My favorite vacation spots have always come with a sandy beach and ocean view. Since I didn’t visit a beach until I was already an adult, I never got to make a sand castle, so I figured I would for today’s doodlewash. I’ve always imagined it would be fun to construct a castle made entirely of sand but it’s just been a dream of mine. And since it’s also been a rather long time since I’ve visited a beach, I’m traveling to my other favorite vacation spot today – my imagination. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been prone to chronic daydreaming. This can seem quite normal as a child, but as an adult who suddenly checks out of a conversation leaving the other person to ask, “where did you just go?” it can often be embarassing.

Even though I’ve always had creative jobs, there’s that terrifying time when you’re supposed to sit and commit to paying attention in a meeting. The trouble is, I hate meetings and quickly lose interest. I figure anything that truly needs to be accomplished as a group can be done in less than 30 minutes, which is coincidentally the maximum length of my attention span. Unfortunately, meetings tend to drag on past this point and that’s when my mind goes on vacation. Soon the conversations around me become light mumbling and I’ve blissfully traveled to a place where nobody is chattering on about things that don’t matter. I suppose it’s a sort of defense mechanism. But soon enough, I’m cruelly jolted back to reality when out of the murmurs I hear someone call my name.

This is always a bit distressing, because I, of course, have zero clue as to what the group has been discussing for the past 20 minutes. So when suddenly prompted for my opinion on who knows what, I always just say, “Is it really a question? I think we all know what we need to do next.” This inevitably causes someone from the group to blurt out the “solution” and the meeting can finally come to an end. Ironically, this solution is always something I heard in the first 30 minutes when I was actually paying attention, so it turns out I missed nothing at all. As an added bonus, I then get invited to fewer and fewer meetings. But meetings are not where creativity happens. Creativity is far more likely to occur when you’re letting your mind wander to a lovely daydreamed beach, happily collecting imaginary seashells, and perhaps, even pausing long enough to fulfill a childhood dream of building a sand castle.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Azo Yellow and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (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!

42 replies on “My Favorite Vacation Spot

  1. fan-tas-tic post Charlie. 🙂
    We need more people sharing this simple fact!
    artistic Creativity…. is born not from rigid adherence to rules and shoulds and empty chatterings of what others are doing.
    but it is from wandering Like a Child. creating those sand castles in our imaginations!
    superb post🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy holidays. Fantastic sandcastle, Charlie! You’ve really got the graininess of the sand in perfectly and I can hear the sea. Obviously being in a seaside resort meant that I visited the beach rather a lot, but I was absolutely hopeless at building sandcastles. Some of the things people throw together are incredible, though.

    I support daydreaming! And I’ll note down ‘is it really a question?’ for my own use. I am useless in meetings for similar reasons. Thanks for the tip!😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe…. hope the tip serves you well! And thanks, Jacob! Glad you liked my sand castle! I really wish I’d had a chance to enjoy the beach in childhood, but I guess the lack of that experience is what always makes it so magically still as an adult.


  3. First, that sand castle doodlewash is incredible! I know you say you aren’t patient, but geez, that it is fantastic detail. You have also perfected the art of meetings – state the obvious as amazing insight (see: the movie Being There) and stop getting invited to meetings in the first place. You are truly a gem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks, Ellie! 😃💕 I don’t spend a lot of time of these, but I do have an eye for detail. Most of it involves jabbing bits of dark in the right places though and doesn’t require a lot of extra time. hehe… and yeah… meetings are a weird beast. I’m glad to have fewer of them now! Lol


  4. I so agree with you about meetings (I also dislike) and daydreams (I indulge often).

    And your sandcastle is an architectural wonder – you caught the texture and the natural slumping perfectly. If I put my finger out to touch, the whole shebang might tumble down. You and Phillipe should plan a vacation at the beach and build a real sand castle. I bet it would be amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I wasn’t sure if this would be a fun subject to paint, but it turned out more fun than I expected. Probably because I was dreaming of the real thing. Glad you liked it! And yes… I hope we can make it to the beach eventually. I’m been dreaming about it for ages now!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed making sand castles as a kid. I never tired of making them and sometimes we even added “landscaping” to them with sticks, berries and rocks! 😄 I haven’t thought about that in years – thanks Charlie! 🌈🏖🌞 Wonderful castle you built from your imagination!! 🐚✨

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, for a novice sand castle builder, this one tops the grain….I think you need a sand pit in your garden, he he…..well painted, I can nearly see each sand grain, and I love the little tunnel, my eye is being pulled right through, to see what’s on the other side 😀😀😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charlie, immediately pack up for the beach and go! 😄 I spent my childhood making sandcastles. We even turned ourselves into “chicken cutlets” – dip in the ocean, coat yourself with fine dry sand, cover with wet heavy sand. Imagine what the shower looked like after! At my first job the rule was no mtg could exceed 1 hour. You had to wrap it up or schedule a follow up. Have you left for the beach yet?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha! LOVE that! I can totally picture being transformed into “chicken cutlets”… that’s so awesome!! And yeah… definitely no meetings longer than an hour… at that point, I simply float above my body and even my name being called won’t bring me back. 😊 And sadly, no, still waiting on that actual beach trip!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Touching your story Charlie about your dream a really sandcastle!
    In our country Holland I think everyone or a,most everyone sees the sea and make a sandcastle!
    The feeling is so good your feet in the fine white sand. I love it!
    And the see plus beach is my favorite too!
    Hope you will go to the see as soon as possible.
    I look forward at your reaction!
    ❤️ Margriet


  9. I love your take on “meetings” and I totally agree with you but I must admit that my mind got stuck on the first few lines of this post…you didn’t visit a beach till you were an adult and you never built a sandcastle?!?! I know this is probably true for many people but it seems like such a foreign concept to me. Growing up our ONLY vacations were to the beach (a byproduct of living an hour from the Jersey shore). I spent every summer of my childhood building sandcastles (and sand-creatures and sand-people, etc). It is an absolute crime that you missed this and I’m half tempted to take you to the beach myself and teach you the proper castle building techniques! You don’t have to be a kid to build one, you know…😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s it weird to have never scene a beach or ocean until you’re an adult?! Hehe But sounds like you’re a complete sand castle building pro! That’s an awesome invitation! hehe Thanks, Nancy! 😃💕… I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even know where to begin when building one. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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