For today’s prompt of “hamburger” my mind immediately leapt back in time to when I was younger and a double cheeseburger seemed like a completely wonderful idea. I mean, if you love hamburgers than why not go ahead and have two at once! Brilliant! Of course, looking at this now, the notion is an exercise in grotesque excess, but when I was young, I didn’t have such sensible limitations. In fact, when the idea of a triple cheeseburger was introduced, I gave it a try as well. Although I had the metabolism to battle the ridiculous calorie-bomb I’d just ingested, I really don’t like to think about what was happening on the inside. Growing up in America, the idea of “bigger is better” applied to everything under the sun, especially food. My dad used to only take us out to buffets because it was the only way to “get your money’s worth.” It’s a bizarre notion indeed to think that more food could be the goal versus good food. But, that was how I was brought up. Thankfully, I discovered the joy of good food and that less can most definitely be so much more.
I keep hoping to adopt a less is more approach with my watercolor, but I tend to render everything I see. That’s why I’ve been trying these ink-free paintings, in a hope to find a bit looser style. Trying to resist the urge to double-up on lines is a struggle for me. I actually have something that looks perfectly edible, but it lacks the graphic quality that I love. So, I dive right back in with paint. In the end, I hope that even without ink this habit creates a bit of a style that might make you recognize my work at a glance. When I first started painting I worried so much that I didn’t have a unique style. That “look” I adored seeing in the paintings of others. But, the truth is, when you look at your own work every single day, it’s sort of difficult to truly see it. I can tell whether one little doodlewash is kinda of cooler than the last, but I can’t see beyond that. I’m just too used to seeing my little illustrations. But when I look back at my early work compared with today, I get a little excited. There’s definitely progress! For example, my worst attempt this month is still far better than my worst attempt last year. That, my dear friends, it what you call artistic progress.
The truth is, we shouldn’t be competing with our best work. There are some days that the stars align and everything comes together so brilliantly you have no idea what just happened. And therefore, you can’t really replicate it. I feel that we should instead compete with our worst work. When we look at our paintings, we should look back at the work that seemed like a good idea at the time, but we didn’t like how it turned out. Looking back at this lightly despised piece will tell us everything we need to know. Yep, we’re better today than we were back then. We’ve grown and learned so much along the way. Despite our habits and things we thought were perfectly natural those many days or years ago, we’ve learned new things that make our work quite different today. It’s an extraordinary transition. But that doesn’t discount anything that came before. It’s all quite a delicious memory. A time that’s brilliant in its own right, like those wonderful moments, back in the day of double cheeseburgers.
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About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Gamboge, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Green Pale, Ultramarine Blue and Neutral Tint. Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
15 thoughts on “Back In The Day Of Double Cheeseburgers”
So true. Thank you Charlie for reminding us that not only our art, but our lives are a “work in progress”.
Thanks, Laura! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this post!
I love the details and coloring of your cheeseburger, and you’ve made me hungry for one, though definitely not the excessive double cheeseburger! And I agree that sometimes we just need to step back to see how far we’ve come.
Thanks so much! 😃💕 Hehe… yay! I’m always so happy when my food illustrations elicit hunger. But yeah, perhaps a single would do just fine.
“The truth is, we shouldn’t be competing with our best work. … I feel that we should instead compete with our worst work.” You are BRILLIANT, Charlie — this is so true! Thank you for this Whopper of an insight. (Get it? Ha ha.)
Haha! I get it! And love it! Thanks, Heide! 😃💕 And I’m so happy you liked that point of view. I truly believe it’s done wonders for me personally when looking at my art this way.
My mom never made hamburgers when we were kids. The first hamburger I ever ate was when I was 12 and we lived in Hawaii. It was an overcooked skinny patty on a cheap bun and that was the entirety of the sandwich. It was all I could afford on about twenty five cents allowance. I didn’t know what to put on it so I squeezed on mustard – still the way I prefer burgers today. The first Mickey D’s burger I ever ate was when I was in college. My boyfriend was stunned that I had no idea what it even was, as I was totally unfamiliar with the restaurant.
Nowadays, it’s gotta be a turkey meatball on a pick and a baguette slice dipped in olive oil – that’s all the hamburger that’s healthy.
My dad also loved all you can eat joints – he called them smorgasbord. I called it a big treat. And your hamburger painting is the absolute best – but please leave off the onions!
hehe! Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Not an onion fan, eh? I wasn’t at all as a kid, but now I rather like them. That’s truly amazing that you were introduced to all the hamburger madness so late in life! Actually, you’re probably far better off for it! Yeah, we almost never eat red meat of any sort these days, so a “double” would certainly be out of the question. Can’t say I inherited my dad’s love of buffets though. It’s like going to a family potluck with strangers. It’s just too weird for me.
There are worse things than smorgasbord. LOL
So true! LOL
Mmmm, this whopper sizzles of summer! It’s been so long since I’ve had a cheeseburger – probably a good thing, but they tasted good! I don’t think I was ever extravagant enough to sample a double cheeseburger, though. I want one now, although little me would probably have removed any hint of green stuff before tucking in 😉
Lol! What? No green stuff? That’s the only bit of fiber in this treat to ensure it makes its way through! 😊 Yeah, cheeseburgers are really on my diet anymore, and the doubles, well… that’s been decades now!
Absolutely gorgeous and brilliant sentiments, understanding, and the sign of true wit, and wisdom, regarding not only a creative process, but also one so equally applicable to life – all of it.
Wow! What a fabulous compliment!! Thank you sooooo much!! So happy you enjoyed this post! 😃💕
you’re most welcome and always a pleasure to stop and see, discover and read 🙂