So today’s prompt was “fire” which I guess can be apt for Valentine’s Day, as it’s often associated with passion. As I thought about the colors of fire, I inexplicably landed instead on these two snuggling ladybugs, which also seemed appropriate for the day. Perhaps, even more so than some of the existing iconography when you think about it. I mean, getting shot in the heart by a creepy baby in a diaper honestly seems like the most freakish thing in the world. If that were to actually happen in real life, I’m pretty sure everyone would just prefer to stay single. But the idea of celebrating love in all its forms is a pretty nice one, so that’s something I can definitely support. Though people who happen to be single at the moment often think this day can be a big bummer, it’s really not. The way I see it, everyone has someone who loves them, from family to best friends. It’s actually impossible to be truly alone in life, unless you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway and stranded on a deserted island, but even he had a volleyball to keep him company.

Philippe and I don’t normally celebrate this day in any significant way, but this year he bought me a new fountain pen! (turns out this year’s limited edition Lamy Safari Al Star pen is the same color as the Doodlewash icon, so what’s not to love about that?!). He said it wasn’t specifically for the day, but it happened to arrive last night. Since the timing made it feel like a Valentine’s Day gift, and I didn’t have one for him, I ran upstairs and dug around the back of my closet where I stash random Christmas stocking stuffers I buy throughout the year. It’s truly the thought that counts. I did, however, pick up a chocolate cherry brandy cake for us to have this evening. No idea if it’s good, I just asked for the one that was booziest. So, this year, I guess we ended up celebrating after all. No cards were exchanged, though, as we find it super awkward to give someone who lives in the same house one, while just sort of oddly standing there to watch them read it.

Truthfully, love isn’t something that has to come in pairs. It may come in different forms, but when you really stop to think about all the love in your life, it’s almost overwhelming. Sometimes when my dog looks at me a certain way, it makes my heart melt. Other times, of course, he looks a bit judgy and sort of pissed that he hasn’t been fed promptly, but often, it’s a look that feels a bit like love. And when someone says they love my post, I also feel rather loved as well since I did indeed make it myself. Family, though not in the same state and even country are in my thoughts and I’m in theirs, so there’s even more. And tonight, when Philippe and I catch each other’s eyes while deciding how big the slices of boozy cake should be cut, we’ll smile knowingly, and make them larger than we should. No seismic shift of the planet or cupids flying through the air, just those little signals sent as reminders that, no matter what happens, love is all around us.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo. Green Light, Ultramarine Deep, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 14 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - Love Is All Around Us Two Ladybugs Kissing - #doodlewash
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!

21 replies on “Love Is All Around Us

  1. OK, I’m going to avoid it – you know, that word.

    So, I found this post most intriguing and the lady bugs painting a challenge well met. It’s hard to imagine the intimate relationship of creatures who wear their armor on their exteriors, thus successfully preventing passion from getting to close to their – um – interiors. And with legs hardly long enough to grasp the leaf upon which they stand, it can’t be easy to hug the one they – um – find affection for.

    As vivid as they are, my favorite thing about lady bugs is that they eat aphids, those destroyers of gardens. I have fun envisioning them stalking those insidious little white bugs that are munching on my innocent plants, then pouncing and sucking up hundreds at a time and swallowing them down inside their beetle abdomens. Oh, the glory of such death! My garden saved for another day! Grand warrior lady bugs, I honor your appetite!

    Happy You-Know-What Day! No, no, I’m not even going to draw that little icon of the moment – too close to the forbidden.

    See, I didn’t say that word. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlie, I do indeed love your posts. It pleases me that every day, no matter how crazy, busy, or frustrating, you take the time to make and to share a water color sketch accompanied with some thoughts. Makes us feel a bit loved as well. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your posts Charlie, so pleased I stumbled upon doodlewash, spread the love …well you see I don’t celebrate Valentine’s, the dog does not appreciate cards, and never ever have the animals clubbed together to buy me flowers, I guess they are not the romantic sort…but those jaunty angle looks they give melt my heart. So I will spread the love here instead …here goes ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post, Charlie. I agree, love is. There is an incessant flow of love everywhere and abundantly available when we open our hearts to receive it. Love really doesn’t just happen in pairs and most certainly not thanks to a ‘creepy baby in a diaper shooting arrows’ ! 😀
    My partner and I don’t ‘celebrate’ Valentine’s Day. We just feel everyday should be special in a relationship. Not just one particular day. And when we want to make it even more special, it must come from an inner inspiration rather from an outer calendar date. Set dates can be the cause of unnecessary disharmony, we believe. Thanks for this lovely post, Charlie and have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like you had a lovely Valentine’s Day, Charlie, and although they are insects these little ladybugs are so pretty. Yes, love is certainly all around, but in our house so are germs and we share everything – achoo! Maybe I should make a boozy cake to relieve our symptoms, or at least forget them – achoo! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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