For our prompt of “Carrots” today, I opted for a quick doodle that includes the heirloom or heritage variety for a bit more color. Though orange carrots are what seems to be the most common today, they didn’t start out that color. Actually, like other things that grow underground like parsnips and turnips they didn’t have much color at all and were mostly white. The root wasn’t the primary purpose thousands of years ago as they were cultivated for their leaves and seeds. Farmers later began to grow more colorful versions, but these were yellow and purple. The orange carrot was introduced by the Dutch, but the exact reason seems to be something of contention among historians. A favored story is that the orange carrot was created for the royal family, the House of Orange. This seems like a perfectly wonderful explanation, but without proof, it’s a bit more of a legend. Yet, the fact that such a commonplace vegetable is the stuff of legends, makes the humble carrot unexpectedly fascinating.
Today, Philippe and I experienced a color transition of a different sort. There was an orange rug under our dining table that was made up of various carpet tiles and looked a bit shoddy. Its color had faded a bit with age and it didn’t quite have the same lovely look anymore. Phineas agreed recently and showed his displeasure by doing something he’s never once down in the house before. He peed on the corner tile. Though these tiles are meant to be washable, we instead took his odd and severe decorating advice and decided to replace the whole thing. We shopped for a new color this time and I was surprised at just how quickly Philippe and I were able to come to a consensus. The new tiles are thin stripes of about 6 different colors and look much better than the previous flat orange. Though the overall color is a sort of deep red. It’s similar to how I often like to paint with watercolor, splashing in bits of unexpected color to help add a bit more energy and personality. And laying down 20 tiles together, Philippe and I discovered we can be a bit more domestic when we apply ourselves. We simply hope, of course, that Phineas approves of this one and doesn’t offer up any more unwanted advice.
Our house has lots of different colors in it as Philippe and I both enjoy lots of interesting variations. And we both eat mostly vegetables, so even our dinner plates are also full of lovely colors. It was snowing all day today and we were trapped indoors, so it was fun to have a project to work on together. Even though this sketch of carrots has literally nothing to do with what happened today, I’ll still remember this day when I look at it. I was flipping through old sketchbooks recently and lots of unexpected memories came flooding back to me. A sketch of a teddy bear reminded me of the business trip I was on as it was sketched in a hotel room in between meetings. A bottle of Perrier took me back to Paris and the little apartment Philippe and I shared on that particular trip. There are a few sketches of actual places in the moment, but it’s mostly the act of sketching itself that locks things into my memory. It doesn’t matter what appeared on the page, the image brings me back to that day and time. Granted, my visual art journals would appear like hieroglyphics to anyone else who might discover them one day. But no matter what, one thing is certain, I’m certainly creating a colorful history!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!