One of the best parts of summer is the sight of bins at the grocery store filled with large watermelons, our art challenge prompt today. They’re like summer’s answer to the Halloween pumpkin and come in a variety of sizes, but the giant ones are the best for sharing at family gatherings. There are many fancy ways to cut up a watermelon, but in our family, we sort of just hacked it into wedges without too much artistry involved. During the 80’s, my family was a huge fan of the comedian simply called Gallagher who had a famous routine where he mock-advertised a device known as the Sledge-O-Matic. It was actually just a large wooden mallet that was used to bash a variety of food items but the finale was always a big watermelon. This sounds perfectly stupid as I’m describing now, and it truly was, but in Gallagher’s defense he was also quite a master of wordplay and it’s tough to mock ads from that time as they were all rather ridiculous. One would need a sledgehammer of some kind simply to stand out as something truly ironic or bizarre. My family thankfully only ever used a large knife to cut up watermelon, but I still connect this to the other memory.
My family loved comedy of all kinds and I would often find the television tuned to stand-up comedians. The jokes were always rather adult in nature, not necessarily filthy, just about things I had yet to experience. So, many of them “flew over my head” as they say, but many others had me giggling for days. Also, if I didn’t understand a joke, I would ask my parents to explain it to me. I’m sure this sort of ruined the joke for them, but for me it was an enlightening experience. As I grew up, I learned to always approach life with a bit of a gleeful smirk and to never take it too seriously. I’d never wallow in a problem for very long, because I had learned to quickly spot the absurdity in it and this would just make me start laughing. I guess you could say, that the lesson I learned was that life is simply absurd, best to have fun with it. I’ve no idea if this actually good advice, but I’ve lived years with a distinct inability to ever remain sad for long, so that’s certainly a wonderful side effect.
I realize I’m quite often taking you back in time, rather than telling you what’s happening right now. If you’re curious, I’m typing this while Philippe is next to me trying to get a French CD he had delivered from the UK transferred to his computer so he can actually listen to it. This, while watching a French antiques show where people show up with odd things and attempt to make a profit. I can’t understand much of what they’re saying, but I can understand the numbers and know why this current lady is super happy. Also, one of the men on the show has a pair of blue glasses that I covet and have asked Philippe to find them and buy them for me. Yes, I often wear glasses when I’m too lazy to put in my contacts to match my avatar. Our life is fun and casual and also a bit ridiculous. It’s not austere or classy, but instead, simply a life of doing whatever comes to mind in the moment. We take routine and bend it to our immediate will. It’s a fun way to live, really, like laughing with your family during a carefree summer picnic, just waiting for that moment when it’s finally time for cutting up a watermelon.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Opus (Vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, Leaf Green, and Cobalt Blue. 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!