For our Doodlewash prompt of “nuts” today, I opted for some walnuts, even though I prefer pecans, as I find them a bit challenging to sketch. I figured an etched glass bowl would up the challenge a bit more, so I tried both at once. Walnuts displayed like this always seem a bit more like autumn décor than something one should actually eat, like a bowl of hard candy around the holidays. When I was a kid, we had bowls of nuts during the fall season and even if I didn’t always partake, I liked seeing them return. It was like a familiar signal that the weather would be getting cooler and Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas would be arriving one by one each month to make the end of the year the best time of all. I had to find a reference for nuts, as Philippe doesn’t really like them on their own, preferring them as part of a dish. For example, he loves peanut butter, but is completely disinterested in eating a handful of peanuts. This suits me fine, as I have a can of peanuts that is now blissfully my own private stash. Yep, it’s the little things in life that make me smile.
I mentioned that I love pecans more, but it was really because I have memories of going to collect them off of the ground and bringing them home in a paper bag as little trophies. Each little pecan was nestled amongst brown crackling leaves of roughly the same color. It was all like a dimly colored Easter egg hunt, so it made it extra challenging. I did manage to eat a few, but for some reason the event of actually collecting them is what I remember most. I think that’s what I enjoy most about these daily sketches. They are my little trophies and I simply add to the ever-growing collection. Some are cooler than others, but each one holds a special place in my heart. Mostly because I simply manage to make one that day. On some of my busiest days, it can be daunting to pause and sketch something. It feels like I’m taking precious time away from something else. But, then I remember, oh yeah, there’s always something else waiting there to be done and say, “screw it, I’m gonna go paint something.” I’m bound and determined to find that little pecan amongst those leaves, and then, and only then, I can move on to those other pressing things that are always there nagging at me.
And just like when I was a kid, I feel energized and excited after I’m done. I’m better at doing absolutely anything I attempt next in this state. So, yeah, I know I’m the guy who always tells people, “do take the time to create something each and every day,” but that’s the simple reason. If you take that time, everything else you have to do will be better for it. Some of my friends are still amazed that after over three years, I still manage to show up each day and create a little doodlewash. I find it rather odd that it should be seen as something miraculous when there are so many things we do each day. Nobody applauds me for brushing my teeth each day or indeed, remembering to put on clothes before I go out the door. Sure, those things are a bit quicker, but I did prove early on that you can still sketch in the amount of time it takes to brush your teeth. And maybe on some level, I think my sketching addiction is perhaps a bit crazy and over the top. Another reason why I can’t bear to do it alone. So, I do hope each of you will join me in the insane act of actually making something new each and every day. Together, we can show this crazy world that of all of those tasks in life, creating is one of the most important. Others may not always understand, but we do, and can happily come together, like nuts in bowl.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). 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!
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!