Unexpected Berries

Day 20 - Watermelon Watercolor Unexpected Berries - #doodlewashMay2018 - Doodlewash

Berries, our art challenge prompt today, are definitely things that make me smile. Sure, they’re lovely, but I smile mostly because it is perfectly confounding as to what actually is and isn’t a berry in the first place. Yep, watermelon is technically a berry and the same is true for bananas. While many things we call berries, like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, aren’t really berries at all. Apparently, to qualify as a berry you have to be produced from a single ovary. A fact which does little to shed any real clarification and understanding on the issue. I can’t even easily decipher the gender of a cat, so it’s rather unlikely that I could decipher anything about ovaries while looking at a piece of fruit. And it strikes me that it’s really not much different when it comes to decoding art. Experts will assure you that something is considered one thing or another, but in the end, it’s really whatever society collectively decides. When we all decide something is a berry, then it simply is, and there’s really not much more need for discussion.

As berries go, a watermelon is a gigantic one, but they were on my mind as the weather gets warmer here heading into summer. I’ve mentioned before that as a kid, spitting out seeds was the best part, but today you’ll find them mostly seedless. And, no, I’ve no clue what that means for its ovary. While seedless varieties are definitely more convenient, it’s just not quite the same. So many things in life change for the better while taking so many of the memories I remember most as a kid with it. Of course, I don’t want phones with cords to come back into fashion, but it was indeed the cord itself or that little rotary dial that created the most memorable moments. And so all of my memories of summer picnics, when it finally came time for the giant watermelon berry to be served, will always be filled with little seeds. Well, that, and a hope that homemade ice cream was being prepped and ready to crank later in the afternoon.

What I remember most about those times together as a family was that we had a language that was all our own. Words for things adopted through tradition that sometimes were not the same words that the other kids had learned. Or things we’d learned to collectively call things because of where we lived. Whether we referred to carbonated beverages as soda or pop. Yet all of these subtle differences were trivial. The memories we shared and the stories we told and retold could still be understood by anyone. They were, after all, the same types of stories that families have shared for generations. We just made them our own. Dusted with a bit of secret language and inside jokes that added that extra touch of meaning only we could understand. So, in the end, I think there’s really no point in trying to figure out the proper classification for things. Knowing what something is doesn’t create a memory. That only happens when you embrace what it means to you. Life will always be filled with unexpected berries.

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. 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!
Day 20 - Watermelon Watercolor Unexpected Berries - #doodlewashMay2018 - 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!

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
25 Comments
  1. northshorelady 2 months ago

    Nicely done!!! Love watermelon 🍉!!! I was thinking of watermelon the afternoon to doodle!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕Watermelons are so fun to doodle! I hope you did doodled one!

  2. Delores Azary 2 months ago

    You are making my mouth water for watermelon 😀 Nice job!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    Skin on that watermelon is lovely! Yes, family languages and memories are the best.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I was pleased with the skin, but someone on Facebook remarked that the fruit wasn’t ripe enough yet. hehe Glad you liked it!

  4. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    I remember the seed spitting contests, a rite of childhood summers. Nice watermelon, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yay to seed spitting! Such a fun time! hehe

  5. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Have to admit, I’m not a watermelon fan, but your painting is so beautiful, I’m almost tempted. I’m totally up for the hand-cranked ice cream though and rambling about family memories!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I have to admit that would take homemade ice cream over watermelon any day! lol

  6. June Hadaway 2 months ago

    Great looking watermelon. I guess we can blame it on “them” whoever “they” are, who decided whats to be a berry and what isn’t.. lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m not always sure who “they” or “them” are, but I tend to follow instead the “rest of us” group as they seem to really know where things are at. 😉

      • June Hadaway 2 months ago

        Same here Charlie. It’s definitly more fun that way.

  7. smzang 2 months ago

    I grew up on a farm. Our watermelon crop was so bountiful that we would split them open in the field and just eat the center most part…the sweetest, tastiest most scrumptious part of all. We sold truck loads and gave away at least a truck load, and you know what…I never knew they were berries.

    We used to take one gallon maple syrup tins and collect blueberries and blackberries off the bushes on the ditch bank…I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to get a watermelon berry in one of those little buckets. A trip to doodlewash is a joyful jaunt
    indeed.

    BTW your watermelon looks exactly like the ones we used to grow.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 What a fabulous memory… that’s sounds so fun! I would have loved that. A perfect time indeed!

  8. Karen Howard 2 months ago

    I have to go have a piece of watermelon!

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    Produced from one ovary? I’m a berry! Your painting is beautiful. I may have to buy a watermelon tomorrow.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      haha! I know right? I was thinking the same thing, but I didn’t read in far enough to find out if sperm was involved. Either way, I’m proud to be a berry! lol 😉 💕

      • Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

        (Basic biology, Charlie, basic biology.)

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

          haha! Good to know! And equally good to know that Philippe is the actual Biologist in the family! lol 😊

  10. Pamela Smith 2 months ago

    Beautiful watermelon,perfect color.

  11. Erin Vaganos 2 months ago

    Your post made me think of that Maya Angelou quote: “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Along the same line of what you’re saying…I completely agree!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww that’s awesome!! Love Maya Angelou! 😃💕 Thanks so much, Erin!

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