For today’s celebration, we’re honoring the peanut, with this little bird I decided to doodlewash. Apparently, blue jays are quite the fan of shelled peanuts and I do have to agree that these are probably my favorite as well. We often had a bowl of them on the table when I was a kid and it was one of my favorite snacks. Of course, I was equally a fan of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which was my most requested item in my sack lunch for school. These days, Philippe adds a bit of peanut butter to the smoothies that he makes us for breakfast. He loves the flavor of peanut butter, but isn’t really a fan of peanuts by themselves. I, on the other hand, will enjoy them in any form they come in. Though apparently, there’s a condition called arachibutyrophobia where people are terrified of peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouth. Whilst not the best side effect of a peanut butter sandwich, I’ve never been quite that bothered by it. And I often still forget the fact that peanuts are not really nuts at all. They’re actually legumes since they grow and mature underground and not on trees at all. No matter what, I’m still a huge fan!
As a kid, my brother would grab a spoon and dive into a jar of peanut butter like it was a bit of yogurt. This was always a bit alarming to me and I requested he have his own specific jar. That said, he grew up much more muscular than me so perhaps all of that protein paid off. I grew up lanky and all my attempts at serious exercise only tended to shred muscle and give me a more angular physique roughly like a praying mantis. But I still have very fond memories of peanut butter. When I would spend parts of my summer on my grandparent’s farm, we’d be sent out with bits of celery and peanut butter. I actually haven’t had this snack in years, but it was one of my favorites at the time. I’m sure it was merely concocted as a method to get kids to actually eat celery, but it was brilliant and I loved it! It made me feel much better about the fact that I was perfectly rubbish at baling hay and made a hot summer afternoon rather incredible. So I definitely support this little “I’m not really a nut” getting its own day to be a champion.
What I think I love most about these little celebration days is that they compliment my own approach to life. The little things are the best things of all. It’s wonderful to me that the most commonplace things in the world are deemed worthy enough to have their own special day. I hope in my art, that I do this each and every day. Illustrating profoundly simple little bits of life to spark memories and hopefully make smiles happen. At least that’s my goal. There is definitely something to be said for that very serious art hanging in galleries that attempts to shock and displace us, and I’m sure that’s incredible to those who adore it as well. For me, I’m happy sticking with the commonplace things. My only artist statement is to remind people of the existence of such things so they can travel back into their own memories and enjoy a relived moment. Just a bit of peanuts and a bird who rather enjoys them is enough for me when it comes to my sketches. And in many ways, I want to always be this bird. Thrilled not by the astoundingly unusual things in life, but the ridiculously common things, like finding a bit of something you thoroughly enjoy and having your own special peanut day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!