, content in the hope that everything will somehow work out just fine. So as I began another year of finding ways to conceal holiday gifts, it’s not a chore at all. It’s a chance to add a bit of fun disguise to objects that I know will bring a bit of joy. Childishly covered in haste, but with all my heart and love, it’s finally time to start wrapping presents.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Sennelier Red, Quinacridone Gold, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris 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!