Today’s prompt is “Olive Oil,” which could make one think of Olive Oly of Popeye fame, but my mind went right to the edible version. That wonderful oil that can make so many foods taste way more amazing. Though I don’t cook, as Philippe does all of that in our house, I certainly appreciate the taste of olive oil. And have learned, that its striking taste makes it less suitable in some instances. In many cases, a less notable vegetable oil is preferred. These are culinary ideas I get only in bits and pieces as my husband describes what he’s making each day. I listen with all of the willingness of the most sincerely astute student, but could never replicate what he creates in the kitchen. In my defense, he has a PhD in biology that adds way more knowledge than my own brain and tiny attention span could ever replicate. There’s apparently a science to cooking and I’m not quite as scientific as I thought I was. Sure, I’m a huge geek when it comes to most all things, but I’m just not very technical. My daily doodlewashes are just created from what I see or imagine in the moment. I don’t have a detailed process, just a bit of technique that I adhere to along the way and reserve the right to mix up as I see fit on the go. But, it’s also super fun to approach things this way!
Even though Philippe is super scientific, I love that he has a wild and wonderful creative side. He’ll mix his precious science with a completely random notion when he’s cooking in the kitchen to create something absolutely stunning. And I just feel incredibly grateful, if not a bit spoiled, to experience each thing he creates. When we first started dating, which was long distance as he was still living in Paris, he would text me recipes and I would try to recreate them. We’d be online and on video with each other as he tried to show me exactly how to make something. I did manage to make a rather delightful pâte à choux during this time, but I was the only one sampling it. When we finally were together, my culinary attempts were met with appreciative love and then a firm declaration that I should stay out of the kitchen. We all have our strengths. And, the story ends with me defiantly staying in the kitchen, but simply sketching stuff at the end of our kitchen counter. We’ve just slipped into our natural roles in life and that’s a wonderful thing indeed. And while I sketch and he cooks we chat about the day and learn more about each other in the process.
I feel quite lucky to be with someone who accepts me for who I am. With all of the flaws and craziness that truly define me. I think that’s when you know you’ve really met your better half. It’s that half that goes beyond merely accepting who you are, but actually enjoys being a part of the experience. Nobody ever really craves mere acceptance, we all just want to be well and truly loved. Love that’s unconditional and happens in spite of whatever crazy thing we choose to do next. This type of love extends beyond the romantic sort, of course. I have tons of “art crushes,” that I enjoy each and every day. A particular artist who serves up something that makes me smile and, quite often, touches my heart. And I once again feel lucky for having been a part of that experience. I think that’s what I love most about art. It’s a strange and wonderful mix of ingredients that come together to produce the most unexpected and interesting things. A chance to glimpse the spirit and soul of another person. And, like romantic love, accept them for who they are in that moment. This, at least, is what I think I’ve learned as I sketch each and every day at my kitchen counter, enjoying the simultaneous culinary art of my husband, that quite often comes with just a bit of olive oil.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Vermilion, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my 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!