Pasta And Clams

Though today’s prompt was crunchy, I decided to paint a dish of pasta and clams that we had the other day. Since you aren’t supposed to eat the shells, it doesn’t quite qualify as crunchy, unless you get that random bit of sand. But it was perfectly delicious mixed with a host of ingredients including parsley and olive oil, giving the shells a bit of a green sheen. Since we live in the middle of the United States, the fresh clams were courtesy of Costco, but the result was perfectly fabulous! Getting fresh seafood where I live is a constant challenge, but when it’s found, it’s a glorious thing indeed. Actually sketching something this complex was a bit of a challenge, made more so since I’m extremely tired this evening. But in my mind, I could taste it once more and it made for a really amazing experience. For those of you wondering, I don’t usually sketch food from life as it’s meant to be eaten and though I’m quick on the draw I can’t sketch quite fast enough to render it before it congeals into something less appealing. So I typically snap a photo and chow down. I only sketch cold foods from life, but the idea of my warm cuisine chilling before I can enjoy it properly is just too much to bear. Sometimes in life, we have to make choices.

Seafood is the most prominent protein in our diet as we don’t eat meat very often. For example, tonight’s fare consisted of chili made with jackfruit. That perfectly weird and awesome green and bulbous fruit that when cooked, has the same texture as pulled pork. Our dog, who only prefers actual pork, always looks on with a worried expression, but it’s actually quite good! And, more importantly, just a bit less filling, so Philippe is right now working on a little dessert to top things off. When I asked what it was, he just said, “You’ll see.” This in many contexts might seem rather ominous, but I’m pretty confident that I’m about to enjoy something incredible. I’m a kid from the Midwest, while Philippe was born and raised in Paris. The first difference one notices in this scenario is portion control. A fantastic dessert is always half the size or even less of its American counterpart. Many times, I’ve been served something wondering if it’s just a sample from Costco. But, in the end, no, it’s all that I’m getting in that moment. And it’s always amazing!

I think that’s what makes us a great pair. I’m not very knowledgable about things like moderation. I tend to have a reckless spirit that makes me simply what more of a good thing and I often find it hard to know when to stop. Perhaps I’m no so different from our dog after all. But when you truly enjoy things in bits and pieces rather than consuming all you can, it’s really a much better experience. You get the awesome chance to enjoy each and every little taste. Subtleties that you might otherwise miss. I think this behavior has moved with me into my daily life as well. I often find myself pausing more to really consider something that I see. In a strange way, I think it’s helped me in my watercolor illustrations. Rather than visually consume everything in one bite, I let my eyes wander slowly over whatever I’m looking at. Taking just a tiny bit of extra time to really see what’s there. Happily letting whatever assumptions I had about the way I think things should look fade into the background. In this extra moment, I can see what’s really happening in front of me and the surprise and awe that happens next is always worth the extra bit of time spent considering. And though it can seem like an odd choice to sketch, it’s precisely why tonight, I only wanted to paint pasta and clams.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Red Rose Deep, Da Vinci Yellow, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 10 - Pasta And Clams - 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!

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24 Comments
  1. lisacihlar 2 months ago

    Lovely pasta and clams! I went grocery shopping today. I got some smoked fish to serve with pasta. I may have to paint it after I eat it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 And YUM! You should totally paint it! Assuming you took a pic of course… the after sounds like a clean plate!! hehe

  2. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Creative inspiration often ends up with a result far from the original inspiration so I think Pasta and Clams is a perfectly logical derivation of crunch. I don’t care for clams myself, which is probably a shame, living in Oregon we do get them fresh often. Your’s are the kind of clams I like – lovely to look at and I don’t have to actually eat them!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yeah, clams are probably not for everyone I guess, but we love them! 😃💕 That said, even the pasta as prepared this way is amazing ala Philippe! So it’s still a great recipe even minus clams!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    Fabulous use of color in both the clams and the pasta!

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    Your clam dinner looks delicious – you’ll have to tell us tomorrow what Costco-sized dessert Philippe served. Pretty funny.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon!! 😃💕 Actually I totally forgot to mention it in today’s post. It was a bit of awesome dough with sliced apples… I asked Philippe what he would call it and he said “Apple Thin” – that’s not descriptive, but it was perfectly amazing. Perfectly European and not Costco-sized at all! lol

  5. Kaye Boggs 2 months ago

    Clams – No thanks….. but I’ll take dessert.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! Yeah, I was thinking clams might not be quite as mainstream.😉 I’m pretty picky when it comes to all seafood… fresh or nothing.

  6. Susan Cuss 2 months ago

    What was the dessert? You teased us there. The clams and pasta look enticing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 I mini apple dessert with a crazy awesome crust. Flat, simple, and amazing!

  7. creatingincolors 2 months ago

    Ooohhh, great looking illustration of clams and pasta. I love your stories about snapping a quick photo of the food and enjoying the meal while it’s warm, but even better is the wisdom of the small deserts.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks so much!! Glad you liked this post! 😃💕 Yeah, even taking 10 minutes to sketch warm food is too much. If I can ever learn to sketch it in 2 minutes, I’ll be ready to go! hehe

  8. Sandra Gilbert 2 months ago

    I have noticed that myself since I started painting, I am to stop more and actually look at things. And recently I have even started recognizing what colors of watercolor I would need to paint something. The trees on the way to my mom’s would be medium cad yellow and Carmine. 😆

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww cool!! Yeah, that’s exactly how I see things as well now. It’s so fun to stare at something be able to name the colors. 😃💕

  9. Teri Casper 2 months ago

    Love the painting but I’ll pass on eating them 😄

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe.. thanks, Teri! 😃💕 Yeah, clams don’t seem to be a fan favorite. But the pasta alone was a thing of beauty! hehe

  10. Thomas Blanchard 2 months ago

    Now I must explore jackfruit! I’ve never had it. Great plate today:) I love your color mixes.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks!! 😃💕 Yeah.. jackfruit is totally weird and wonderful at the same time. If you find a place that makes it, try a jackfruit cuban sandwich. Delicious!!

  11. Jennifer McLean 2 months ago

    ahh, I do miss pasta and dessert. Maybe for Christmas, lol. I’m totally with you on seafood though, love it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      yeah, I think I could be a Pescatarian completely if I had access to fresh seafood! Love it!! 😃💕

      • Jennifer McLean 2 months ago

        Me too, all the way. Maybe I was a seal in a former life. Damn, now I want shrimp. ;o)

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