World Watercolor Month – Day 20 – California Roll Dreaming

Day 20 - World Watercolor Month - California Roll Dreaming - Doodleash

With today’s prompt of “California Dreaming” my mind leapt inexplicably to California rolls, that daring inside-out sushi invention. This is an incredibly quick little doodlewash as I lost a bit of time getting lost in a rabbit hole of googling to discover the origin of this treat. As with many food dishes, the origin is a bit of contested mystery, claimed by more than one sushi chef. The frontrunner claims that he substituted avocado for fatty tuna on the off-season. This, however, doesn’t explain why the seaweed is actually hidden in this version, and that’s the best part of this tale. Apparently, back then, Americans, not yet accustomed to seeing sushi, would peel off the seaweed as one would a butterscotch candy. This was, of course an intentional part of the whole flavor and experience, so smart sushi chefs started hiding it on the inside instead. Folks from California were apparently among the first fans, sealing the fate of this culinary concoction and giving it the name we know today. So, yeah, that left about 20 minutes to actually watercolor some sushi, but it was worth it for an interesting story!

Growing up in a typical meat and potatoes Midwestern family, I never actually tried sushi until I was an adult. And true to the story itself, the seaweed bit was a little outputting at first. As I grew up and my tastes began to mature and change, I now love it! And have even become adept at using chopsticks as well. For me, the best part of the experience is the little dollop of wasabi. Getting just a little too much and crying tears of pain mixed with joy is part of the fun, and an incredible way to clear your sinuses. We don’t often eat out so supermarket sushi is our go-to option. It’s been so hot here that we’ve sort of just been hiding indoors and eating whatever happens to be in the pantry, like squirrels attempting to survive winter. But once the ozone clears and temperature becomes a bit more bearable, I’m sure we’ll be venturing off to grab some sushi. It’s quite a lovely summer treat!

And I have more treats for some of you right now! These are starting to repeat themselves, so today, this one is open to anyone who hasn’t yet been added to list to receive it. Today, I have 10 Cheap Joe’s American Journey Sample Sets for the first new recipients who respond below with a comment directly on doodlewash.com with the phrase “Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!” As they’ve been extremely generous in their sponsorship of World Watercolor Month and definitely deserve our thanks. And if you’re in the US or Canada, there are two giveaways ending very soon that you can enter from Da Vinci Paint Co. and Rembrandt! Remember to always check the Official World Watercolor Month Giveaways page to see the latest ones happening this month. Yes, it’s my hope that with all these things we’re giving to you, you’ll consider giving back by donating to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation and helping future artists get art supplies as well!  A perfect circle of giving! At least, that was my dream when I founded this month. And so now, I’ll bid you farewell, as I hide from heat while enjoying just a little bit of California roll dreaming.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Permanent Green Pale, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
 Day 20 - World Watercolor Month - California Roll Dreaming - Doodleash

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!

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
62 Comments
  1. Kaitlyn Thomas 4 months ago

    Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!

    Also, I really want sushi now. 😛 I think I need to start eating dinner right before looking at this site.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Hehe… Thanks, Kaitlyn!! That’s a nice compliment! 😃💕 And, yay, I’ll have Cheap Joe’s send a sample!

  2. Susan Cuss 4 months ago

    Thank you Cheap Joe’s! Nice one.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 And, yay, I’ll have Cheap Joe’s send a sample!

      • Susan Cuss 4 months ago

        Yay! Thank you, Charlie!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    Yummy looking sushi, Charlie. I think I already won this, but if not, “Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! And yes, I have you down for one, but Cheap Joe’s deserves lots of thanks!! 😃💕

  4. Autumn Linde 4 months ago

    Thank you, Cheap Joe’s!

  5. jpmorris 4 months ago

    I love art supplies. Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yes to that!! hehe 😃💕 And I already have you down for this one Joel, but keep checking back!

  6. Kate Powell 4 months ago

    Today I just happened to be painting hot spicy tuna rolls and Californian Rolls, a memory. Still drying. Had nothing to do with prompts, just hungry! Nice painting Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      hehe! Yay! 😃💕Yeah, mine usually only vaguely resemble prompts anyway. I just really wanted sushi!

  7. Kate Powell 4 months ago

    Whoops, thank you Cheap Joes… I guess I had to read that part too!

  8. jpmorris 4 months ago

    And as a side note, having grown up in the Midwest, sushi is not something I was acquainted with either. I’m an aficionado now, including Trader Joe’s California Rolls to be sure.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yeah, it just wasn’t done here! hehe… but yep, those Trader Joe’s rolls are really good!! 😃

  9. Agatha 4 months ago

    Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!

  10. Agatha 4 months ago

    Oh, wait! I guess I got those already, haha!
    Anyway, your rolls got me craving for some! They look delicious 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yep! I have you down for one! hehe… so yay! Glad you liked the rolls. Thanks, Agatha!! 😃💕

  11. Meenakshi Goel 4 months ago

    “Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yes, yes, yes, Meenakshi! 😃💕 And, yay, I’ll have Cheap Joe’s send a sample!

      • Meenakshi Goel 4 months ago

        Yayyyy! Thank you Charlie 🙂 Thank you Cheap Joe’s. Wow!! It’s like Christmas in July!!! Happy Worldwatercolor Month ❤

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

        hehe… yeah, it is!! Actually, that’s how Watercolor Artist magazine referred to it… and it’s so true!!

  12. Shannon 4 months ago

    Thank you Cheap Joe’s!

  13. Manan 4 months ago

    “Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!”

  14. Dale Kern 4 months ago

    Hi Charlie, I won a weekly giveaway and received a Hahnemuhle Cezanne Watercolor Block and I am so thrilled! I’ve never painted on a block and though the large size is a bit intimidating for a sketchbook painter 😃, I’m looking forward to trying it out! Many thanks to you, Charlie, and to all your wonderful sponsors!❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww I’m so happy to hear that! Yay!! It’s super fun to be able to give away prizes and put smiles on so many artist’s faces! hehe… Best sponsors in the world!!! Congrats, Dale!! 😃💕

  15. June Hadaway 4 months ago

    I am already down for this giveaway so Thank you, Cheap Joe’s. Just want to say I always enjoy your stories Charlie, and look forward to the next one.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, June!! I’m so happy you like them! 😃💕

  16. Gina 4 months ago

    Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!

  17. Virginia French 4 months ago

    Thank you Cheap Joe’s!

  18. Nicole Douthit 4 months ago

    Wow! Your California rolls look delicious!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Nicole!! 😃💕 This one was so blazingly fast I was just hoping it looked like food at all! Lol

  19. Ann 4 months ago

    Thank you, Cheap Joe’s

  20. Laura (PA Pict) 4 months ago

    Well dang it. I’m always too late for the giveaways. Your painting would have me craving California rolls if not for the lucky coincidence that that is precisely what my kids and I enjoyed for lunch today. My 11 year old and I are wasabi addicts and eat it until our eyes are watering and noses stinging. I think somehow that just makes us want it more.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Hehe!! I love that you do that! I do the exact same thing!!! 😃💕 And it should get easier in the final week as many of these are repeating and you can’t get the same thing twice. 😉

  21. EK O'Connor 4 months ago

    Cheap Joe’s is the best 🙂 I have fallen far behind due to the new puppy, but I am very much enjoying the daily posts!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Awww, but a new pup is totally a good excuse! That’s so wonderful!! 😃💕 And I’m out of samples for today, but more to come!

  22. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    A Midwestern guy enjoying a California roll, and now the squirrels are laughing their bushy tails off. Now you are an anomaly, Charlie. Don’t forget: California roll must also have that crab mixture, though it’s nearly always fake crab mixture. Have you tried a poke bowl? This summer’s craze in California, but not sure it’s hit the Midwest yet. Your sushi plate looks wonderful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe! I haven’t tried a poke bowl… at least I don’t think. I’ll have to google it! And yes, the crab-like bit is also required. Though I prefer the real thing over the fake stuff!

  23. Maryna Moolman 4 months ago

    Thank you, Cheap Joe’s.

    With our time difference I am always late to enter, one can only hokd thumbs.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Maryna! 😃💕 Yeah, these are repeating, and you can’t win twice, so I’m hoping that will help folks who haven’t gotten something get here in time in the final week!

  24. Sandra Gilbert 4 months ago

    I didn’t try sushi until I was an adult either and I agree… I love it even the whoopsie toouch Wasabi part. Beautiful painting…. Sigh now I want sushi. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe…. love the whoopsie touch description… perfect!!

  25. Pili Diaz 4 months ago

    Thank you Cheap Joe’s, not too late I hope this time Charlie 😁

  26. krishnakumarsinghblog 4 months ago

    good

  27. Lydia 4 months ago

    I’m laughing at your rabbit hole – I cannot tell you how many times a day that happens to me. I too, am holed up like a squirrel eating ice chips until October, but it’s so funny because I got avocado sushi for lunch today from Whole Foods – we have a grocery delivery service here, so I didn’t even have to break a sweat and got some cold, delicious sushi and ate it with pretty chopsticks. I didn’t eat it until adulthood either – it wasn’t in the least fashionable where I grew up and I love it now. Your painting is beautiful – I’m actually just as taken with how you captured the curve of the dish as I am the beautiful sushi. Have a great weekend and thanks for the inspiration!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lydia! Glad you liked this! 😃💕 Oh wow… delivery would be perfect!!! It was a heat index of over 105 degrees here today! Ugh!!

  28. Lisa McClure 4 months ago

    Great sushi, and I really enjoyed your story about it. Like you, by the time I was introduced to sushi, I was old enough to remember it, and love that we can buy it at the grocery store now. These days, I’m more likely to eat the latest craze, poke, to cut back on the rice. Keep painting luscious food!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕Yeah, it’s wonderful that it’s so readily available now. So happy you enjoy my food illustrations! It’s my favorite thing to doodlewash!

  29. Mélissa Vallée 4 months ago

    Lovely sushi :3 Now I remember the stupid challenge I have made with my friend one day with the wasabi… I can totally say that eating a spoon full of wasabi was not the greatest idea I have got in my life lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Hahahaha! That made my eyes water from both laughing and thing about it!! Awesome, Mélissa! 😂👍🏻

  30. Elizabeth Metz 1 month ago

    I learn so much from these posts. 😀

    (I also get horrifying cravings for just about everything you talk about, still.)

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