One of my heroes is this wonderful lady who goes by the moniker the Busy Mockingbird. She’s here on WordPress. You should go check her out. She initially came to my attention due to these amazing collaborative paintings she does with her daughter. Her daughter is like 3 or 4 and this woman is an incredible illustrator. The BM makes her daughter’s doodles into these magnificent creations. I like them so much, I actually bought one that’s hanging in my bedroom. It’s inspiring.
Despite the fact that I have no – and I mean none, zero, zilch, nada, ne rien, appalling lack of – skill in this department, I thought it would be fun if Stella and I tried to watercolor together. Watercolor must be more forgiving, after all, since its very nature gives it a rather smudged look. It’s like those nifty filters on Instagram. Sure. Whatever I say.
So I tried to paint a mermaid. I was clever at first, and decided to paint her from a back view, negating the need to do a face. And her long flowing hair could cover the ham fists she ended up with. Yeah. That’s the ticket. But then Stella got upset.
“Eyes, nose, and mouth, please, mommy.”
It degenerated from there.
I complied, blotting the hair and trying to go in with a Mr. Happy-style face. She ended up looking like a smeary version of Carrie meets a sea hag meets a Druid priestess meets Swamp Thing. It is/was hideous. Then we needed a backdrop – scenery. I was asked to paint a seahorse. It was tiny – again, a calculated move on my part to avoid having to put any detail at all into it – but does/did resemble the silhouette of a seahorse. Then, while she painted seaweed/anemones/waste tire piles, I tried to paint a turtle. Stella saw what I was doing and wanted to help. I mean, I need help but my daughter somehow someway made my own horrible painting even worse. Stella loaded up her brush with black and brown and added some strange mystery appendage near its butt. It went from being a sweet sea turtle to a sea turtle on too many laxatives.
This thing is hanging on the fridge for now. At my earliest opportunity, it will find its way into the garbage where it belongs. Maybe next time we can find a more forgiving subject or medium to work with. Like squares and crayons. I might be able to pull that off.