When it comes to flowers where I live, there are many that exist in spring and summer and as fall hits, far fewer appear. The flowers I chose today are commonly called black-eyed Susan, though my attempts to google it failed to reveal who Susan actually was, which still creates a bit of intrigue. It was at most, derived from a British poem, but the original owner of the name Susan is still a mystery. I love these flowers. Mostly because they’re perfectly wild and can be seen dotting the edges of highways and pretty much anywhere they decide to plant themselves. And though their season ends in September, you can still spot them until the first freeze, which hasn’t happened here yet. They proudly carry on, waiting for that first signal that their time is well and truly done until spring arrives once more. I love that level of determination, so I’ve always found them inspiring. Sketching flowers is not really my usual fare, but I’ve never sketched a batch of only these particular flowers so I figured now was a good time as any to spotlight them a bit. I used a bit more ink in honor of Inktober for this one, but my approach to watercolor still tends to blend the two a bit thoroughly.
Here, the weather is currently fighting with itself. Today was perfectly cool and undoubtedly fall, yet yesterday was 20 degrees warmer and tomorrow will be 20 degrees warmer as well. After that, the forecasts say that over the next couple of weeks, the temperatures will dip and sway at will, still never quite producing that first freeze. So each black-eyed Susan who is waiting out there will have a few more weeks of life yet. I still remember once when it snowed in October here, so anything is possible really. For my part, I’m ready for it to just to be autumn and bring on that chill in the air! It’s already impossibly dark now, when I used to be watching the sun set while finishing a post. This evening is lovely, as Philippe sits next to me watching his antiques show in French and I’m finishing up my little doodlewash post for the night. Without the glare of daylight, the evening turns a bit more cozy. Soon we’ll be heading into the holiday season and everything will be literally glowing around me. I adore this time of year. It creates moments where smiles are simply mandatory.
And in all of my crazy rushing about and trying new things, this is the one time of year that I find myself truly pausing a bit more. This time of year creates moments that I simply don’t want to miss. Tiny and sometimes perfectly silly moments that happen when you’re left without the sun and must make up your own way to light up an evening. Whether with candles or simply a sly and joyous spirit, together, Philippe and I can create a glow of warmth and happiness that propels us into the New Year. Life just seems to slow down a bit this time of year. Each new day becomes a bit like a fairytale that certainly has a moral to reveal, but all in due time. There’s no good reason to rush through it, but instead, a wonderful excuse to stop and savor each and every loving moment. This is precisely why I love this time of year most. It connects me more than ever to my past and sets the stage for what I hope will be a wonderful future. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe as I pause for just a quiet moment, and enjoy those last few flowers.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). 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!