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.
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!
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!