When I go to doodlewash something each day, the first step is choosing my colors. Staring closely at red onions, which one likely never does on a regular basis unless painting or thoroughly bored, I chose four colors. But, none of them, where actually red. Calling these red onions is a bit like saying someone has red hair when it’s clearly closer to orange in color. But as it turns out the words for secondary colors are rather new to the dictionary, so most things that might be either purple or orange were simply described as red and those names sort of stuck. Even with the new words to describe them, history had already made the decision. Red cabbage is another one that’s perfectly misnamed by today’s lexicon, but tradition often wins, which is a rather nice thing. It would be sad to think that everything must be continually updated to comply with the changing times. Traditions, after all, are what help ground us and keep us from going crazy as times continue to shift and change.
As we get closer to Thanksgiving here and have begun seeing signs of Christmas, I’m getting really excited for the season. Most of what thrills me about this time of year are the little things. Those bits of routine that have happened so many years in a row now, they’ve qualified as a true tradition. In this case, something to look forward to that only happens once a year. For those of you who were reading this blog last year, you may or may not remember me going on and on about Christmas Cake, for example. That may very well be one of my favorite bits of the season. But before we get to that, they’ll be a Thanksgiving giving that Philippe will prepare that is always amazing. We don’t have family here, so it’s often just us and the dog, but this year a couple friends are joining. Since we do it as a dinner instead of a late lunch, the anticipation is a bit overwhelming on the big day. But, oh so worth the wait!
I’ve often wondered if my daily painting habit isn’t a bit like a tradition as this point as I’m now on day 856. Not a round number that would constitute a milestone, but a rather fulfilling achievement nonetheless. I guess when I reach 1,000 that would probably be a better reason to celebrate, but I think we should always celebrate our interim achievements as well. And whether it’s a habit, routine, or a tradition can be argued by the experts. In the end, it’s just a wonderful hobby that brings me a lot of joy. And I’m thrilled that people actually show up to enjoy it with me each day. My art isn’t anything earth-shattering. It’s just a few humble bits of paint and some writing each day. I’m often so busy doing it, that I’ve never stopped to wonder what it is I’m even doing. But some things don’t need an accurate description, just a lovely tradition that makes them maybe matter somehow in the end. After all, red onions aren’t really red.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue. 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!