One of my favorite things to paint is often the ridiculously average objects of everyday life. That, and shiny things, are what you’ll often find in my repertoire so a chance to combine the two is a lovely day indeed. Though I started sketching the usual full scenes that one thinks of when painting in watercolor, I quickly moved on to just sketching stuff. Bits and pieces of life that are usually in the background and not the star of the show when it comes to paintings. In truth, I’m more of a watercolor illustrator than a painter, but even if I jumped out of my sketchbook and created something large one day, I think I would still want to immortalize the mundane. These everyday things hold the best stories, which is also part of what I hope to deliver. Being served a baked potato wrapped in foil is like getting a wonderful gift to unwrap. Sure, you already know what’s inside unless you’re suffering from severe amnesia, but still, it’s a wonderful experience. And the butter is often just the start as chives, sour cream, cheese and bacon might not be far behind.

Even as a kid, a load baked potato was a real treat. This is the kind that lives up to its name by obscuring the potato entirely in favor of toppings. The potato then serves merely as a thickening agent for what becomes a mess of gooey ingredients. It’s amazing. There’s literally nothing healthy about this treat, but the joy it brings is indescribable. And, as ever, it’s more of memory than something I’ve experienced recently. In fact, it’s been years since I had a baked potato that wasn’t just topped with a square of butter and lightly salted. As I sit here now, I can’t think of much else besides trying a proper cheese covered one again. And bacon is a must with these! Of course, as a kid real bacon was not the addition when this treat was made at home. Instead, a bottle of the popular “imitation bacon” was pulled out of the cabinet. This mixture of soy, chemicals and dyes was meant to replicate the real thing exactly, but failed miserably, and tasted more like crunchy bits of smoked salt.

To me, the best way to imitate food is by painting it. I prefer the real thing over alternative versions carefully constructed in a lab. But most of the food I consumed as a kid was made up of chemicals meant to mimic real life. Today, thankfully, I enjoy whole foods that are mostly organic and created with a bit of sunlight and proper watering. But, I still love to mimic real life in my watercolors. To create the illusion of some everyday object with just a quick little bit of sketching and a few layers of paint. Yeah, I never wait for my colors to dry fully as I never have the time. I’m sure, if I did, these might turn out a bit better. But tomorrow is a new day, and I will choose something else to scribble down on paper. Some ephemera of life that probably isn’t the first choice of subject matter for most. While other artists might bring you a forest at sunset, the creation of Adam, or a reclining nude, in my little gallery you’ll find something far more profound, like a baked potato in foil.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - A Baked Potato In Foil - Doodlewash

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56 thoughts on “A Baked Potato In Foil

  1. You do the best foil and your shadows rock! I wish I could find potatoes like the ones I had as a kid. Most of the potatoes we can get these days are too starchy and never totally cook through. Just as well – I’m not sure that I resist the extra butter and sour cream or turning them into twice-baked potatoes or fries or… think I just gained 5 lbs!

  2. I like your baked potato in foil, Charlie. Not letting your paint dry before adding more is what, I believe, adds such lovely character to your work. I look forward to seeing your first large painting.

  3. Nice looking baked potato. I prefer to think of potatoes as being full of vitamins. Too good to avoid totally. The foil even makes it look more inviting….A perfectly painted potato.

  4. Lovely painting. I’m carb free at the moment so it is temptin. However, as I read on I was reminded of times as a boy scout and on exercise in the army, when a pack of vacuum packed bacon and a slice of bread raised the spirits more than anything else on a cold and wet morning.

  5. “organic and created with a bit of sunlight and proper watering”

    Your prose is superb and so is your poetry.

    So is that luscious baked potato you painted. All silvery,
    and buttery and waiting to be tasted. This whole presentation
    is a feast!

  6. Oh my – the doodlewash, and the comments about potato preferences – I want a jacket potato this minute! Good job it’s almost teatime 😉 A Lovely warm and simple doodlewash for this chilly November afternoon. Perfect!

  7. I’m getting to be your food suggestion friend, lol. Have you ever tried steamed broccoli on a stuffed potato? YUM. Still not that healthy, make a cheese sauce, also add grated cheese, something strong, don’t forget the butter, hehehe. See, now I’m hungry. Great post Charlie.

  8. It seems to me that painting average objects of everyday life gets the artist, and hopefully the viewer, to really notice and observe what we usually overlook and take for granted. Nothing “ridiculous” about that. It doesn’t take an artist to appreciate a sunset, the Eiffel tower, or a peacock etc. Elegant lines, or brilliant color, or amazing texture, that make the ordinary extraordinary require extra time and attention to appreciate. Sort of like the ordinary people, You, me, those around us, who turn out to be pretty special when we get to know them.

  9. Great Minds Think Alike… I had a baked potato last night with dinner but I don’t usually fix it with foil like your potato. I like to lightly oil the outside when cooking it in the oven because I think the “skin” is almost the best part of the potato. That is until you add the butter/sour cream/ cheese/bacon bits. Yum.. I could go for one right now.for breakfast.\

  10. I love this painting. Seriously. And I agree, immortalizing the mundane is the way to go. I’m an animator and some of my favorite things to animate or see animated are the very average things that every person does- they make me smile.

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