Feeling A Little Nutty

Day 19 - Coconuts Watercolor - Doodlewash

Lately, it seems like my life is filled with unexpected turns and extra things keep popping onto my already lengthy to do list. Many of these are the terribly drab adulting things that steal precious minutes from my artistic playtime. But, I was determined to show up with some coconuts for today’s prompt. Though technically not a true nut, of course, more of a drupe, but by broad definitions coconuts could at once be consider a fruit, nut, and a seed. They have made botanists and scientists a little nutty for years and there’s still debate about when and where they originated. And absolutely none of this has any bearing on the fact that they are just darn delicious! I’ve spent this month playing a bit more and making up different little compositions and it’s been so fun. I think that sometimes not having time to think too much about things when sketching can actually be a gift. As most of you know, I advocate a rather childish approach to art. Just kidding, really, as I simply got a giggle from the way that sounded. In truth, what I really mean to say is that I think letting one’s inner child take over whenever possible is a wonderful way to create.

I adore seeing a watercolor painting or illustration that has that bit of sparkle to it. Even if the subject matter is very serious or gritty, it’s wonderful to see a sense of play to lines and a gleefully interesting use of color. And art is a wonderful stress reliever when it’s not made to be just one of those other adulting things that we feel we have to do. It’s instead something that we just want to DO and can happily enjoy. One of my adulting things I had to contend with today was being summoned to jury duty. I received the letter in a stack of mail waiting for me when I returned from Paris. I was not looking forward to it at all and frankly get a bit stressed at having to pay attention to things for longer periods at a time. I wasn’t randomly selected, which I was quite thankful for as I wasn’t sure how I would get everything done if I had been. But, what struck me was the almost playful demeanor of the judge talking us through everything. He took a serious thing and added a measured touch of lighthearted reality to it all, relating it to our actual lives. At the end of his speech, many people in the room were almost feeling eager to participate. I still wasn’t one of them, but you had to give the guy props for his innovative approach!

What struck me most is that an adult brain would have said that this judge’s approach was inappropriate and not solemn enough for such proceedings. Yet he had most everyone in the jury assembly room smiling, which is no small feat in such circumstances. Instead of giving an adult lesson about duty, he simply appealed to everyone’s heart. Something so simple, yet so effective, that I contend only an inner child could have come up with and execute with such aplomb. But, sure, I was secretly happy that I would have time to sketch coconuts, which in itself seems perfectly silly and like a child talking. I guess, the thing I’ve learned today and in life in general is that being serious for the sake of it, is not a productive thing at all. Life is often serious, but it’s at the same time incredibly ridiculous and sometimes perfectly inscrutable. It’s odd to ignore those bits and pretend that everything is black and white. Instead, there are lots of different colors that shape those shadows and if we keep that sparkle in our eyes we can finally make them all out properly. At least, those were thoughts that came to my mind today as I was feeling a little nutty.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta 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!
Day 19 - Coconuts Watercolor Sketchbook Detail
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
27 Comments
  1. Maria Dass The World 8 months ago

    We had three coconut trees in our yard and on rare occasions we’d find coconut heart (basically the bud or embryo of a new tree) inside the coconut. It’s rare but a tasty treat when we did find it. Our trees are gone – one struck by lightning and the other two felled to prevent it from falling on the house. What I miss most about it is the sound of the wind as it blows through the fronds – a perfect backdrop for lazy & dreamy afternoons! (not much of that nowadays) :p

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      That’s such a lovely scene you painted with words! 😃💕So sorry to hear your coconut trees are gone now. I had no idea about the rare and tasty treat you described. That sounds really interesting!

  2. Lisa 8 months ago

    Props on using the word drupe. You don’t see it very often, especially in casual writing. My favorite word these days is replete because it is on the mug I drink coffee from every day. And I am saying this while knocking on wood, I’ve never been called to jury duty. I have never seen a coconut in real life. But I do love Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars. Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe.. sometimes I have to look up words to ensure I’m using them properly. My head is full of lots of them, but I’m not astute enough to know if my application is correct. Yay for you that you’ve never been called for jury duty… it’s a bit of a stressful process. And not even a coconut at the grocery? hehe… the real thing is amazing!

  3. Lisa 8 months ago

    To be clear, I’ve seen coconuts, just not coconut trees. I sounded like a total rube never seeing a coconut.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Okay, see, I answering in chronological order. Good to know! lol I’ve only once tried a coconut directly off the tree and it was amazing!!! 😍

  4. Sandra Strait 8 months ago

    Your ramblings seem to be bringing up old songs in my head these days ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts!”. That seems apt, because it’s a terrifically light-hearted song appealing to the child in every adult. And while your painting isn’t a bunch, it’s a lovely coconut, indeed!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Adore that these are bringing up old songs!! Love it!!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 8 months ago

    Lovely job on the coconut’s interior – whites and shadows are just right. I’m a retired lawyer, and practicing before a judge like the one you describe was always a treat.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, this judge was awesome… I would trust him more than most! I never trust anyone who’s perfectly serious… it seems bizarre and unnatural. Like they must be hiding something. 😉

  6. smzang 8 months ago

    Charlie said, “Life is often serious, but it’s at the same time incredibly ridiculous and sometimes perfectly inscrutable. ”

    That one will live forever.

    The coconuts look deliciously edible!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, life always makes me smile with it’s oddness. It’s worth living it just to find out what happens next. 😉

  7. Jodi 8 months ago

    I love your nuttiness!

  8. Snehlata Maheshwari. 8 months ago

    Lovely coconut.🦃🙏🏵️

  9. Mary Roff 8 months ago

    The coconuts are beautiful! I remember my dad bringing them home as a special treat when I was a kid…loved the taste.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 That’s so wonderful your dad brought them home. They are sooo delicious!

  10. LoriCtoo 8 months ago

    Well yours look like coconuts. Mine don’t and I’ll have to revisit them, or not. 😉 Jury duty, our responsibility as adults, but I still don’t enjoy it. I once got called for grand jury duty. I panicked! How was I going to sit still, pay attention, stay awake and remember everything? This was people’s lives I was going to have to make a decision on. Luckily, I had a doctor’s appointment with my MS doctor. I discussed it with him and he was able to submit a letter. I did not have to go. It still scares me. 8o

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… coconuts are weirdly tough to sketch. Too much white and brown hairy bits! lol I agree… I couldn’t be on a jury for that length of time. I thought about getting a doctor’s permit for ADD… I’m not someone that someone else would ever want sitting for days listening to the same facts. 😊

  11. June Hadaway 8 months ago

    Looks like the real thing!!! Coconut is so much better grated fresh from the shell yet there are so many people I know who don’t like to eat coconut. I bet you like coconut cream pie. I know I do! 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 hehe… I LOVE coconut cream pie… it was one of my mother’s specialities.

  12. memadtwo 8 months ago

    A bit of the tropics is welcome on this snowy day in NYC! (K)

  13. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 8 months ago

    “Lots of different colors shape those shadows.” Absolutely true, and incorporating them into your art is what makes this piece delicious.

    As for jury duty, it’s a citizen’s job but one I dislike. The only time I was seated as a jurist, the judge was totally nasty to the jury and everyone else. The guy sitting next to me was wearing so much cheap cologne that it gave me a massive headache and the Advil I took to combat it put me to sleep. And though it was obvious that the defendant was guilty and a low life criminal who should never have been out of prison, the jury discussed the case at lunch – totally against the rules. I came away wondering if the system ever works as it should, and if those who are innocent of their charges come away with a fair trial. Luckily I’ve never been called again.

    I’d rather climb a coconut nut tree and hack off the nuts with a machete. More my kind of work than jury duty.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      hehe… I agree. I’m not confident the system makes sense, but was pleased the judge was at least congenial. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I had your judge. And cologne is the worst… I usually encounter it when I enter an empty elevator. The culprit is gone, but the dizzying effects remain as I’m trapped! But, yeah, I’ve never had to sit through an actual court case. That would be an achievement in itself based on my incredibly short attention span.

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