Day 29 – My Favorite Tree

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 29 - My Favorite Tree - Bonsai - Doodlewash

Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by the miniature versions of things. So although I’m not sure I actually have a favorite tree, a little bonsai tree in a pot would probably be the closest choice. That said, I still don’t actually possess one as any kind of plant is safest when not in my care. But I love the idea of something that’s normally towering being reduced into something that could fit on the mantle in one’s living room. And staring at the twisted branches, I imagine myself being reduced to a miniature size and happily sitting underneath it. It’s mesmerizing. Life can often seem so expansive and intimidating that when a bit of it gets reduced to a manageable size, it’s quite comforting. I never owned a dollhouse, as little people were less interesting to me than the little things that went with them. Tiny little stacks of books with titles on the spine and lots of wonderful detail. An impossibly small tea kettle that looks like it could actually boil water. These were endlessly fascinating to me.

Of course, I would have to be three inches tall to actually enjoy any of these miniatures properly. But the notion of producing detailed little facsimiles of those little elements of life that we hold dear was always intriguing to me. I guess, in a way, that’s what I do each day here on Doodlewash. Outside of the occasional things that might actually fit in my little sketchbook, I’m reproducing bits of life in a much reduced form. Each time I finish a book, it goes to a stack in the corner that I haven’t gone back to look through yet. Years from now, when that stack likely reaches the ceiling at my current pace, I’ll go back and flip through the pages. Bits of life reduced to a manageable size. Tiny memories that aren’t often specific to a time and place, but ephemera that intrigued me most in that very moment. An odd and imprecise diary, to be sure, but one that will be fun to revisit when I’m older. It’s not a documentary of moments as they occurred, but a record of what I was feeling at the time. Perhaps, in the end, this will prove to be even more illuminating.

And if you’d like a little something today, then I have a little something to offer you! Today, for anyone who’s not yet received a sample from Legion Paper, I have 10 Stonehenge Aqua Samplers which include a sheet of all the Coldpress and Hotpress papers. Simply comment below with the phrase “I Love Painting Life!” to let me know you want one! (U.S. only) No matter how many extraordinary things happen in my life, I’ll always be attracted to the little things most. Tiny surprises and little events that aren’t earth shattering, but enough to make me smile. Someday, I may attempt a large and grand painting on paper not bound inside a little book. But today, I’m content with capturing bits of life that come to me in that little moment I’ve set aside to make a doodlewash. A miniature bit of time to collect a single memory. For me, it’s one of the best parts of my day. From furry animals, to Wonka Bars, even I’m never sure what will appear here each day. And that’s the best part of all. A magical little moment, like dreaming of shrinking down to an impossibly small size so I can quietly sit, with no cares in the world, underneath my favorite tree. 

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Red Rose Deep, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Burnt Umber, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 29 - My Favorite Tree - Bonsai - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!

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44 Comments
  1. Cathy 3 months ago

    I love painting life! And Trees! Thanks Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Yay to that, Cathy!! 😃💕And yay to freebies!! Send me a note via my contact form with your full name and address and I’ll have a sample sent: https://doodlewash.com/contact/

      • Cathy 3 months ago

        Thanks Charlie, will do.

  2. Susan Cuss 3 months ago

    I Love Painting Life! Thanks Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Yay to that, Susan! 😃💕 I’ll have a sample sent your way!!

      • Susan Cuss 3 months ago

        Thanks so much, Charlie! Stonehenge Aqua is a new-to-me w/c paper, so I’m really looking forward to trying it.

  3. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    Perfect bonsai tree. Looks so real. Small things have always fascinated me too. I actually built a dollhouse from a kit that my husband gave me as a gift. It came in lots of pieces ….miniature lumber, nails etc. It’s still a work in progress. I painted it for my favorite toy in the August challenge. Love your story.

    • June Hadaway 3 months ago

      I received my Legion paper. Thank you so very much.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

        My pleasure! Hope you enjoy it, June! 😃💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Oh my gosh… that’s SO awesome that you got a dollhouse kit! I’ve always wanted one of those. Not for the dolls, just the awesome miniatures! hehe Love that!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    “I Love Painting Life!” even though I don’t know whether I’ve won this or not. I know I haven’t received one. Tiny things are the best!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      They totally are, Sharon! 😃💕 And yes, I have you down for last week so a sample should be heading your way soon!

  5. stewart6045 3 months ago

    “I Love Painting Life”

  6. Wendy J Nelson 3 months ago

    Hi, Charlie – my husband loves bonsai and we have several. Longwood gardens outside of Phila has a wonderful collection. I Love Painting Life!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      That’s so awesome, Wendy! 😃💕 I’ve always wanted to have one of these! And yay! I’ll have some paper sent your way!

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    I love painting life! (Did I make it in time?)

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    This is a perfect bonsai with its enchanting serpentine trunk and tiny leaves. I really like the range of greens everywhere. They take a long time to train to a desirable shape, something I couldn’t do. If you don’t over water them, they aren’t hard to keep.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Shari! 😃💕 As fascinated as I am with these, I’ve yet to actually have one. Most plants wither as I approach, so it’s probably for the best. But they are certainly beautiful!

  9. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    I love the texture of the foliage and the color along the trunk!

  10. Sarah 3 months ago

    I love painting life! Nature is my favorite subject. Flowers mostly. Trees fascinate me, but I can’t quite get them right yet. I love your bonsai! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕And yay to painting nature! And also getting free things which you just did! hehe Send me a note via my contact form with your full name and address and I’ll have a sample sent: https://doodlewash.com/contact/

      • Sarah 3 months ago

        Yay indeed! Thanks Charlie! ☺️

  11. Mary McDonough 3 months ago

    Love your bonsai and your blog.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww you’re so sweet, Mary. I totally appreciate your amazingly supportive and encouraging comments. Thanks so much my friend! 😃💕

  12. Basia 3 months ago

    I love painting life

  13. Laura (PA Pict) 3 months ago

    Your painting today reminded me of an old friend who had several bonsai he was nurturing and shaping. It’s quite a skill. I, of course, kill plants just by glancing at them sideways so bonsai are something I appreciate but leave well alone. I do love tiny things though. I never had a dolls house but I do like miniature things. My kids do too. They are drawn to toys they can carry in their pockets. Have you tried any micro art? I’ve always marveled at miniature portraits in museums and stately homes. The smallest artworks I’ve done – so far – have been twinchies but perhaps I’ll push myself to try some inchies some time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Hehe… I’m never tried super miniature art yet, but I’m totally intrigued. It’s definitely something I want to try soon. And so glad to know I’m not alone in my ability to scare plants on sight! LOL 😉💕

  14. Jennifer McLean 3 months ago

    I’m sure i’m too late but it’s been a busy day trying to install wordpress and domain names, lol BUT I love painting life. Great bonsai tree Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! 😃💕 hehe… yay to exploring wordpress… it’s awesome!! And you’re totally on time, but this sponsor only ships to U.S. so check back.

      • Jennifer McLean 3 months ago

        Aww, darn! I’ll keep coming back, you know i will. ;o)

  15. Thomas Blanchard 3 months ago

    “I Love Painting Life” I didn’t count so crossing fingers. Nice bonsai … love the shadow.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 And you totally made it in time so I’ll have a sample sent your way!

      • Thomas Blanchard 3 months ago

        Awsome! Thanks Charlie. I’ve been interested in trying this paper 🤓

  16. Sandra Gilbert 3 months ago

    Awesome tree, love the details. And as always love your story.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 It makes me happy to hear that! My little story (ramble) is actually part of my art!

  17. Yvonne Reeder 3 months ago

    Lovely tree and thoughts today, Charlie! I can no longer can grow plants of any sort – the kitties tend to eat them … fresh flower boquets too. **wistful sigh at happy green thumb memories** lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Von! 😃💕 And I have no kitties to blame, but I’m the same way! LOL

  18. Sherri Scrogham 3 months ago

    I Love Painting Life!

  19. Elizabeth Metz 2 months ago

    I had a friend in high school who’s dad made super-intricate model train setups. We’re talking room-sized installations with terrain and little vignettes scattered throughout with tiny little people and towns. I could have sat in that room for hours if I hadn’t been in high school and thus been waaaaay too cool for all that “stupid stuff”.

    (But my favorite tree’s a blue spruce next to my backyard fence who plays host to everything from a family of squirrels to about a zillion birds, and cat spiders as big as your head*. Maybe the scale’s changed, but I like intricate things of all sizes.)

    *may be an exaggeration.

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