Big Wheel, Big Dreams

Day 18 - Big Wheel 1970 Illustration Watercolor - Doodlewash

Today, I was running late most of the day and by the time I got home from work, I was thoroughly exhausted. I hadn’t sketched anything yet and had less time to sketch than usual. My adult mind told me to just forget it already and try again tomorrow, but as you know I don’t like to listen to that buzzkill voice in my brain. So what did I DO? Well, I put down my “precious” fountain pen and handed a Sharpie pen and some paints to my inner child and told him to go out and play. This is what he made really quickly, before I even had a chance to ask him why. Once I saw what appeared, however, I realized that though I’d thought that I’d sketched all of my bicycles as a kid, I forgot my very first set of wheels. It wasn’t a bicycle, but something called a Big Wheel, due to the large wheel in the front I presume. Being only a few inches from the ground, this was the ideal ride for kids who hadn’t even started school yet. And proof that my inner child is apparently only preschool age. But I remember that age well because everything I did was amazing! Nothing was judged, simply applauded and met with a sea of smiles from friends and family. That kid didn’t have any fear of failure and could DO anything with perfection. Well, yeah, not perfect, but perfectly wonderful to those who cared about him and that’s all that mattered at the time.

To be honest, I’ve been struggling a bit lately to keep up with all of the projects I have going. I have a say, “Yes!” attitude that often gets me into a bit of a pickle at times. But, it’s the same attitude I had as a kid. Back then, it wasn’t about saying, “Yes!” it was simply a matter of thinking “Why not?” And though I can find myself a little stretched for time and feeling the horrible tingle of stress start to creep upon me, I just think back to what that kid would have done. Each time I DO, I realize, I don’t have anything to feel stressed about at all. You see, he didn’t have any stress because he wasn’t worried about what others might think. That extra layer came much later, and in may ways, it only served to slow what was once a fiercely fearless artistic mind. As as impossible as it sounds, there was once a time when we didn’t worry so much, if at all. Instead, that time was spent simply wondering and exploring things while enjoying whatever happened in the moment. I often look back nostalgically, as if those magical days were in my past, but I DO everything in my power to make darn certain those days are still happening in my present.

And as we creative people know, which is all of us, much of the time, we aren’t really comparing ourselves to others, but to ourselves. This is easy to do with social media where you can actually see the reaction to what it is you’re making each day. One post soars to the top and then the next feels like you can actually hear the crickets chirping. Never fear, though, it’s simply a robotic algorithm at play, so at worst, you failed to make a robot happy. Unless that was indeed your goal, you’re still successful because you’ve made lots of actual people happy, which I humbly think is always the best goal of all. And my own approach for my daily offerings has been to create a sort of secret society. As proof, my own posts are the least read posts on this site! (outside of my podcast, which introduced some of my posts to a whole new audience). I guess, at heart, I’m still just that little kid who prefers to build a clubhouse and invite my friends over for a little fun, creative play, and conversation. I didn’t have grand plans as a kid, and I don’t really have them now. In many ways, I’m still just living in that blissful time when I had a big wheel, and big dreams.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. Sharpie Pen 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!
Big Wheel 1970 Illustration Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
27 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    Ah the stressful days! I woke to discover that my refrigerator had passed away during the night. After transferring all the food I could to coolers, I went to pay bills and discovered somebody was using my credit card number to purchase airline tickets. After checking to make sure my hubby wasn’t planning to run away, I got that straightened out with the fraud department at the bank. I was feeling pretty stressed, but you know it has been a beautiful Spring day. Not exactly sun-bathing weather but warm enough to sit in a lounge chair and soak up rays – so that’s what I did for the rest of the day. Reading your ramble has finished up my rejuvenation and now I’ll do something artistic. Life is good. Stressful, sometimes, yeah, but good.

    • sqwiffy 1 month ago

      Oh dear. I have had that happen too but the bank soon realised I wasn’t in not have been in Canada. Painting has been a wonderful stress reliever for me. And compared to many others I am very fortunate.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Oh my goodness! That’s quite a day my friend! Yikes! Sending you positive vibes! 😃💕Ugh… yeah, I still remember the death of our refrigerator. Our house is actually at the perfect age where little deaths happen every year. But yeah, life is SO good still, because the important bits of life have nothing to do with any of that. 😉

  2. Squirrellyartmama 1 month ago

    Omg loved my big wheel… i was on the hunt for one when my son was small… can never find one like what i had… things are made so different these days

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yeah… things are made on the cheap these days… not quite the same as when we were kids! I loved my big wheel! 😃💕

  3. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    I had a red tricycle, made of steel. I’m glad you brought your big wheel to life again – it looks super fun. I find it hard to believe that your posts are the least read on this site! Yours are the ones I read first.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon! I had one of those as well! But totally forgot we got a Big Wheel at a garage sale once. hehe And so happy you enjoy my posts! Thank you so much for reading them my friend! 😃💕

  4. Laura Hale 1 month ago

    Thank you Charlie for taking the rest of us with you on this wonderful ride.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Laura! 😃💕 For joining me on this ride! I really appreciate it my friend!

  5. Lori Carscallen 1 month ago

    Ahhh big wheels! They were noisy and had no brakes. The neighbor boy had one and would always come hauling down the street and slide into a sideways skid. Scared the poop out of me every time. It looks just like his! I have a hard time sketching wheels, they always look crooked. Lol Busy days can bring you down, but you know you are our daily inspiration! Yeah, you don’t get a lot of feedback some days, but there are always those lurkers who don’t respond. We love you Charlie and would be lost if you didn’t show up! Thank you for doing that!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww that’s such a sweet message! Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I just sort of show up to say, hey… this is totally possible! hehe DO it with me! And yeah, those big wheels were so loud, not something you could ever sneak up on anyone in. And I love that they did always look crooked… might lightening quick sketch was going to look right no matter what! lol

  6. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    No matter the stress, picking up a paintbrush always puts my mind in a calm, relaxing place…even when I’m trying to keep to a deadline. Thanks for showing up each and every day. Your posts always make me smile.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕Yeah, it’s truly a challenge to show up some days, but wow… making something is SUCH a thrill. I’d be heartbroken if I missed the chance.

  7. Sandra Gilbert 1 month ago

    My brother had a big wheel, he raced everywhere on that thing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe! Yay! 😃💕 Yeah, these were so awesome! You felt like you had a race car, which was somehow ever better than bicycle!

  8. Snehlata Maheshwari. 1 month ago

    So pretty big wheel. Inspired me

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Glad you were inspired my friend!

  9. smzang 1 month ago

    Charlie says, “In many ways, I’m still just living in that blissful time when I had a big wheel, and big dreams.”

    Don’t ever let that time slip away…it is the heart of you.

    As for that big wheel, it is perfect…exactly like the original. I loved them because they were all hollow plastic
    and light as a feather. My son loved his because he thought he was going a million miles an hour (“faster than
    a jet pwane.) Again you take me back to precious days. You are an amazing time travel agent.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe! Love that idea… time travel agent! 😃💕 And awesome this brought back good memories. These things were amazing… light and yet a race car ready to take you speeding into your next dream!

  10. Lisa 1 month ago

    Mine was the big red tricycle. I had a pink bike with a banana seat and white basket with flowers on it. I don’t have real strong memories of the next ones. There were always bikes around because we lived in the country with a half mile long driveway. Then I got my driver’s license. No more bikes for me! 😂 But when I turned 30 and was diagnosed with MS, I was told by my doc to build up my leg muscles. Enter Old Grey. It was a Cannondale cross bike made of aluminum. I bought pink accessories to go with it and I put hundreds of miles on that bike. Then I moved up to Big Blue. Another cross bike that I adored. I put mega miles on her too. The memories of these bikes are bittersweet. Wind in my hair, lots of sweat, views of the countryside that you just can’t get in a car. I often say that walking on a beach is the thing I miss most about being handicapped, but biking was a huge and wonderful part of my life and I miss it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 I had the tricycle which I painted previously, but realized I was apparently spoiled, because I had this as well! hehe But you had a fabulous bike experience, from Old Grey to Big Blue, it all sounds amazing!!

  11. memadtwo 4 weeks ago

    Keep dreaming Charlie! (K)

  12. June Hadaway 4 weeks ago

    I love your Big wheel. Every kid I
    knew had one. They were so colorful just like the one you painted. I don’t know how you get it all done, Charlie. I enjoy your daily posts and doodles but if one day you decide to take a break consider it ok.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕hehe… you’re too sweet! I think if I ever took a break it would be tough to keep the habit going. And my sketching and writing time is really the break in itself! 😉

  13. Melody Johnson 4 weeks ago

    I had a Big Wheel also. I loved it and kept until I was way too old for for it. Mine had a storage box in the back. I noticed that more recent Big Wheels don’t have that. It just like lunch box without a thermos. It just doesn’t feel authentic. Self-care is a big buzz word right now. My person is anything that gives you a sense of renewal. It sounds like you could use some that that right now to recharge your batteries.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yay to Big Wheels! So happy to hear you’re a fan as well, Melody! 😃💕 And yes… I’m now ready to recharge my batteries. Ironically, I working to publish a book, which I did this week, to help others do just that! hehe Now, it’s time to take a page from my own book indeed! 😉

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