I had every intention of going with the sailboat prompt today, but thinking about sailing lead me to think of ships… and then pirates. So, instead of a boat, we ended up with an early form of nautical communication that makes the phone with the curly cord look downright high tech. As a kid, I thought the concept of using a message in a bottle to communicate was a bit ridiculous, since the odds of anyone discovering it seemed so slim. But that didn’t stop me from being perfectly fascinated by the idea of me finding someone’s message in a bottle. Now that would have been awesome. Like stumbling on a mystery that’s waiting to be solved. Granted, this form of communication didn’t exist in the 70’s. People actually sent letters. A behaviour, which many people today might find just as ridiculous as sending a message in a bottle.

Today, whether we’re sailing the high seas or simply taking a European vacation, we can simply text or post something to social media in order to communicate. For example, we can share a picture of our feet on Instagram to prove we’re having a fabulous time at the beach and far to lazy to stand up and take a proper photo that might actually interest you. Everything is instantly sent, and instantly conveyed. Today, receiving something written by hand feels particularly special, but finding the card or note without a reply button makes responding confusing. I’m guilty of this, as though I absolutely love to receive snail mail, I haven’t purchased a stamp since the 90’s, and this makes sending anything back rather complex and terrifying.

Though we live in an age of instant gratification, I do sometimes long for those days when you actually had to wait to receive a reply. Every word and message seemed to matter more back then. With no delete button you had to actually think about what you were going to tell a person and would work hard to make each word count. Perhaps that’s why I write my posts in a stream of consciousness style. I have a delete button, but I simply choose not to use it. I’m interested in knowing what’s really on my mind. Like my art, I don’t edit, I just make what comes to mind. I’m much like those people in nautical lore writing messages for whoever might find them. And if you’re reading this now, that’s so wonderful… you’ve just found my message in a bottle.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors:  Cobalt Teal, Gamboge, Pyrrol Red, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
Day 6 #WorldWatercolorGroup Message In A Bottle Glass Bottle With Cork and Red Twine On Beach
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!

48 replies on “Message In A Bottle

  1. I love love love this bottle with the message! It’s so beautifully done and I can relate to being a kid that imagined how great it would be to send a message in a bottle or better yet, finding one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful painting.. And I agree with you, there is nothing nicer than receive a hand written note.. We are perhaps losing the art of handwriting as everyone types these days.. Which is why I still love to write in my journals..
    Wishing you a wonderful week Charlie,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are an amazing artist Charlie, and your doodlewashes always draw me in, but it is your writing – your stories – your stream of conscience – your messages in a bottle – that keep me coming back for more. Love your letters to yourself and all of us! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awww… Jodi, thank you!! 😃💕 You’re so sweet… and have a gift with words that’s always guaranteed to make me blush. 😊Which we now know you do on purpose, but I don’t care because I really love and appreciate the encouragement! Thank you so much for loving my messages in a bottle my friend!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps we are writing our modern day “Message in a Bottle” as we write, sketch, and paint in our journals. Hopefully, one day someone will be thrilled when they come across our “Message in a Journal.” Wonderful sketch by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is one of my favorite Doodlewashes of yours – totally enchanting and mysterious.

    I spent many summers in Atlantic City or Honolulu searching for glass sea floats (found one in Hawaii) and sea shells (found lots when I was little, hardly any at all anymore), always wondering if I might also find a bottle with a message in it. Kind of like doing an archaeological dig between the waves.

    I can’t believe you haven’t bought a stamp since the 1990’s! We still send letters and notes around here, as well as email. But a letter or a thank you or a card for a special occasion – can’t beat it for a personal touch. The message in your bottle probably says you should write a letter to the address on the note inside!

    Or maybe you send Doodlewashes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Sending doodlewashes outside of this website would then require stamps. hehe… yeah… I no longer receive tangilbe notes so I never think to send them. I don’t even have the physical address of most of my friends. 😊 But maybe a message in a bottle would be more my speed… it sounds way more fun to do!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh and ah and oh, how nice a bottle can be and such great colors! Congrats Charlie!!
    Of course I had the believe that one day I would find a bottle like yours with a letter or a secret I had to solve.
    The idea is very romantic.
    Never found one but that.s not so important as Hoping to find one isn’t it?

    We still send self written cards and get some as well as mails. The feeling of holding a card is so warm (mostly) and that feeling is very different from a mail.

    Must say that your bottle gives me this warm feeling too!

    Is it a champagne bottle, looks like a champagne stop to me?

    Thank you Charlie!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Writing from the heart, saying it as it is ..un edited! Well I love that, probably because I am much the same, I am one of those ‘ don’t think before I speak’ it all comes out as it was thought, love it or loathe it, we are all different. I love your differences, your different experiences, different writing style, painting style, so many ways to tell a story, things that were important to you, get highlighted, insignificant details to you get lost…..each day I enjoy meeting the YOU, I would love to receive a message in a bottle from you, the chances I would get it are slim I know, but I would reply, as to you receiving a reply from an un received message in this life time????? It’s the thought that counts my mother said…….I will keep a check on the coast each day, a small mile long piece of sandy beach in the UK, if the bottle could land there please, I would say….MIRACLE.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Charlie. Awesome painting. Love the shading and the light falling through on the sand. Awesome how the red is reflected in the glass too. Great observations and well done!
    I still send letters and cards – also ATC’s – and love to receive snail mail, especially with art in it. Though I have to remind myself sometimes how much more special it is – and send someone a card in time. But the opportunities for interaction through the use of internet – both the fast and more in depth kind – I wouldn’t miss for the world.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I know, instant gratification is a very powerful motivator. Also – in upbringing a son of 17 years – sometimes reason for some concern. I remember writing long letters to pen pals in England (most of them) and the Pacific (one). It took ages before you got a reply. But so cool when you get the letters. Nowadays, I love the tiny pieces of art in my mailbox. Enough to cycle to the post office and get those stamps, from time to time.🙂
        Anyway , have a nice – draw a bird – day!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So glad you still enjoy the art of letter writing, Corinne! 😃💕 It’s definitely an awesome thing that I hope never disappears entirely. If I had anyone sending me those letters, I might be more apt to return them. But it seems all of my crew as moved online and stopped entirely. And have a nice Draw A Bird day as well! I won’t be participating this month, as I’m in a different theme, but can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This chimes so much with what is happening for me. I handed a notebook and pencil to someone I’d met, the other day, and he said “That’s a bit old tech!” and proceeded to text me what I wanted to know. I’ve been on the road for the past 5 months – and have been endeavouring to post daily pics (the ones I don’t give away anyway) home as postcards. Sadly – several have gone astray. And you’re so right about how hard it is – to find the post office, negotiate the going rate for a stamp – find the right place to post it – let alone write the darn thing in the first place. Writing stream of consciousness stuff is the best way. Excellent subject for a painting. Thanks. (Terri)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the message in a bottle! I love to explore and discover, though I’ve yet to find one of these. On the other hand, I’ve never sent a message in a bottle, so maybe I should try that! I love to create handmade cards and still believe in the handwritten word. I get positive feedback and “I save all your cards” from the recipients of my cards (family, friends, and donations), and that tells me it’s a good thing to do. Social media is okay in some respects, but I still prefer the handwritten thoughts for occasions, encouragement, inspiration and condolences….. but yes, the world is changing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah… the world is changing in ways both good and bad. I wouldn’t want handwriting to disappear, even though I really much improve mine. But there is something interesting happening in communication. It will be interesting to see where it all heads next!


  11. I love your painting. I do believe it might be one of my favourites that I have seen you create. There is definitely something romantic and wistful and magical about messages in bottles. Did you ever send one? I sent a few when I was a kid but alas they were never found – not that I am aware of anyway and not yet. I have never found one either – though I did once write to someone whose message had been on a balloon. Now I feel rather inspired to get my kids to send messages in bottles some time – though as someone who is environmentally conscientious I feel somewhat conflicted about lobbing bottles into the ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cobalt teal blue… lured me in, yes it did! but this is a fantastic post, with or without CTB, Charlie!!!
    love your stream of thought, the ‘I don’t edit’ – how delightful. how fresh. how sparkling. that is the word I was looking for…. Sparkling.
    great post. cheers, Debi

    Liked by 1 person

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