A Tropical State Of Mind

Day 2 - Scarlet Parrot Palm Leaves Watercolor - Doodlewash

For our prompt of “palm trees” today, I decided to include a scarlet macaw to add a touch of color. I often wonder if these birds know just how gorgeous they are so, when I was done sketching, I turned to Philippe and asked, “does my parrot look sexy?” I’m often turning to him to ask ridiculous questions like this as I finish my doodlewash for the day. He’s the first audience for whatever little thing I come up with each day. Though I’m often sketching and painting right next to him, as we both sit at the kitchen counter, he rarely looks over to see what I’m up to so I always present it to to him at the end. In truth, if there’s something terribly wrong, it’s far too late to correct it, but I always show him first anyway. And since the temperatures today were finally above freezing, the warmth inspired me to make a tropical illustration. Where I live, the winters can get a bit cold, and today it warmed up to 61F (16C), causing people to actually put on shorts. It’s still too cold for that sort of attire, of course, but any bit of warmth here causes people to shed their clothes like they’re headed to the beach. I’m quite sure my scarlet macaw would prefer it to warm up another 10 degrees or so first, but it was a lovely and temperate day inspiring beach attire. Sometimes, reality is simply what you make it.

We enjoyed a fun day with good friends going to a matinée of a stage play. The play itself was rather strange and confusing, but it’s always fun to spend time with the people you enjoy most. And when you experience something odd together it just makes the whole experience even more fun. When it comes to storytelling, I’m not very lofty in my approach and I’m really just hoping for a point before it all ends. So, even if I don’t enjoy a play, I have to appreciate all of the focused effort that a playwright puts into it. I’ve no idea what my prose would be like if I ever had the luxury of focusing on it and cleverly editing it properly. But, it’s something on my list of things to try next. Well, it’s been added to a long and growing list that makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to define myself properly. I’m always a bit envious of people who seem so focused on doing one thing and can say they are that thing, as opposed to another. For me, my life has just been a blur of experiences. Each one appending to the next to create a sort of narrative, that is often unexpected, but somehow inevitable. That, to me, is the very definition of a great story, so I figure I must be living a rather good life after all.

What I’ve learned in my journey is that whatever course it takes, it’s incredibly unique to me. There’s lots of people who do this thing or that thing, but, in the end, only I can do my thing. We often like to talk for our dog Phineas and have crafted quite a complex personality for him. He’ll often sniff to express his displeasure and we have no idea why he’s doing it. So, we’ve adopted a rather direct and far from subtle personality for him. One of things we’ll say for him when he’s being particularly inscrutable is something that makes me giggle and still seems to have a bit of wisdom. He’s obviously unhappy with whatever we’ve chosen to do next and just storms off. In these moments, we imagine him saying, “I’m out! You do you!”  Silly, to be sure, but I love the idea of embracing individuality and enjoying it. I hope to always strive to be my best self, in whatever crazy form it takes as I move along. Even I can’t always predict what way my life will go or what new thing I’ll get excited about and attempt next. But, as long as I keep dreaming, I know I’ll enjoy every little moment along the way. And there’s much to be said for dreams. Even in the middle of winter, I’ve found that I can enjoy a perfectly warm and wonderful tropical state of mind.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Vermillion, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 2 - Scarlet Parrot Palm Leaves Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
23 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 7 months ago

    Your parrot definitely has a ‘come hither’ look. Personally, I’d rather not hither to close to something with a beak like that. It might be a once in a lifetime experience because he’d bite you in half!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕hehe! Yeah, I don’t think I’d want a beak like that flying toward me, but from a safe distance, they’re lovely!

  2. Mary Roff 7 months ago

    Beautiful macaw.

  3. Lisa 7 months ago

    That macaw has attitude! It’s in the eye. Malevolent!

    Well, today is the first time in over a week that I felt warm. I’ve been moving from room to room sitting in front of heaters to stay warm. And it’s not like our house is old and drafty, just the furnace couldn’t keep up.

    You know, I’ve been thinking about life’s journey of late. I may have mentioned that my younger brother died a couple of weeks ago. My sister and I are the only ones left now. None of the three of us had a lot in common, but still, they knew me longest of any one. That seems like a connection that should be mourned with ashes and astringent red wine.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Glad you liked my macaw and hope you manage to keep warm. So sorry to hear about your brother, Lisa. 💕Sending warm thoughts as well.

  4. Jacob 7 months ago

    WOW! That’s amazing. Macaws and their blazing colours can warm up any day!

  5. Vrunda 7 months ago

    Looks beautiful

  6. Sharon Nolfi 7 months ago

    Your macaw definitely has an attitude! Beautiful colors.

  7. smzang 7 months ago

    that is a beautiful bird

    and this is a beautiful thought:

    Charlie says, ” There’s lots of people who do this thing or that thing, but, in the end, only I can do my thing.”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed the macaw and the words my friend!

  8. creatingincolors 7 months ago

    Yes! Love that macaw! I also love the great reminders in your writing, especially referencing doing your own thing, and to keep on dreaming.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed my macaw. And here’s to being our awesome selves and never stopping those big dreams!

  9. LoriCtoo 7 months ago

    That is ridiculous! Ridiculously wonderful! I would love to be able to sit next to you and watch you work. Albeit, we wouldn’t get much done! Tee hee. I don’t know if you would have been happy in the same job for many years. It’s not your personality/chemistry. Many many years ago, I wanted to be a Home Economics teacher. I laugh now because I HATE to cook and I don’t think schools offer it anymore. However 5 years ago, I fell into this teaching job at my local craft store. It was perfect because I taught numerous different classes. Now, I teach Art Journaling which is perfect because each month is something new. I don’t like repetition. I can’t make 20 of the same Christmas cards. Tee hee) Your path, fits you, fluttering around like a honeybee. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… glad you liked my little parrot! And yeah, if you sat next to me while painting we would spend the entire time giggling and chatting and produce nothing at all! lol But how fun would that be?? And that’s awesome you found a way to teach that works perfectly for you!

      • LoriCtoo 7 months ago

        Love it!

  10. marmeladegypsy 7 months ago

    When you said this: “What I’ve learned in my journey is that whatever course it takes, it’s incredibly unique to me. There’s lots of people who do this thing or that thing, but, in the end, only I can do my thing.” I bounced up and down and said YES! YES! YES~!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Aww yay! 😃💕 So thrilled that resonated with you my friend! It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

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