One of my favorite things about the heat of the summer is that it also brings the joy of fresh tomatoes. I love tomatoes, but really only when they’re fresh and full of flavor. Not the mealy watery kind of tomato that shows up in bulk at supermarkets, but the earthy and delicious kind that you might only find proudly displayed at the local farmer’s market. As a kid, tomatoes held little interest for me. I would scowl at them if they appeared on a sandwich or heaven forbid, my cheeseburger. But as an adult, I’ve grown to love them. I would later discover heirloom tomatoes, in those fascinating colors and awkward shapes. Each one slightly, different, and all of them perfectly delicious in their own unique way. Fresh fruits and vegetables are definitely my preference, but more than any of the others, the tomato demands to be fresh grown, altering its flavor drastically if it isn’t born under just the right conditions. It’s still a few weeks before tomato season, but I’m already dreaming of that first bite.
I love the changing seasons, but actually summer is not my favorite. It can get so hot here that you’re stuck indoors for several days, just like you might be in the chill of winter, only without the lovely crackling fire in the fireplace. Just a view of a beautiful sunny day that you can’t quite participate in properly. It’s like a big tease. But then, I start to remember all the amazing things that happen during the summer months. The way the menu in our home changes and new dishes begin to appear. And, of course, the return of World Watercolor Month, which is probably the best part of all! There is definitely much to love about this time of year and change is always a fabulous thing. In honor of all the changes, I’ve even altered my style a bit and ditched my ink pens for awhile. My doodlewashes are still quite rendered, as I’m prone to do, but all done with just a touch of pencil and lots of lovely watercolor. Between this, and all the changes here on Doodlewash, it’s definitely a brand new season.
Sometimes, I get into a bit of a rut with my art. When you paint every single day, you get a lot of practice, but you also form a lot of habits that become like comfort food. I was rather reliant on ink to create my contours and make all of my shapes pop. So jumping right in with watercolor was both an exhilarating and terrifying experience. Posting each day is a bit like performance art. My audience is all of you and I’ll know immediately if my performance was well-received or a complete dud. At times, this can make me a bit reluctant to make a change. It’s not about counting “likes,” but about delivering on the expectations that made someone interested enough to follow me in the first place. I don’t want to let you down. That’s why I work tirelessly to make this the best destination I possibly can. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized change is actually the best thing I could do. So now, I’m determined to create exciting new things here on this site for you to discover each season. Something you might find unique and engaging and perhaps almost as thrilling as the feeling of finding fresh tomatoes.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Gamboge, Pyrrol Red, Azo Orange, Permanent Green Pale and Ultramarine Blue. Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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!