Day 3 #WorldWatercolorMonth Happy 1st Birthday Doodlewash cappuccino in mug with white cake blue icing and orange candle on white background

Day 3: #WorldWatercolorMonth – Happy 1st Birthday Doodlewash!

On July 3rd, 2015, I picked up a brush and for the first time in my life, started painting with watercolors. I was instantly hooked. In my sudden enthusiasm, I immediately started a little blog I called Doodlewash, a named I coined because it sounded fun and less intimidating than thinking I was trying to make masterpieces every time. On that sunny afternoon, I painted a tree and posted it to my new little blog for nobody in particular.  There were no comments and no “likes” for that little tree, but I was proud of it all the same. Proud enough to sign my name and share it. That day changed my life and, best of all, lead me to all of you. Wish you all much love and days of joyous painting ahead! Happy 1st Birthday, Doodlewash!

It’s been such an amazing journey to go from that single little tree to creating World Watercolor Month and hosting a worldwide event for thousands of wonderful watercolor artists. I remember in that first month, I immediately started babbling on about creating a Doodlewash movement and even created buttons with the “DO” motto on them by the beginning of August. I felt so happy to be painting that I wanted to get as many people who, like me, had been “thinking” about painting for years to just go for it. I wanted them to feel what I felt. And most of all, I didn’t want it to be all about me. So, I immediately started recruiting guests artists. Well, I made my partner Philippe and fabulous friend, Aesha post their work alongside mine at least. But by July 25, I had made a new friend in the UK and posted a Guest Doodlewash from someone I’d just met! Cool!

Since that time, over 200 artists have been part of Doodlewash, sketching and painting on all 7 continents! All types of watercolor work is represented here, from urban sketchers, to plein painters, to studio artists, to abstract artists, to illustrators, to… well, insert pronoun… the only rule has been and continues to be something you made featuring watercolor or gouache! Same rules apply for July! And today, I’m humbled looking through hundreds and hundreds of beautiful watercolors from people all over the globe celebrating the first ever World Watercolor Month. You’re all amazing, and thank you for making this the best Doodlewash birthday ever!

Join us for World Watercolor Month in July! Click here to learn more! 

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Cobalt Teal, Azo Orange, Gamboge, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

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114 thoughts on “Day 3: #WorldWatercolorMonth – Happy 1st Birthday Doodlewash!

  1. Happy blog birthday Charlie. It’s been great knowing you and following your blog. And thank you for creating this awesome watercolor month. There is so much beauty continually showing up in the group I can’t even keep up with it. So inspiring.

  2. Happy, happy anniversary to Doodlewash, dear Charlie. I will never forget the first time you commented on my humble work, and it made me feel fantastic and empowered to make more art. I even thanked you for taking the time to comment. Then when you asked me to be a featured artist, I was overwhelmed with..I don’t even know what! Maybe joy?? Then came the encouraging, lovely comments from the folks (and now blogger friends) who read that post. Since then, you all have made my art journey so inspired and made me want to practice to get better and better. Because of that, I have made it a mission to comment on others’ blogs and tell them what I like about their art, and I hope to spread a little of that joy every day. I hope this doesn’t sound sappy, but thank you for posting your little tree and starting your Doodlewash journey and inspiring so many others, no matter the skill level, along the way! 🍾😘

    1. Wow, charlie, just a year. Forget for the moment that because of doodlewashed your art work is loved by so many and that it has probably improved just from the act of creating so frequently…., think for the moment if you will, about how many other peoples lives you have changed or touched over the past year. That is truly impressive and a testament to how simple heartful acts can create big ripples across the world. Just reading the comments alone is an impressive log. Congratulations on the creation of a new community field with diverse humans all looking to improve themselves and make the world a,more beautiful place. Thank you, and congratulations.

      1. Awww Suzala… there are tears in my eyes, but they’re super happy ones. 😊 Thank you so much! 😃💕 I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to think about what I’ve been doing… I just keep DOing it. hehe… I’m thrilled about the community that’s forming now for World Watercolor Month on Facebook. It’s like the Doodlewash spirit just suddenly spread all over the globe… I’m glad I could help the world focus on the positive for a few weeks and have some fun. And thrilled to have met you on this journey!

    2. Awww Carol… You just made me cry. What a sweet and wonderful note to receive. I’ve worked so hard on this blog over the past year that it warms my heart to know that it’s done some good in the world and made people happy. I’m thrilled our paths crossed on this journey and beyond thrilled that I was part of inspiring you in yours. 😃💕 Thanks so much!

      1. Charlie, I today’s world it is something special to find such an awesome group of folks who lift each other up and encourage. Thank YOU so much. Happy 4th!! 😄

  3. Wooo! From Myself, all those aboard the Doodlewash Express, Rex, the dik-dik, the polecats, the zonkey, the Pie Police, Benji, Simon the Seal and any others who have cropped up in whatever the heck we’ve gone on about over the past year or so that I might have forgotten, a very happy first bloggy birthday!! I probably wouldn’t post or make stuff nearly as ‘often’ as I do were it not for your being here and posting every day, so thank you for that and thank you especially for posting that windmill when you did! <3 I look forward to the next year!

    I expect the celebrations going on behind the scenes are uproarious, and rightly so – have a good one. I'm certainly enjoying the cake with its cool icing, it looks scrummy!

    1. You forgot the Citrus Polos!! Lol Though we’d have a better chance of getting to ride a Zonkey first. Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃😃💕You’ve made this journey so FUN! Hope others enjoyed our ridiculous conversations… sometimes I forget all of this is right out there in public. Oh well, I’m sure they did. Who wouldn’t love to have their very own seal?! But there’s really nothing uproarious happening behind the scenes unfortunately… if I dare to have more than two glasses of wine anymore I just fall asleep immediately. 😊

      1. Any eavesdroppers probably backed away in unease from our conversations long ago, thus avoiding the juicy bits! At least, I hope so! 😉

        Well, here’s to much more fun! I would say raise a glass of wine, but we don’t want you drifting off do we!

  4. Oh Charlie O – look at you Grow – look at you Show – us all how to Go! One short year ago…….. and all you have made happen…. all the friends you have made…… all the love you have shared. Happy Birthday Doodlewash and Happy Blogiversary Charlie O!

  5. Happy Birthday and congratulations!! What a loss for us it would have been, had you not picked up that brush one year ago!!! I am astounded that you are only 1 year old as an artist — you obviously have had a previous life filled with art to be able to see and interpret what you paint so accurately and beautifully. I want to tell you I look forward to your words as much as your art in your posts..and I am always happy to see what you have come up with each time Doodlewash appears in my email. I absolutely love your unique twists and viewpoint as you explain how and why you decided to paint this or that… thank you from the bottom of my creative soul!!
    PS Also…I wanted to share how often i have used your idea “its just a doodlewash” to talk myself of a ledge of anxiety when I get all tied up while working on a page in my sketchbook – it helps me remember its just paper, pen and paint get over it and just play! thank you 😉
    PSS also …thank you for sharing all the wonderful artists you highlight — i learn something from every one of them!! I am so grateful for what you have created with Doodlewash!!

    1. Aww thanks, Karen!! You made my heart sing!! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you like my little ramblings along with my doodlewashes! hehe… I started college wanting to be a writer then actually did get an art degree but focused on computer graphics. They only taught painting in acrylics and I took one class and didn’t take to the medium. Not sure why it took me over 20 years to discover watercolor, but I’m sure glad I did!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and thrilled you’ve enjoyed Doodlewash!!

  6. One year/ That’s it, just one year? Holey moley, Mr. Superstar, you are so talented and so inspiring. I’ve enjoyed following your blog and meeting all the other talented artists who hang out at The Doodlewash Easel and Cafe. Shows what can be done in one year when mind meets imagination and will power. Congrats to you, Charlie, and many many thanks for providing at least one computer highlight every day.

    1. oooooo love the idea of The Doodlewash Easel and Cafe… would love to open that some day! hehe… Of course Philippe would be in charge of the menu as I can’t cook an egg, but sounds awesome! Thanks so much, Sharon!! 😃💕So, appreciate your support… your comments keep me painting and writing and I really, really appreciate it!

      1. Actually cooking eggs is quite challenging and not for the beginner. I bet you can make toast. My husband microwaves food I’ve prepared previously and always says, “Look! I’m cooking!”
        Course, I bet you never reheat anything – I bet Phillipe wouldn’t stand for it.

  7. Congratulations Charlie – what an amazing year!! And to have reached and inspired so many people about the joy of watercolor – hugely commendable. Thanks so much and hope you celebrated in style 😉

  8. So happy I met you, Charlie! Your enthusiasm for art is contagious! 💖🎨❤️ I enjoy your humor and all your stories AND you are an AWESOME artist, my friend! 😄 Congrats to your 1 year painting anniversary!! I know this is just the beginning for you!! YAY Charlie!!!💐🍷🌟🎂😍

      1. Cool 🙂 I love reading your interviews 🙂 I have a question…

        When I post, am I doing it right if I link with your FB page for WorldWatercolorMonth? I have never used # before…

        1. Thanks! Glad you like the artist features! As for the tagging… awesome that you’re linking to the FB group thanks! Also, there’s a Categories and Tags section on the side for each post. Add #WorldWatercolorMonth in the tags section for each of the posts. You can test to see if it worked by going to and clicking the WordPress icon. 😉

    1. Thanks sis!! hehe… well… sister from another mother! You’ve been cheering me all the whole year my friend and I can’t thank you enough for that. I’m so happy we met on this journey AND that I keep getting you to splash around and play with watercolor. (now if you could just get ME to go a little abstract… hehe… one day! Promise!) Much love to you! And thanks for your enthusiasm of support of World Watercolor Month! Those prompts rock and I’m definitely going to be using them! 😃💕❤️

  9. Happy Birthday, Big Blog! Doing all of this in one year is really impressive! Thank you for all of your comments and likes on my post. You certainly helped me to stop making my own blog so much about me by your good example. Thank you for introducing me to so many other artists!

  10. Aw Charlie! I look so forward to my morning ritual of visiting you and making all kinds of happy discoveries! Congrats on one-year, being the mastermind behind Doodlewash, creating a community and blue frosting! Thank you for the never ending inspiration to create! Lots of love to you!

    1. You’re so sweet! Thanks so much, Cathe! 😃💕 One day we’ll have that coffee when I’m in Minneapolis!! And hehe… yeah, had to be blue frosting of course. Thank you for sharing your treasures. It’s been a joy to see them each day on IG (I love the tiny animals!!)

  11. Charlie, I had no idea that Doodlewash was so young! Your work is always so fun and professional. Besides that, though, you have an awesome gift for connecting people, and I am so glad to be part of the Doodlewash community! Happy birthday to this blog and your beautiful art!

  12. Happy Birthday, Doodlewash and Charlie!!! 🎂🎉 So glad I got to know you and your doodlewash community! It´s always fun to read and see your posts! You´re doing such an amazing job connecting people from all over the world with art and/or doodlewashing!!! Thanks for your commitment, Charlie! ❤️🎨🌞

  13. Happy Birthday! Charlie you’ve created such an amazing thing by introducing other artists, by your own admirable daily challenges, by inviting us to play along, by your personal stories – which I love, and now with World Watercolor Month! I hope you are celebrating all you’ve done in 1 short year. I feel proud to be part of it!💕

    1. Awww thanks, Eileen!! 😃💕So thrilled to have met you, that you’ve played along with me in my journey and that you’re part of the Doodlewash family. It makes it sooooo much more fun that way!! Appreciate it!! And Happy #WorldWatercolorMonth !! Yay!

  14. it sounds like I was much like you, I wanted to paint all my life but was afraid. Then about five or so years ago I started and it had blossomed in my life like a lightbulb in a dark room. I can’t imagine my life without it.

  15. Congratulations Charlie, you’ve achieved so much in the space of a year. Keep up the good work my friend,, I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us over the next 12 months!

  16. haaaaaaaaaaaaapy dooooooodle wash to yoooooooooooooooo
    haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapy dooooooooooooodle wash to yoooooooooooooooo
    haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay doooooooooooooooodle waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash deeeeer Charrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    haaaaaaaaapy dooooooooooooooooooodle waaaaaaaaaaash tooooooooooooooooo’OOOOO yooooooooooooooooo’OOOOOO

  17. congratulations, happy ‘birthday’!!! and you have certainly achieved many many things in this year. your world watercolor month is awesome; probably…surprising even you! you have made many people happy, and Inspired, encouraged many to try art again.
    That, is Well Done, Charlie! 🙂

    1. Awww thanks so much for the sweet words, Debi! 😃💕It’s been such an amazing year. You’re right, I’m thrilled and excited to see all the enthusiasm for World Watercolor Month. It’s gone beyond what I could have imagined in the first year. And so much fun!!! Which is always, the primary thing, right? 😉

  18. I remember those ‘early’ days of Doodlewash, and your energy then for the medium felt like a force of nature. So happy, (and still in awe of your natural talent), that you picked up that paintbrush and created such an imaginative and far reaching movement. Thank you for being you, for sharing all the charming and delightful posts, and creating such a lovely worldwide community with a doodlewash and a dream. Happy One Year and wishing you many more to come!

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