For our prompt of “Green Apples” today, I chose to paint a pair of them still clinging to the branch. Philippe and I eat quite a lot of apples, but they are always of the red variety as that’s our preference. That said, when it comes to baking pies, then a green apple is always the first choice. I love that these are called Granny Smith apples, as it makes me think of my own grandmother. The name actually comes from Maria Ann “Granny” Smith who was born in the English county of Sussex, and later migrated to Australia where she cultivated the apple that would ultimately bear her namesake. Though it was actually a box of French crabapples from Tasmania that started it all. Granny used them for a pie and discarded the peels and seeds in a compost pile. Soon a little pippin appeared and she carefully cared for it until it grew into a tree and bore fruit. But, it wasn’t until after her death that the apple become commercially available.

Though Granny died in 1870, by 1891 “Granny Smith’s Seedlings” had won the prize for best cooking apples. And the now millions of delicious pies that have been cooked since that time, owe all of their delicious texture and flavor to a grandmother who, while revered for her own pies, would never know the contribution she would gift to the world. I love stories like this one. Where our protagonist isn’t setting out to change the world, but ultimately does so anyway, even if it happens after they’re gone. It makes me think about the impact we each can have on this world long after we ourselves have left it. To me, making art is a beautiful way to leave a bit of legacy. Artists throughout history were often only famous for the art they created long after they had died. Yet, that was never the goal. The goal was to make art from the heart. Just like Granny’s goal was to simply grow a healthy tree and make a delicious pie.

To me, that’s the best way to approach life. Setting out to do one’s best and showing up each day doing whatever one can. I know some strive for fame, but for me, it’s always just the DOing that thrills me. I truly believe that if I follow my passions and keep doing a little each day, then good things will happen. That’s what brings me back to my creative pursuits, even on days where I’m not feeling very motivated. I know that whatever I can contribute will be worth the time and effort. I know that after I make something, I’ll have contributed to my own personal well-being and feel amazing for having done so. And, someone out there will smile. This is all I really need to keep moving along on my journey. Life isn’t about making a grand entrance, but instead, making a small difference each day that will ultimately add up over time. I’ve no idea if my own contributions will be known years after I’m gone, but that’s just fine. For now, I’ll just show up each and every day as best I personally can, like Granny, simply growing green apples.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!
Green Apples Stems Leaves Watercolor Illustration


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29 thoughts on “Green Apples

  1. I grew up in Door County, Wisconsin which is famous for its cherry and apple orchards. Our family apple pie choice is the Macintosh. It is a much softer and sweeter apple that kind of melts together in the pie. That’s the only way I like apple pie to this day. I also put a walnut crumb topping on it that is so good, I can ALMOST forego ice cream with it.

  2. And they say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so that means that apple pie should be eaten whenever possible. And cocoa beans are fruit, so that means you should eat chocolate every day too. Why don’t the health experts tell us this stuff. We’d all diet much more faithfully if they did!

  3. Gorgeous apples Charlie! It took me a while to try Granny Smith apples because of the green apples we ate as kids when hiking. Sometimes we would come across old apple orchards and being hungry kids we would eat too many apples that were often green because they were not ripe. I remember belly aches being associated with green apples. I do like Granny Smith apples.

  4. That was a fascinating green apple legend, Charlie. I bake with them each Thanksgiving and Christmas, and never really thought about it until now. I’ll wow my holiday guests with this knowledge. They’ll be so impressed!

    Thanks, Charlie!

    Fanna Turano

  5. Ah, the forbidden fruit, or was that a pomegranet. I really like the colour in this, and the subtle variations of green. I planted some blueberry bushes this spring and will be looking forward to getting some fruit off of them in the late summer perhaps, or next year once they establish.

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