Funnel Cakes At The Fair

Day 28 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - Funnel Cakes At The Fair Watercolor - #doodlewash

When I saw the prompt of rollercoasters for today, my mind traveled back in time to when I was a kid visiting the local fairs. They had rides there as well, even tiny rollercoasters, and all of them were delivered on a truck a few days before and hastily rebuilt in time for the opening. I’m not sure if they were safe, but they were sure fun. The best part was that it was the one place you could get that deep-fried confection known as a funnel cake. So named, as it was just dough squirted out of funnel directly into a bath of hot grease. Which, to be sure, doesn’t sound appetizing, and looking at my little doodlewash, which is fairly accurate, I realize it doesn’t look super appetizing either. But it was delicious. Always served on a thin paper plate, or two if you got lucky, that could barely hold in your hands so you found yourself rushing to a table to set it down. It was always huge! The equivalent of six donuts, but served as a single dessert with no bit of irony at all. I loved it!

This is one dessert that I never once had after my teen years. It’s probably for the best, as it takes some serious metabolism to get through it all without immediately adding pounds. But this type of carnival food will always hold a special place in my heart. It reminds me of so many other things that happened on those wonderful trips. There were scary haunted house type rides and even a bizarre exhibit of strange oddities in jars. These were banned a bit later, but super fascinating as a kid. Even though this pop-up amusement park was barely fit to inhabit, it was the most magical place of all. A patch of land transformed for a weekend. Staring out of the window of my parents’ car I remember the feeling of excitement and awe as we approached. And although I think one time a wayward dart in the balloon game impaled my sister’s foot, we mostly managed to enjoy ourselves relatively unharmed. I was never scared of those rickety rides. As a kid you never have a fear of death. You’re too busy exploring all the wonders of being alive.

And as I grew up into the middle-aged man that I am today, I’m so thankful for these reminders. The feeling that life is here for happily living and enjoying each and every moment, not like it’s your last, but like it’s your first. That’s the beauty of making art. You stop and take a moment to look at the most ordinary things and suddenly find yourself studying them. Seeing tiny details that you never really knew where there before. Looking at the way shadows fall and light bounces off objects in the most incredible way. And it’s all brand new again. The perfect time to grab your pencil, pen, brush and capture not just how the world looks, but how it makes you feel. That wonderful moment when you discover you’ve captured a story on a single page of a sketchbook. And even if not everyone has lived the same tale, you’ve still managed to tell it with just a few splashes of paint. Experiencing the same incredible wonder that a little kid feels when enjoying those amazing funnel cakes at the fair.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Red, Perylene Maroon, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
 Day 28 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - Funnel Cakes At The Fair Watercolor - #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!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
12 Comments
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 months ago

    “You’re too busy exploring all the wonders of being alive.” That’s an incredible sentence and so true of childhood.
    Yep, funnel cakes. And cotton candy. And icy red drinks. And rides going so fast you throw up. And the fun house which wasn’t so much fun as scary – and then fun after you left. Love those fairs.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 It was all such an amazing time back then, wasn’t it? I think that’s why my mind always goes back there. Some crazy things though at those traveling carnivals. hehe… the ones today seem too tame by those standards! lol

  2. Ellie 6 months ago

    As always, wonderful words and a trip back to childhood. Thanks, Charlie. I remember those pop-up carnivals, too. It was so exciting when they came to our little town. Of course, now I blanch at how unsafe all of those rides probably were, but it was truly magical.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… they were so magical, but looking back I’m like… were they safe?? Then I think… who cares?! They were just so darn fun!!

  3. Jacob 6 months ago

    Intriguing doodlewash! They’ve always sounded just that, in that I’ve never actually tried one, so perfect execution I suppose! Really, the only foods I remember from the fairground are burgers, candyfloss and toffee apples… all the healthy stuff. That’s the carny code for you! The fair still visits us every Easter; it’s a good laugh, however rickety!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Hehe, Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 Funnel cakes look like a bit strange to the uninitiated! lol But so glad the fair still visits you… those are the best of times!! lol

  4. Sneh lata maheshwari. 6 months ago

    Oh yes to see this cake Amazing.we call this jalebi.may be it is same.but pretty li .liked it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Nice!! It’s such a strange little dessert, but so delicious! Glad you liked this one Snehlata! 😃💕

  5. June Hadaway 6 months ago

    Loved the funnel cakes at the fairs…always plenty to share with my sisters. We had something similar they made in my hometown of Maryland called, “hot dough bellies.”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      That’s such an awesome name!! 😃💕 Not sure if it’s appetizing, but sooooo awesome! Love that!

  6. zoellasblog0221 2 months ago

    First and foremost, I love the painting itself. Great use of colors and I like the unique look it has too it. I also enjoyed reading the article with it, it felt relatable and almost nostalgic.I, too, have a deep love for funnel cake and fair food is the number one reason I even go to fairs. Funnel cake is a classic, delicious fair food dessert and I am glad others share such infatuation with it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! I’m so happy you liked this one! Yeah, funnel cakes and fair food brings back great memories! 😃

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