Way back when I was a little kid, if you had shoved a plate of escargots in front of me, I would have probably run from the table screaming. My Midwestern American diet was not particularly adventurous and only included foods that you might see illustrated on the food pyramid chart. Those edible basics that don’t require a lot of imagination to either cook or eat. As an adult, I’ve had the pleasure of sampling a much wider range of food and I’m excited to try the “exotic” ones that I’ve yet to sample. A plate filled with snails filled with a buttery sauce is not something I thought I would ever enjoy, but it’s really quite tasty. Each time I actually get the courage to try something new, I nearly always find that my initial fears prove to be unfounded. Though I might never try China’s dish known as drunken shrimp, where instead of cooking them they just get them really drunk on alcohol and eat them alive. That’s perhaps too exotic for me, unless I was similarly “cooked” first.
Yet, there are plenty of other things I still want to pursue. They say that you’re supposed to have something known as a “bucket list” as you get older. A rather morbid name for a list of all the things you want to do before you die, or well… kick the bucket. By the way, this phrase actually comes from how they used to hang and slaughter pigs, so I’m thinking there really needs to be a much better way to describe it. It’s an intriguing thought nonetheless. The bucket list, not the poor pigs. While thinking about all of the things I would put on the list, traveling to places I haven’t visited yet, rose to the top. This would then take care of the second, which is one of the main reasons I enjoy travel in the first place. The food! It’s amazing to sample dishes that you’ve never tried before, or in some cases, may have never even seen before. Granted, one has to be a bit cautious so as not to spend the remainder of the vacation moaning in a toilet, but it’s a fabulous experience. Discovering delicious new food, that is, not the toilet bit.
If a couple of years ago, you had told me that one day I would be painting on a daily basis, I probably would have laughed at you. I hadn’t painted in years and had never tried watercolor before. Being a painter or an illustrator was one of those things that seemed too far removed from my reality. It simply wasn’t going to happen. Today, over 620 daily paintings later, I would be the first to apologize to you for thinking you made such a wild comment back then and laughing in your face. And then I would, of course, thank you for believing in me and thinking that I could do something like that. Seriously, you’re awesome and I would be sure to let you know it. These days, I’m completely convinced that we are all capable of doing whatever it is we want to try. It just takes being brave enough to have that first bite. Sure, it’s definitely scary to try new things, but fear is only an excuse. All food is exotic, until you’ve tried it.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Quinacridone Gold, Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Phthalocyanine Blue, Phtalo. Green Light, Burnt Sienna and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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!