When We Come Together

When it comes to “Watermelon,” our prompt for today, so many memories of fun summer family picnics come to mind. In truth, I like watermelon, but I couldn’t be considered a true fan. That badge goes to Philippe who happily buys a couple of baby watermelons each week. I have my requisite couple of bites and the rest is shared with our dog Phineas, who adores it and practically shivers with anticipation on the mere mention of “watermelon night.” For me, it was part of a much grander experience. One filled with aunts, uncles and cousins all spitting seeds with glee while drooling pink goo. A terrifying description now that I think about it, but it was all just so much fun. Watermelon served as a symbol of family and the act of coming together as one. In its usual form, it was a fruit so large that it simply demanded a crowd, so I’ve always associated it with these memorable gatherings. For me, at least, it’s the perfect symbol of what I hoped to accomplish with World Watercolor Month in July. A chance to bring the whole world of watercolor lovers together for a single magical month. Truly, at its core, it’s simply the act of adding #WorldWatercolorMonth to any watercolors posted during the month of July, but getting everyone to DO it is always the real challenge. It’s an ambitious dream, to be sure, but one I hope you’ll all join me in! Together, we are better than ever!

The fun thing about loving watercolor, is that we already share something unique and wonderful in common. When it comes to gathering with family, commonalities are expressed quite differently. There’s no real guarantee that you’ll share the same interests, but when you stop and enjoy time together, you realize you share the same traits. Little signals that set off that internal alarm that says, “hey, yeah, we’re totally related!” When it comes to my own family, I’ve been a minority in the various interests that I’ve pursued professionally in life. Many times, my own mother doesn’t even really understand exactly what my day job is. Interestingly, sketching and painting is something that’s more accessible, so my hobby has been much more connective. I’ve sent my mother a print of the painting of the Paddington Bear she made for me, gifting my own act of creation in response to her own. My sister sent a note asking for the image to print out of our furry family member named Radar, and I instead sent her a proper print. My mother also received my illustrated memoir as well, and got to read bits of my blog for the very first time, since, well, she doesn’t actually own a computer or have Internet access.

Indeed, watercolor has become my own version of watermelon. Bringing the family back together again to relive memories and enjoy fun moments from the past. I started this blog simply to learn how to draw and paint, but it’s provided much more than that in the process. When I ran out of things to say about painting, I just started living and reliving my own life. And that’s been the real joy that keeps me coming back each and every day. Yes, I’m very interested in all of the wonderful techniques that are available, but I’m most passionate about the ability to collect memories in words and images. I’ve always felt myself a bit of a farce amongst all of the technicians in the field, since I’m just making a little scrapbook of my coloring book art. I’ve no thought that something I create would ever hang in a gallery, or indeed in your own home, but if you want it to, you can certainly shop or request a print from one of these posts! Yeah, I never really mention when I blog, so I haven’t sold many prints to date. But, I’m adoring this journey! It’s a rare and wonderful thing when you can combine what you love today with all of the best bits of your past. And it’s even more amazing that doing so has connected me with so many people on this little green planet. That, in the end, is the real gift. The beauty of art and life that only truly shines during those inexplicably magical moments when we come together.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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 13 - Watermelon Watercolor Illustration_IG

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    It’s much the same for me, using my art to connect with family. I have relatives who live in England, Africa, Australia and various parts of the U.S. It’s difficult to know what gifts to give them, because I don’t know what’s popular with their age group in the country they’re in, nor am I able to spend enough time to really learn their interests. But artwork is sort of a universal interest, so when they post photos of pets and kids, I know what to do for them.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      That’s so true, Sandra! 😃💕Art is such a great way to connect, no matter where you live. We often get drawings in the mail from our niece Alice in Paris. Since my French is still horrible, it’s a wonderful way to speak so that everyone can understand.

  2. Karen Fortier 4 years ago

    Great post. As I was reading it a memory of hundreds of watermelons popped into my head. My dad had a grocery store and we lived next door in a very small town in Maine. As I looked out of my upstairs bedroom window as a young child a delivery of watermelons was being unloaded down below on our front lawn. It was an impressive sight to a little girl but looking back as an adult it likely wasn’t hundreds. As I said it was a very small town. Funny to look at some childhood memories with adult skepticism. It’s more fun to keep the little small town girl alive inside. Art helps me try to reconnect to her. Thanks for the memory.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕I adore that story!! So happy you shared it! And thrilled to know you’re keeping that small town girl alive inside. Her wonder at watermelons is just a bit of the sage creative advice she has to offer you! That’s awesome!

  3. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 years ago

    A juicy red color and dark green rind and the flavor of summer – you got it perfectly. I remember spitting seeds at summer camp, trying to launch mine the farthest. It’s a favorite fruit of my grands now, the kids gobbling slice after slice. We’ll be together this weekend and someone will bring watermelon.
    BTW, I got Sketching Stuff Activity Book for my older granddaughter – she’ll love it. (Older grandson got a book of Ragtime piano pieces.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 I always find the coloring of watermelon a challenge to reproduce. Glad you liked it! Yay to spitting seeds.. it was so much fun! lol And thank you SO much buying my book! I hope your granddaughter enjoys it! And thrilled that your grandson and I have a love of Ragtime piano in common. I wrote my own piano music once and still play occasionally today. Love piano!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    I love how thoughtful you are with respect to your mom! In fact, you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his mother. I’m lucky to have thoughtful kids, too. I’d like a piece of that juicy watermelon.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I adore my mother… she’s amazing! I feel very lucky indeed to have had such a supportive mom in my life.

  5. Lisa 4 years ago

    I love watermelon! I pass on all the other melons, but watermelon is one of my favorite summer things. When growing up we would get one of those big ones with the black seeds before they started producing the seedless kind that don’t taste as good. Dad insisted that the melon be put in the fridge until it was icy cold. Making room was a chore. When it was cold, mom would set it on a cutting board and get out this huge knife that I don’t remember being used for any other purpose. It was two inches wide and maybe a foot long. It was still a struggle to push through that first end piece. Whoever got that piece had their own built-in bowl. And it was then that you could tell how the melon was going to be. Nice black seeds and dark flesh meant it was ripe and sweet. If it had a crack in the middle, that was another sign that it was going to be a good one. Mom cut slices and set them whole on plates. We used spoons to carefully incise a circle around the seedless heart in the middle and ate that piece first because it was the best. When I was growing up and day dreaming about the things I would get to do as an adult that I didn’t get to do as a kid, having as much watermelon as I wanted was on the list! I’m going to have to begin putting it on our grocery list so Joe brings some home to me!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! You definitely need to have Joe add watermelon to the grocery list! What a wonderful memory! 😃💕 I loved the kind with seeds best as well… they did taste better! That’s my excuse for not always joining in as much with Philippe and Phineas. hehe

  6. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Your story and doodle bring ,back memories of family get togethers at my uncle’s farm. Lots of fresh melon and sweet corn right out of the garden. Good, happy memories!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Yay! Happy to hear that, Mary! 😃💕 Oh, and sweet corn out of the garden! Yes!! Such good days!

  7. Linda M. Gigliotti 4 years ago

    Charlie, you are painting your memoir! That in itself is an awesome prompt! Blessings.

  8. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    Your melon looks so cool and refreshing! July? It can’t be. That is when I hopped on board this journey. I don’t have neat organzied sketchbooks of my years, but that is me. I have various sizes and shapes. Lately I have been using homemade travel journals. I can take them our and file them flat. I’m involved in a few sketch groups so I have quite the collection. Just doodling along the way of my life and loving it! Thanks Charle!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Yay! That makes me so happy to hear, Lori! 😃💕Yes, it’s July again! Where does the time go? World Watercolor Month is back! And I’m excited for it! It’s fun to come together as a community each year. Though I certainly do my best to make it happen all year long, July is just sort of special!

  9. smzang 4 years ago

    That watermelon looks scrumptious.

    We used to grow them…now you’ve done it..
    Not even lunch time and I’m craving watermelon.
    I guess I’ll be making a trip to the market!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! Yay! 😃💕 Watermelon to me is mostly delicious for the memories it evokes! So I do love it!

  10. Robert J. Coleman 4 years ago

    When that image popped up on the screen, watermelon juice started to drip right down and off he screen! And you have to enjoy watermelon with others, it’s just a friendly food! Sharing it does make me think of sharing my watercolors too – I’ve given some to my grandchildren and a few friends an hope they remember me when they look at them. It’s good to share.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Yay to that! Love the idea of “friendly food” Bob! 😃💕 What on earth could taste better than that? And sharing is the best thing we could ever do in this crazy world. Brings us all back together again.

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