Eating Little Trees

Day 23 - Broccoli - Eating Little Trees - #doodlewashApril2018 Doodlewash

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.

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 Day 23 - Broccoli - Eating Little Trees - #doodlewashApril2018 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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33 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    I love your little trees and the story behind them! It takes a special philosophy in life to look for the unusual things. I believe too many people try to ignore them and act with anger when they can’t. What joy they miss out on!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕So true, I think people do get angry when they miss the beauty and wonder already in front of them!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 4 weeks ago

    I never considered that broccoli looks like little trees! Thanks for the new perspective.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yep! Little trees were all I knew them as and many times, still think of them that way today.

  3. SnehLata Maheshwari 4 weeks ago

    Love your lovely tree. some times you have become So imotional n make me also.Artists always be like this moody n reserved too, this is the reason I tried to make people laugh even myself as well.my philosophy of life Don’t show how much you have broken in life. So lovely art . Oh yes we’ll come back to home. 🐕 is now dancing to see u.
    Thanks so much

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Snehlata! 😃💕 I always write and paint from the heart. I think stories and art hold the most power when we let our emotions flow onto the paper!

  4. Nancy Jackson 4 weeks ago

    Yay, thats exactly what I used to tell my kids, I’d say you will be so strong from eating a tree! Ha ha ha! Love it! Learning to paint simple things is so fun Thankyou!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      So happy you enjoyed this, Nancy! 😃💕 Yes, to painting the simple things! Well…even they pose lots of challenges, but it’s so much fun to explore things we often wouldn’t think to paint.

  5. Linda Young 4 weeks ago

    Happy little trees!

  6. Vicki Rowley 4 weeks ago

    My broccoli tree needs butter! IMG_4239

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe!! Awesome, Vicki!! Yay to butter! On anything, really! 😃💕

  7. smzang 4 weeks ago

    so glad you two travelers made it home safely.
    I am amazed that you managed to post ‘painting and verse’
    each day. The air of peace and joy claimed this reader.

    btw for dinner tonight I had tofu in ginger sauce with broccoli,
    this universe is filled with ‘coincidinks’

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I’m totally addicted to trying to show up each day. hehe… but it’s extra challenging while traveling. And oh wow! That dinner sounds delicious! And love that word… my mother used to use it!

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 weeks ago

    Your broccoli Doodlewash is wonderful. Really like the little blue dots scattered among the tops as if it’s been sprinkled with sapphires. I’m glad you had such a great time here in So Cal. We love living here. How interesting that all of us carry our own souvenirs of special places all the time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 This was my ode to Seurat, one of my favorites. Figured little dots next to each other that evoked a color would be a fun exercise for broccoli. Glad you liked it! And yes, we had a blast in SoCal and will definitely be back soon!

  9. Mama Cormier 4 weeks ago

    When our kids were little we always called broccoli trees. They still remember it to this day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Awww yay! I love this memory! 😃💕 It’s made me love broccoli most!

  10. zebrakat 4 weeks ago

    Amazing. Your art always looks so real, which is a talent. X

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 I love trying to create an illusion of reality. At least in the main view… zoom in to see the tricks. 😉 hehe

  11. Rod Fletcher 4 weeks ago

    Love the drawing, but the veg I eat because I have too. There’s some chemical in brassicas that makes it aversive to around a third of people apparently.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Rod! 😃💕 Oh wow… I didn’t know that. Yeah I guess if you don’t like broccoli than even the little trees trick probably doesn’t work. 😊

  12. Pamela Smith 4 weeks ago

    I love broccoli and your painting…

  13. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    Love your trees and the story.

  14. Sharon Mann 4 weeks ago

    A delectable little painting!

  15. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    You nailed the broccoli pic! And I am inordinately pleased to learn that souvenir in French means memory and that they don’t have a separate word for the tchotchke we bring home to remind us of where we have been.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕hehe… and yay! yes… they don’t really have a word for meaningless memories… just the real thing! 😉

  16. Sarah 4 weeks ago

    Your little tree looks stunning, Charlie!! Really love this idea of seeing Broccoli this way. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 I enjoyed painting this one… decided to riff on one of my favorite painters, Georges Seurat and play with at little pointillism. 😉

      • Sarah 4 weeks ago

        I’m sure he would feel honoured to know this! 😄💕

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