Today’s prompt was “potted plants” and the first thing that popped into my head was a bonsai tree. I’m not sure why, as I don’t even own a bonsai plant, but I’ve learned never to question these things and just go with it. So we have a super quick one that I made here, which was fun because they would normally take a lot more time and patience were it the real thing. This is probably why I’ve never actually attempted to cultivate one myself. But, I’ve always been fascinated by the look of bonsai trees. Some are elaborate and look like little miniature landscapes. Those are my favorite, but I didn’t have time for anything that involved today. I actually love potted plants of any kind, but am not very attentive when it comes to taking care of them. I’m probably the only person in the world who could kill a cactus. So, I’m exceptionally impressed when visiting the houses of others who manage to keep beautiful plants in pots.

I think the real draw of bonsai for me is that I’ve always loved anything that’s miniature. I’ve no idea what this says about me, but things shrunk down to impossibly small sizes have always made me smile. As a little boy growing up, it wasn’t considered “acceptable” to own a doll house so I was content with my Star Wars action figures. The miniature landscapes that went with them were playsets that cost way too much money, so I had to imagine the miniature scenes that should accompany the tiny characters all in my head. Perhaps this is why I spent a brief period of time after college as a scenic designer for stage shows. I loved reading the script and imagining the world that the characters would be living in. My favorite sets that I worked on were for children’s theatre as you could always add a bit of whimsy and magic to those.

Perhaps one day I’ll own my own bonsai tree, but it’s fun to try and make one out of paint. I think that’s the best part of sketching and painting daily. You can let you imagination take you wherever it wants to go and simply follow along and see what happens. I never worry about whether I’m making “art” for these posts. I just make something that matches the thought in my head at the moment. It’s a very freeing way to approach painting. After all of this time doodlewashing various things in my stack of sketchbooks, I’m still simply practicing. Exploring life one little thing at a time. Each day is a surprise to me as I have no idea what I’ll choose to make. It’s a fun and revealing experience. I have no real artist statement, but I guess if I did, I would say that the one thing all of my work has in common is that art of exploring curious bits of life in miniature.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle:  Carmine, Phthalo. Green Light, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Deep. 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.
 Day 24 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Bonsai Tree Potted Plant
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

37 replies on “Life in Miniature

  1. Charlie “o – we must be twins separated at birth (you had a longer gestation because I’m a “bit” older than you) . . . I love weird animals, all the food you crave AND MINIATURES, I LOVE miniatures . . . except for portions of my favorite foods.

    P.S. I have a bonzai plant that looks like your water-color.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can assure you that you are not alone in cacti killing. I too have managed the feat. My Great-Grab told me when I was tiny that I had the type of “evil eye” that would wither plants. She may have had dementia but she wasn’t wrong. I am very brown-thumbed. I did manage to cultivate a garden back in Scotland but that was by dint of growing things that grew in the wild, like heathers, so that I actually didn’t have to care for them. And I managed a herb garden until a bad frost killed them all. But any plant requiring care and certainly anything brought indoors dies.

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  3. I love it! They are impossibly charming little trees, aren’t they – far more so than the other ‘little tree’, broccoli!😉 Like every normal boy, I went through a horticultural phase – I even had special garden pots with windmills in the middle! It culminated with conifers, one of which grew so big it towers over everything, and pretty much killed off all that was in its shadow. Oops!😉

    I used to play with my wrestling figures in invisible rings. Truthfully, the fun was numbed considerably when I got an actual ring set. Little Charlie imagination for the win!

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  4. What a cute little tree! I too understand the appeal of tiny stuff. When I was a teenager my mom and I built a dollhouse from a kit and the absolutely best part was decorating the little rooms and staging them. We even had an old fashioned ice box with a tiny little block of “ice” and the smallest ice pick ever seen! (BTW…I could kill a cactus with very little trouble so don’t be too hard on yourself 😊)

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  5. Wonderful bonsai Doodlewash, Charlie. Don’t you just love the way the trunk twists all about and the roots look like they’re ready to pick up and walk away? And those teeny tiny leaves. perfect but miniature.

    All paintings of plants live much longer in my presence than any real plants in pots or garden. In fact, whenever my older son notices a new plant in our yard, he always smirks and says, “Another innocent victim.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I dropped by, but I tend to only have time to truly follow watercolor blogs. 😊 And I’m behind on keeping up with those! One thing I would suggest though is using Category tags so the posts don’t say “Uncategorized” and if possible more imagery to go with your posts and initial excerpts to pull peopl in. You can find free images to use on pixabay.com. Hope that helps! Happy blogging! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cute and small, always been a fascination these little trees, I always admired them on stands at craft/ horticulture shows, looking intently at every miniature detail, wishing I could have one some day. The reality is, I would probably kill it, as I do most indoor plants, so I still with looking at ones just like your painting, beauty in small packages 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “36” hours is all it took. It was such a treasured gift that bonsai tree. It was my first little tree and so far my last 😥 However, I seek to find them in all botanical gardens I visit. They seem to hold such hidden stories in miniature form. Lovely drawing!

    Liked by 1 person

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