Waterbrush Doodles

Going to the retinologist is not an especially fun time for my husband. It involves getting a shot in the eye — the right eye at one appointment and the left eye (with testing) at the next. After the treatment he’s not able to drive, so for each appointment I’m required to go along with him.

Since I have a bit of waiting time, I quickly got into the habit of taking a sketchbook along with me. I’ve finished several colored pencil drawings while in Dr. Fletcher’s office, and I’ve made a few graphite landscape sketches that I’ve later used for oil paintings.

Mostly, though, I’ve used the time to doodle a bit. Especially now. Because of the covid protocols in place, I can no longer go into the doctor’s office with my husband. Instead, I have to sit in the hallway. There are people walking past and other distractions, and I’ve found it enjoyable to simply doodle around, usually with pens or markers.

On our most recent visit, however, I took along a small set of watercolors and a few waterbrushes. While I waited, I had fun just making marks and creating quick little “doodle-drawings” — not really doodles, but not really careful drawings or paintings.

I enjoyed making these colorful flowers.

As I added the loose blue background, a woman walked by and saw what I was doing. I was surprised — but she was ecstatic about this little drawing. It’s so simple, so fun, so easy… and yet she was so very impressed! Of course that made me happy.

Little moments like this — moments of recognition for a bit of art I’ve done — are special for me. These moments — and little “doodle drawings” like this — help me understand that art is not always about technical proficiency. Art is about color, about creating mood, about making something that catches someone’s attention.

Flowers don’t need to be perfect when we draw or paint them. They have only to make us think of flowers, to see their colors, to enjoy the beauty that they possess, even if we can’t fully capture that beauty with our paints, our pastels, our pens, or our pencils.

Art, above all, is expression, and in this quick little “waterbrush doodle” I shared something universal. We all know flowers. We’ve seen them. We’ve touched them. We’ve breathed in their fragrance. My little doodle, as simple as it is, expresses the essential elements of flowers, and that’s really all it needed to do.

Yes, I was surprised by the woman’s reaction and the praise she heaped upon this colorful page in my sketchbook, but the experience gave me a chance to see my art through someone else’s eyes. Once again, I found myself surprised when I looked at this from a fresh point of view. I liked what I saw. I hope you like it, too!



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