When I was kid, I didn’t love as many vegetables as I do today. Today, vegetables are mostly all that I eat, but back then, I needed a bit of extra inspiration. Broccoli was the one exception as it always fascinated me in the way it resembled a little miniature tree that you could eat. So when I saw the prompt of trees today it was the very first thing that came to mind. Admittedly, I did enjoy it most when covered in cheese back then, but could still manage to eat it plain. A testament to its intrigue and wonder. And perhaps, a reveal into the way my crazy mind works. I’ve always been a bit “visually inclined,” meaning the way things look had a huge impact on whether or not I would invite them into my life. It was rarely those things deemed beautiful by the masses, but instead, something unique and interesting that caught my eye and made something, or indeed, someone beautiful to me. Watercolor sketching every day has been a wonderful adventure of rediscovering the beauty in ordinary life. Those bits and bobbles we take for granted as being far too usual to demand a second glance. These are still, even today, my favorite things of all.
Philippe and I returned home from California late last night, tired and yet still feeling the glow of a wonderful trip. The only thing we ended up buying while we were there was a set of four coasters with retro scenes of San Clemente and a little ceramic dish with a woodblock etching of a mermaid. Out of all the wonders that California had to offer us, these were the things we chose to bring home. In the moment we saw them in that little shop we happened to wander into, we decided they were the perfect souvenirs of our trip. Upon returning home and unpacking, we were thrilled once again to see them and they brought back every moment of our journey. It’s not surprising that the word souvenir is French for memory and that the French don’t really have a separate word, as we do, for souvenir. A memory is just a memory, after all. Nothing grand is required to remind us of every little thing we experience in life. Just a token of a perfect moment is all that’s ever really needed.
When I think back to my childhood, it’s always a series of mundane things that spark the thought of something more unusual. A particular event that happened of particular note. And it’s equally the mundane things that hold an allure all their own. Those moments so basic and unassuming that they nearly seem like they shouldn’t matter at all. Yet, those are the purest moments. The ones devoid of glamour and glitz and instead filled with simplicity and soul. There are so many exotic things I’d love to do in life before I die. But I’m quite content with all the wonderful things I’ve already had the pleasure to experience. We’re never defined by our most amazing moments, but instead by all the tiny ones that form the very fabric of our identity. It’s why we can be shocked to meet a celebrity in person and realize they aren’t really all that different from us at all. How we can find ourselves bored at a fancy event despite all of the incredible spectacle. And why, no matter how old I become, I will always think of broccoli as simply eating little trees.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, 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? Click Here!
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!