Today’s prompt was “potted plants” and the first thing that popped into my head was a bonsai tree. I’m not sure why, as I don’t even own a bonsai plant, but I’ve learned never to question these things and just go with it. So we have a super quick one that I made here, which was fun because they would normally take a lot more time and patience were it the real thing. This is probably why I’ve never actually attempted to cultivate one myself. But, I’ve always been fascinated by the look of bonsai trees. Some are elaborate and look like little miniature landscapes. Those are my favorite, but I didn’t have time for anything that involved today. I actually love potted plants of any kind, but am not very attentive when it comes to taking care of them. I’m probably the only person in the world who could kill a cactus. So, I’m exceptionally impressed when visiting the houses of others who manage to keep beautiful plants in pots.
I think the real draw of bonsai for me is that I’ve always loved anything that’s miniature. I’ve no idea what this says about me, but things shrunk down to impossibly small sizes have always made me smile. As a little boy growing up, it wasn’t considered “acceptable” to own a doll house so I was content with my Star Wars action figures. The miniature landscapes that went with them were playsets that cost way too much money, so I had to imagine the miniature scenes that should accompany the tiny characters all in my head. Perhaps this is why I spent a brief period of time after college as a scenic designer for stage shows. I loved reading the script and imagining the world that the characters would be living in. My favorite sets that I worked on were for children’s theatre as you could always add a bit of whimsy and magic to those.
Perhaps one day I’ll own my own bonsai tree, but it’s fun to try and make one out of paint. I think that’s the best part of sketching and painting daily. You can let you imagination take you wherever it wants to go and simply follow along and see what happens. I never worry about whether I’m making “art” for these posts. I just make something that matches the thought in my head at the moment. It’s a very freeing way to approach painting. After all of this time doodlewashing various things in my stack of sketchbooks, I’m still simply practicing. Exploring life one little thing at a time. Each day is a surprise to me as I have no idea what I’ll choose to make. It’s a fun and revealing experience. I have no real artist statement, but I guess if I did, I would say that the one thing all of my work has in common is that art of exploring curious bits of life in miniature.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Carmine, Phthalo. Green Light, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
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!