Today’s prompt of “hay” isn’t really a food item unless you’re a horse, but I figured I’d try it with one of my favorite fall items – pumpkins! I fully realize that pumpkin is a prompt later in the month, but one can never have too many pumpkins this time of year. Hay, however, is ridiculously tough to sketch, and I didn’t have much time today, so this is my quickly scribbled and brushed rendition. My favorite part of the year is seeing the little hay bales appear outside all of the grocery stores and Home Depot this time of year. Each, stacked with all different kinds of pumpkins. It’s a sure sign that autumn has officially arrived and Halloween will be heading our way soon. Selecting and carving a pumpkin this early, of course, would result in a ghastly mess by the time the day arrived, but very soon that’s just what we’ll be doing in our house. “We” might be just a bit of a stretch as the dog and I will simply approve the design as Philippe does the actual carving. I’m a bit clumsy and not really good around sharp objects. That’s probably why I never learned to cook properly. But I can eat like a pro, and this is my favorite season to do so!
When I was young, I used to go on hay rides. Those were when you went to some remote farm and hopped on a wooden flatbed structure covered in hay bales and pulled by a tractor. Looking back, the entire idea seems a bit weird, but it was really fun to do it in the evening when just the moonlight was shining. As I got older, the trick in those instances was to sit next to the person you had a crush on as the chill in the air forced the notion of cuddling for extra warmth. I was too painfully shy for that, so I could usually be found shivering alone, just staring at the stars. As much as I longed to be one of those people with a significant other, I felt in that moment, that it was just me and the sky. I can’t really think of anything more significant than that. It was incredible. And the sheer awe of all those stars, miles away from the harsh lights of the city, is still a memory I treasure. It’s was like traveling to another world. I felt so small, yet happy, staring up into a galaxy of mysteries that I never usually got the opportunity to see.
So yeah, maybe I didn’t have that special person cuddling me back then, but I still had an extraordinary time. I grew out of my awkwardness, and went on to become more cuddly in later years. But, that young boy who didn’t quite fit in is still there with me like an old friend. He’s the constant reminder that, sometimes, it’s okay to simply enjoy the stars alone. No matter how much you want to fit in, there’s always something so wonderfully unique about you, that it’s not quite possible. That’s why I love filling my world with artists. We get that feeling. We know that though we share a common bond, our styles and approaches are vastly different. And it doesn’t matter one bit. We connect on a level that’s not so literal. One that’s much like staring into a field of stars and knowing they’re all part of the same sky. We’re all so unique and beautiful in the midst of a world that can often be common and ordinary. Like stumbling across the wonderfully contrasting beauty that can always be found with pumpkins in the hay.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Red Rose Deep, Terra Cotta, Leaf Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
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!