Since it’s Easter weekend, the prompt of “grass” immediately made me think of an Easter basket and eggs. I started to sketch in pencil, but since grass is so crazy, I decided instead to go straight to ink and creating a sort of grassy pattern for this one. When I was a kid, we always painted eggs on this day, but more often we dyed them. I looked up the old PAAS kit that I used to use to see if they still made it. They do, but it seems like the more deluxe versions are now all the rage. I loved the original one, though, because it came with a “magic crayon” that you could use to draw something on your egg before dying it. When you dunked your egg in the vinegar and water mixture with that little color pellet, the drawing stayed white and magically revealed itself! So much fun! Since I don’t have a kit this year, I dyed my eggs with watercolor, careful to get that blotchy look I used to give them as a child. I kept changing my mind on the color back then, so I was always dunking them back in each of the other colors. They weren’t pristine, but they were my first little pieces of art.
Of course, the egg painting was fun, but the real fun came the following day when we would have an Easter Egg Hunt. Our parents would hide the eggs all over the yard and then we kids would have to try and locate them. This ritual worked out perfectly, unless, my parents forgot the exact number of eggs that were hidden. Since we used real eggs for our hunt, finding one on Easter is amazing, but smelling a rouge one a few days later was grotesque. Finding a rotten egg isn’t as easy as it seems, since the smell is so pungent that it floats in every direction. This only happened once that I can recall and after that, the eggs were all carefully counted before the game began. Spotting an egg was such a huge thrill and I can still remember the feeling to this day. It was like finding a little treasure. I now realize the importance of the Easter basket as it was a way to distract me from my treasure while my mother stole the eggs back. Then she’d transform my little treasures by deviling them or turned them into egg salad while I trotted off to enjoy my sugar coma.
These days, with family too far away to gather with on Easter, we’ll be just three and will forgo the egg hunt. Though I’m sure Phineas would have enjoyed it, it would be far harder to steal eggs back from a dog. And with his enhanced sense of smell, I think it wouldn’t be a fair game anyway. We’ll still have that special meal to celebrate and I’ll always have the fond childhood memories to look back on. It wasn’t just the ritual of creating those little pieces of art, it was the time spent doing it as a family. Those wonderful traditions that happened each and every year that brought us back together again for a few cherished moments. I thought about picking up one of those kits and trying it again, but I didn’t do it. Perhaps, I’ll try it next year. This year, I’m content, enjoying time with my little family, grabbing a paintbrush and some watercolor, and, like a kid again, happily painting eggs.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Opera Rose, Red Orange, Phthalo. Green Pale, Phthalocyanine Blue, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.