When I was a little kid, I remember that every “kids plate” on the menu when our family would go out to eat was mostly shades of yellow and beige. This was because it consisted of a bunch of fried bits on a plate, leaving only a little tub of ketchup to provide a boost of color. Notably missing from these plates, of course, was the presence of any greenery, and well, nutritional value of any kind to be sure. Though I personally loved broccoli, this was never on the kids menus back then. If not fried food, the other option included a bowl of macaroni and cheese, which was pretty much in the same palette, only more limited in color. As I grew up, I learned that a colorful plate was not only more lovely, but also far better for you from a nutritional standpoint. While I was sketching this stuff, Philippe walked by and made an “ugh” sound to express his displeasure. This rather American plate of food didn’t match with his French sensibilities when it comes to cuisine. Not even the so-named French fries. He didn’t grow up eating differently than the adults around the table. Yet, I’m rather sure that my own dad wished he could have eaten from the kids menu just like me.
Like most things from my childhood, I survived them and grew up loving vegetables most in spite of things. I can’t really claim to be super cultured or only having a craving to eat healthy things. I’m just not that cool. And I will still never turn down a good macaroni and cheese dish! Today, Philippe and I went to see one our favorite music groups with the decidedly adult name of Pink Martini. Though an American group they sing songs in all different languages, including a lot of French. I love the name of their album which is called “Je Dis Qui!” and translates to “I Say Yes!” It’s the main line in a fun song titled Joli garçon and though it’s about romance I think the phrase pretty much applies to how I approach everything in live so it’s my favorite. The group was accompanied by our own Kansas City Symphony orchestra so it was a wonderful event. Although they didn’t actually sing this song, unfortunately, since I’m sure getting the score ready for a symphony was not quite possible. Though my childhood was sometimes short on vegetables, it was always filled with music and so going to any music show reminds me of being a kid again.
At the end of the show today, they formed a conga line where the audience could join in. We were down front, but trapped in the middle and couldn’t get out to join it. I was a bit bummed and considered jumping over seats in order to participate. I’m totally shy, but the idea of a conga line is all about community and a bunch of people coming together to simply celebrate pure joy. So, I’m always in for a good conga line. I honestly sort of hope that Doodlewash has a bit of that feeling as well! A place where everyone can simply come together with glee and enjoy the moment together. As much I talk about childhood, I don’t think I’ve ever really strayed that far from it. Life is a wonderful gift and I only hope to spend it with a bit of admiration for all of the opportunities it has to offer. And, I love spending it with people who share the same enthusiasm. If we only pause to consider everything that’s good in life, it’s almost impossible to focus on the bad. And yes, it doesn’t really take much to ignite my inner child and find myself transported to that fun and wondrous time of my youth, back in those days before vegetables.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!