A Long Hot Bath

Though the idea of pouring a nice bath is lovely, the truth is, it’s been years since I’ve lived in a place that actually had a proper bathtub. My mind immediately leapt back to when I was a kid, and had “bath time.” I almost sketched a rubber duck, but I’ve already done that previously. Bath time as a kid was a time to play with toys, or at least that was what parents everywhere encouraged, just to get kids into the bathtub in the first place. It’s true, without toys, it held little interest for me. By the time I was an adult, a relaxing time in a tub filled with soap suds, and perhaps candles on the edge, was something that was perfectly lovely. But, waiting for the tub to fill sort of killed my interest and I would get distracted before the bath was even ready. Currently in my home, you’ll find two showers and in the master bedroom, inexplicably, a Japanese soaking tub. This is a bizarre porcelain barrel that was installed by the first owner of our row home. You can’t lay back and relax in it, but must simply squat in a crouched position while jets on the side squirt bubbles at you. The entire effect is a bit like being boiled as a human soup and not particularly appealing, so I never use it. Made worse, it’s positioned between the two sinks, so it’s a perfectly ridiculous reminder of something interesting that only seemed like a good idea at the time.

I’ve often dreamed of owning one of those claw-footed tubs I’ve seen in bed and breakfasts I’ve stayed in when I used to travel more for work. Even though they were there, I never managed to indulge. For some reason the entire ritual required to create a proper bath was just too much effort. That, and the fact that I’m 6′ 3″ and those types of tubs were made back when people were far shorter. In fact, I’ve rarely stayed at a hotel that had a tub long enough to properly stretch out in, which indeed, is the entire point if the end goal is relaxation. Back when I used to stay at my grandmother’s during the summer as a kid, baths were the only option. I remember the basin being a sort of pinkish mauve, but I’m not sure if that was the case or a side effect of the red dirt I was always washing off of me. Weirdly, I still remember the smell of the soap. I’m not sure where she purchased it, but it had a vaguely floral scent. Thinking back to it makes me happy. No matter how dirty I ended up getting while spending time on her farm, that evening I would go to bed smelling amazing.

When my dad moved to Texas for work, his first order of business was building an extravagant master suite onto the house he purchased. This included an impossibly large bathroom that was larger than most bedrooms. One of the primary features was a large jacuzzi tub with mirrors on three sides. I’ve only used it once. I quickly realized that mirrors might be incredibly wonderful and perhaps even sexy for those with a perfect physique, but that many at once for the rest of us is just a bit disturbing. I’m not sure if he actually ever used it or simply liked the idea of it being there to suggest a bit of opulence. One day, we’ll move to somewhere a bit more secluded. When that happens, I hope to have a large and amazing bathtub that will accommodate my height and provide a truly fabulous experience. Perhaps, by that time, I’ll have learned to slow down enough to actually enjoy it properly. It’s a dream that I hope to one day experience. A perfectly relaxing evening spent doing nothing more than enjoying a beautiful tub full of soapy water, taking a long hot bath.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 6 - A Long Hot Bath - Bathroom Faucet - Doodlewash

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Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
45 Comments
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    The painting of the faucet is gorgeous, you being the master of metals and reflections. Your story is so entertaining. I dislike bathing – I’ve got way too much to do to sit in a tub, and as you note, waiting for the water to fill – I’d get distracted until the tub overflowed all over the house. For me, I can’t wake up without a shower, fingers of water reviving me. But my sons when young, and now my grandkids, loved tub time, especially when I brought home new toys – boats, swimming animals, and new bubble bath.

    As for that giant tub in your master bath – fill it with a nice plant. Now that would be fun! You can hang seasonal decorations. (You know, the lemonade strategy.) Can’t wait to see what you love tomorrow, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Hehe!! Thanks so much, Shari! 😃💕 That’s the best idea for that thing ever!! Though, they would have to be plastic plants as I would kill anything real. Oh well, the idea of beautiful bathtub is perhaps more enjoyable than the real thing.

  2. Susan Cuss 2 months ago

    I enjoy a nice hot soak with epsom salts and bubble bath! Incense smoke curling into the air…….luxury!
    My SIL used to take a book and a glass of wine with her when she went for a relaxing bath. Hmmmm, I wonder if she had candles?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      That sounds lovely, Susan!! 😃💕 hehe… surely she must have had candles, it makes the experience all the more enjoyable!

  3. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    I agree. Baths are nice if someone else will run it for you and all that. I do have one and I want your taps and faucet for it! Fantastic painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 hehe… yeah…. baths are far better when they’re just ready and waiting for you!

  4. smzang 2 months ago

    awesome watercolor
    great story

    bubble baths are a bit of heaven!

    Reading Susan’s reply I must share that my daughter-in-law,
    knowing my love of bubble baths and candles, went to Pier One
    and bought me a wax lily pad with a gently flickering ‘candlelight’
    in its center. It has the same effect as a candle’s glow and it floats
    in the tub beautifully and never capsizes.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 And oh my gosh, that sounds lovely!! What a beautiful gift!!

  5. Yvonne Reeder 2 months ago

    I am nostalgic for baths but health issues preclude me from getting in and out now so a shower seat and a shower are my go to. Still I remember the days when the warmth soaked away pain and my fingertips wrinkled. ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww… the wrinkles! I forget about those! 😃💕 But yeah, showers are my go to these days. Too many things to do!! Must get in and get out quickly! hehe

  6. Vicki Rowley 2 months ago

    think I’ll go take a bath!

  7. June Hadaway 2 months ago

    Wow. I just don’t know how you get that shine. Looks so real, even the running water. A perfectly painted faucet. I liked your story too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 It’s all about ridiculous contrast… more than you think should be there I’ve found, to make things truly shine!

    • June Hadaway 2 months ago

      Thanks. Gives me something to work on.

  8. Lisa 2 months ago

    What you really need is a hit tub on the deck with a view of the stars!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Now THAT would be amazing, Lisa! 😃💕 And may far more sense than that ridiculous soaking tub! lol

  9. Jill Kuhn 2 months ago

    We purchased a hot tub a few years ago that is wonderful to sit in on those cool evenings but not so great on 90 degree days! 😉 I have a jacuzzi bathtub too but it is much too hard to clean so I never use it. The cat has taken ownership of it and has his water dish in it. Rather strange. Lol! 😸 I received the Stonehenge paper today, Charlie! Thanks so much! 😘💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      yay to getting the paper! Hope you enjoy it Jill! 😃💕 And haha!! I love that story!! I agree… the bathtub is way to much maintenance. Hopefully your cat can get a lot more joy out of it!

  10. Jennifer McLean 2 months ago

    well holy crow, Charlie. You’re a foot and two inches taller than me. Yowza. I have to be careful not to drown in a tub. ;o) But then showers are my thing. I want one in my fantasy house that’s 4x6ft with a big huge bench I can put my feet up on then turn on the rain head above me and let it rain on me as i sit there. Now that gets me to my happy place. Ahhh, I love water. (thank god, I live in the pacific north west, BC rains like Seattle does. Hehehe.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe!! Wow… yeah.. I’m a giant then compared to you! LOL 😃💕 But I’m super jealous that you can enjoy a bathtub properly! hehe

  11. a.filmer 2 months ago

    You’re a hoot. And … who could have known that a watercolor of faucets could be so appealing?

  12. Linda Olsson 2 months ago

    Beautiful painting Charlie and I love to read your stories 😃

  13. Terri Bate 2 months ago

    I love how you take the essence of the prompt – and love the result.
    6’3″? So’s my son! (my ‘little’ boy!) – I used to have to phone shoe shops up before we visited and ask if they had any in his size – two pairs? My, you have a choice, son! He gets his shoes from American shoe shops online very often these days.
    Thanks for doodlewash, Charlie – it’s such a fun site.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Terri!! 😃💕 hehe… I love that story! Yeah, shoes can be a problem as well, but I thankfully am propped up on just size 11’s which are a bit easier to find! LOL

  14. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    Lovely painting of the fixtures and water pouring out.

  15. memadtwo 2 months ago

    I love your painting. I have a definite preference for two handles to adjust hot and cold water. Luckily, they are readily available in the old housing of NYC. Although, as you point out…the bathtubs are not made for tall people! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 I agree… the two handles are the best of all. But yeah… tall people missed out on that feature it seems.

  16. Nay Aung 2 months ago

    Love your choice of colors and detail works 🙂

  17. Pat Demers 2 months ago

    Love your art work and your essays. What size nib do you use in your Safari?

  18. SHARON A HASCHALK 2 months ago

    I ditto Sharon Bonin-Pratt’s comment Charlie – you ARE the master of metals and reflections! Reading your story about your height and needing a longer tub brought back memories of 20 years ago when my daughter treated me to the trip of a lifetime to Paris. We stayed at the Hotel de Crillon, it was so opulent and amazing, especially for a little small town girl like me. The bathroom in our room was all marble, even the tub, and it was huge. I think it must have been ne of the originals when the hotel was first built, and I’m sure it would have accommodated you very easily because I remember it was really long and the sides were higher than a normal tub. For me, being only 5″1′ it was like a swimming pool! And I guess because of my shorter legs, somehow the last night before we were to leave, I stepped out of the bath and lost my footing and slipped on the marble floor and went crashing into a little table that had a big Limoge bowl on it, which got smashed to smithereens! I did get cut a little but could have been hurt much worse, but all I could think of was that I had broken that bowl, and what trouble was I going to get into! Everythingl turned out okay, though, because the hotel was not at all concerned about the bowl, but very concerned about me! Thanks for bringing back those memories Charlie and love your glistening faucet!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Oh my goodness, what an incredible story!! That sounds like much more of an adventure than you thought you were in for indeed! Glad to know that it all turned out okay and that you were fine in the end. But, on the bright side, it’s definitely a memory you’ll never forget!! LOL

  19. Thomas Blanchard 2 months ago

    Great job capturing the highlights Charlie. Human soup … LOL here’s to someday getting a big tub that fits you! Cheers!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Tom!! 😃💕 hehe… yay, someday, a big tub will actually be mine!!!

  20. Carol Hartmann 2 months ago

    Gorgeous sparkle and shine, Charlie! 💥 You are certainly the master when it comes to this!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Carol! 😃💕 I’ve no idea why, but metal and glass are my favorites. So much fun to paint!

  21. Elizabeth Metz 1 month ago

    First, I love the way you do light in your paintings.

    Secondly, not to be intentionally contrary (okay, maybe a little), but I can’t get behind baths. I know they’re supposed to be relaxing and all, but it freaks me right out to be sitting essentially in hot butt-dirt soup, no matter how nice my muscles feel afterward. ::shudder::

    😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      haha!!! I’m actually the same way… I don’t like hot tubs either because it’s just a gross human soup! 😂

  22. Elizabeth Metz 1 month ago

    YES, THAT. Exactly. I can’t think about it too hard or I won’t even dip my feet in. 😀

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