Finding Figs

Today is the first of the month and that always means the start of a brand new adventure here on Doodlewash! This month’s theme is Cornucopia!, and it’s all about celebrating the idea of an abundant harvest and all those things one might find in that classic goat’s horn from antiquity. Later this month, here in the States, we celebrate the ultimate food festival known as Thanksgiving, when gluttony abounds along with thankfulness and lots of napping. As for figs, when I was a kid, the only time I ever encountered this fruit was the package of Fig Newtons on the kitchen counter. I honestly didn’t know at the time what a real fig looked like, much less had the opportunity to actually taste one in its original form. To me, figs were nothing more than little square cookies with a weirdly dark and mysterious center filled with a gelatinous, slightly crunchy, and rather delicious substance. I loved them. While other kids were requesting chocolate chip cookies, I would demand a little square of these. As an adult, I’m now I total fig fan, and love them in just about any form they appear.

It’s funny how your upbringing can cast a completely different light on things. I feel like a child all over again as I continue to discover new foods as an adult. And while I still might sample some of the things from my childhood, much of it fails to thrill me now. Today, I’m much more a fan of plates with a lot of green on them, rather than the strictly yellowish plates of my youth. And though I’m sure it would have been nicer to grow up with a healthier diet, more like Philippe’s European one, it’s still such a cool thing to be an adult experiencing things for the first time. When you’re a kid and experience something new, it’s just another amazing thing to get excited about. When you’re an adult, it’s a revelation. Having lived long enough to think you might just know most of everything, something comes along and nearly shocks you. That, is the best feeling of all. I think that’s exactly the feeling I felt when I first started painting with watercolors a couple of years ago.

It was like an entire world was opened up to me that I’d been blind to previously. That’s entirely why I went a little nutty and started talking about the idea of movement (I even had buttons made!) and getting everyone I know, and have yet to meet, to paint with me each and every day! Back then I was so thrilled to with the tiny little group I’d already formed. Today, I’m in constant awe of the thousands of artists that have shown up to be part of what is now a global community. I know that I always talk about childhood dreams and things like that, but if you dream like a kid, sometimes, those dreams can actually come true. And what I love most is that I’m not making my own dream come true, I’m listening to each of you and making your dreams happen, whenever I can. You’ve been telling me what you want out of this community and I’ve been feverishly trying to make it happen. It’s been a blast! And what’s happening here is something that we can all take credit for, since we did it together. It’s one of those things that seems very close to what you knew, yet presents itself in an entirely new and tasty way when you experience the real thing. Like finding figs.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 1 - Cornucopia - Figs - 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, contact me!

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Jodi 9 months ago

    gorgeous fig – and I can so relate to the story! fig newtons were it. But now – oh the possibilities with this beautiful fruit. And YOU, Mr! – what you have created!! I don’t always have time to comment, but am so grateful for you and your early encouragement and all you have done! Hugs Charlie O!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Jodi!! 😃💕 Back you my friend!! You jumped right in from the start and made me feel relevant… like what I was creating was worthy… it really helped me to keep on going. Thanks so much!! Hugs back to you!!

  2. Lisa 9 months ago

    I have a couple of fig trees. I have to bring them in the house in the winter around here. They make the cutest tiny figs you ever saw. The site is coming along very well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Awww… I bet that’s wonderful to see those cute tiny figs! cool!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 9 months ago

    I grew up in an Italian-American family, so I probably ate more of a European diet. We ate lots of figs, both fresh and dried, and I love them to this day. You’ve captured the sensuous lushness of this fruit in your painting. I especially like the violets and the shadow.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yay!! That’s awesome you got to sample them all the time. They’re soooo good!!

  4. Teri Casper 9 months ago

    Love your figs but don’t like the real ones and I have no idea why. Maybe it’s time to try them 😄😄

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Teri! 😃💕hehe… you should definitely give them another go! They’re really yummy!

  5. Shar Kennett 9 months ago

    I love to eat figs, and I love your rendition of the figs. I will have to buy a couple figs tomorrow and try to paint them. I completed October today. Not too bad considering I began one week behind. Hopefully this month will be easier.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Shar! 😃💕 And YAY!! Congrats on completing the challenge! That’s awesome!!

  6. Sandra Strait 9 months ago

    I love your painting of figs. And I’ll tell you the best way to eat them. When I was at the market in Ecuador one Saturday morning, I bought a hot breakfast sandwich. The bread was some kind of quinoa, because they don’t have wheat there. The filling was egg, queso and fresh figs. I’ve tried several recipes but never quite been able to replicate it, but it was possibly the best sandwich I’ve ever had. My brother lived there off and on for over 15 years. I’ll have to see if his wife ever managed to figure out a way to make with ingredients here.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Oh my gosh, Sandra… I was salivating the entire time while reading that! Sounds amazing!! If you ever discover the recipe let us know! YUM!! 😃💕

  7. Dana 9 months ago

    Wow that fig is pretty awesome. I need to start working on mine. Just loaded some other work trying to get my mojo back after surgery.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Dana! 😃💕 Here’s too a speedy recovery and lots of wonderful mojo coming your way!!

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 9 months ago

    My dad grew a magnificent specimen of a fig tree so I decided to try to create fig newtons. You already know that I’m not a natural at cooking but I gave it my full heart. What resulted was more like an oaemeal bar cookie with a thick, jam-type fig filling. Nothing like a fig newton but it was very tasty and the whole pan was gobbled up in a few days.

    Your painting of figs is beautiful – such a luscious fruit though fresh ones are hard to find in grocery stores. Anything with a gorgeous purple skin and ruby red inside cannot be bad. Well done, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 And yum! Your recipe sounds perfectly delicious!! And you’re already more of a cook than I for having even tried it. And anything “gobbled up” is in my opinion, cuisine!!

  9. SnehLata Maheshwari 9 months ago

    Love the fig .and your fig shades are pretty
    As fig can make different sweets also in
    My country. Sweet fruit and amazing art.

  10. Susan Cuss 9 months ago

    Your fig looks delicious, Charlie! I like dried figs ( seldom see fresh ones) but they don’t always like me. Fig newtons were not my fave cookie as a kid. I’d rather have had something chocolate with a cream filling. I think it was the texture that threw me off then, but I do enjoy it now.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 Yeah, the texture was perfectly weird, but me, being a perfectly weird kid… I loved it! LOL

  11. June Hadaway 9 months ago

    You did a wonderful painting of the fig. I love the colors and again the shadows are perfect. Fig Newtons were a staple at our house as well. Great story.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, June! 😃💕 I was happy with these shadows… I’m just experimenting with shadows to get what I like. hehe

  12. Sharon Mann 9 months ago

    Genius fig art, Charlie! Thanks for all you do for the art community!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sharon!! 😃💕 Thanks so much for being a part of it my friend!!

  13. Thomas Blanchard 9 months ago

    I always thought the crunchy bits in a fig newton were ants! 🙂 Not a favorite cookie of mine. LOL Great job capturing the white haze found on many figs!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      Haha!! Ants? Okay… then I was a weird kid because I loved those things. 😊 And thanks!! Glad you liked this, Tom! 😃💕

  14. Yvonne Reeder 9 months ago

    See!! Right there!! FIGS!!! ❤️ I declare, once more, Charlie we must be dna’d!! I adore them and fig newtons. Yummy!

    Oh – have you ever had dates dipped in warm chocolate fondue? Decadence at its finest. 😜

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 9 months ago

      hehe! I would be thrilled and honored to be related to you my friend! 😃💕 Now I simply must rush off to buy a fondue pot and try that awesomeness you mentioned! LOL

  15. Pamela Smith 9 months ago

    I love your Figs,,great start to November..

  16. Sandra Gilbert 8 months ago

    Beautiful figs. Lol, I grew up on fig newtons too. I still love them although I don’t eat them very often. Discovering new things you thought you knew is almost magical. It let’s you feel like a kid again.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕And that’s so true about discovering new things !

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