Bird’s Eye View

Kingfisher Birds Eye View Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Leaves” today, my mind drifted back to when I was a kid and used to climb the tree in my front yard. It branched out at a rather low level so I could sit in the little nook created at the bottom very easily. And if I were feeling a bit more brave, I could crawl up one of the large branches. I loved this higher, more daring view the most as you could see the entire neighborhood. Well, more than one house at least as everything looks much grander to a child. As much as I enjoy studying all of the little details found in life, I equally love studying the bigger picture. In truth, my entire career has been built upon the ability to see things from this holistic perspective. I love concepts and ideas and can spend countless hours exploring them in my mind. My art has yet to encapsulate most of these ideas as I’m still just dutifully sketching stuff so I can learn a little more each and every day. The reality is that with my 40 minutes a day average sketching time, even sketching daily means I’m only sketching full-time, which let’s say is a 40 hour work week, for a total 6 weeks each year. So I have so much to learn and practice still and I’m excited to do so as I take my tiny bit of time each day.

Life is indeed all a matter of perspective. Things viewed too closely can often distort our view. It’s very often best to take a few steps back, or indeed climb up a tree, to see things more clearly. The fun part is, this viewpoint is technically less clear. It’s a bit blurry, in fact, without all of the heavily defined edges and guardrails. It’s just a view of amazing possibility. I adore this blurry place as it’s where some of my best ideas have occurred. Being close to 50 years old, I no longer scale trees in order to find this unique vantage point. Though yes, there are people older than I who scale both trees and mountains, and I applaud them for doing so! Instead, I just let my mind drift and take me wherever it wants to go next. Most often, it’s actually my dreams at night that take me on the most extraordinary journey. I remember someone asking me in my dream once if I was a painter to which I replied, “I’m not really sure, I just love sketching stuff!” and then the next day I started a podcast and it became my own personal brand. It hadn’t even really occurred to me before that, but since Doodlewash is everyone’s brand, if I wanted to show up as only Charlie O., I needed my own branding for that purpose. Dreams are the most insightful things ever!

And indeed, this website was built upon the concept of including everyone in the world! No matter what specific technique you use, you’re welcome to use it here on this site. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the inspiring things you make and post right here on Doodlewash! Granted, the very idea of building a social network is perfectly crazy indeed when all the big guys already have that covered. But, Doodlewash is special in that it has a singular purpose. It’s here to simply encourage and inspire the making of daily art. It’s such a simple little idea, but let’s face it, making something each and every day can be rather tough. There are so many things we have to DO each day that making time for art can seem a bit overwhelming. So, I’m here to assure you that showing up to make something absolutely matters. And, thanks to my crazy dreams of starting a social community, I now have the data to prove it. By that, I mean the visual data of watching artists around the globe continue to get better and better at their craft. I’m in awe and humbled each and every day. Sometimes. I personally feel like I’ve just taken several steps backward on any given day. Yet, I keep coming back to learn and experience more. And I know that together, we’re all really only taking brilliant steps forward. It’s the beautiful perspective that comes from taking a moment to experience the sheer beauty of bird’s eye view.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Leaf Green, 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!
Kingfisher Birds Eye View Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
26 Comments
  1. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 months ago

    Such a cute birdy! 🙂 I really love your view of life. I feel its good to look at things and others in a broader way. So much we can learn from this indeed. The adventures of art and life are the best!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Yay to that! Adventures of art and life are the best kind of all!

  2. Karen Fortier 2 months ago

    Great bird’s eye view post Charlie! I too loved to sit up in a tree. It was a place that I could escape to for a bit. Now I paint my escape as I can get totally lost when I paint.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 A painting escape is just as awesome as being back in that tree…. hehe… love it!

  3. Lisa 2 months ago

    Hubs bought me some pears today. One red one, but not the crimson type you painted. He didn’t find those. But the blushing yellow Bartlett I ate tonight was delicious.

    I love trees. Very specific ones in fact. A double birch that I grew up with. A sugar maple in my current front yard, and a climbing tree oak when I was very young. There are lots more, but those jumped out when I first thought about it.

    The redwoods I saw in California just about swelled my heart to breaking. I am going to plant more trees next year for the future. I just decided!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yum! Yay! 😃💕Glad you got your pears, Lisa! And so awesome you know precisely your favorite trees… sounds like each one is attached to a wonderful memory!

  4. Loan Anh Pham 2 months ago

    I indeed love your perspective, Charlie! Lovely leaves and cute bird reminded me about a song “Sparrow” of Tom Odell again, I’ve written that when we could see the happiness coming from our loving bird’s sight when it on the high branch, we feel everything is enough. I’m shy when saying that I have a lack of English words and my writing has a bunch of mistakes, but I’ve nonstop felt the beauty of new exciting words from you. Thanks so much, Charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕I love the idea of feeling “everything is enough”… that’s so beautiful! So thrilled you enjoyed this post my friend!

  5. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Lovely bird. What kind is it? I’ve told you before we don’t have many blue colored birds out here. I sketch every day. I just can’t seem to post evey day or at all for awhile. Will you please start a blog for that? Bahawha! ;P

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 This one is a little kingfisher! Aww the peril of posting each day… hehe… truly, if I didn’t have a daily blog I think I’d go days without remembering to post. Just remember that posting is a gift you give to others… we ALL want to see what you make… so it’s like Christmas every day! hehe

      • LoriCtoo 2 months ago

        I’ll try to remember that. Now to find the prompt list and see what’s up that I might decide to do. 🙂

      • LoriCtoo 2 months ago

        We do have kingfishers and we actually have one that perches across the street on the wires….for years. Too far to tell what color he is. Maybe gray blue? I’ll have to look it up.

  6. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Wonderful! Can there be any better view for a kid than the view through the leaves from somewhere up in a tree?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕Yeah, I don’t think there’s a better view for a kid at all! hehe

  7. Karen Howard 2 months ago

    Love all ur stuff Charlie as always. I always see it just dont always remark.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 And no worries… I always know that posting daily is a bit nutty and hard to keep up with! But thank you SO much for all of your comments! They mean the world to me! ❤️

  8. Robert J. Coleman 2 months ago

    Great little bird, gives meaning to ‘bird’s eye view’ for sure. We get to look at the world at your perspective, which is what we all enjoy! You have succeeded in building a fine social network of friends and admirers of each other. Thanks for providing the artists’ gallery and for bringing in the special Guest Artists with their inspirations too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 Thanks for the lovely message and encouragement! Yeah, my favorite bit is watching artists interact and getting inspired by each other. It’s the best experience ever!

  9. smzang 2 months ago

    Charlie says, “Things viewed too closely can often distort our view. It’s very often best to take a few steps back, or indeed climb up a tree, to see things more clearly.”

    For sure!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yay to seeing things more holistically! That’s my favorite thing in the world to DO! 😃💕

  10. Sherrill Taylor 2 months ago

    Hi Charlie, I’ve just joined your site and I want to thank you for all you bring to me and other artist.
    You make it simple and inviting. You’re very talented and again… Thank you,
    Sherrill Taylor from Villa Rica, GA 👩🏼‍🎨

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thank you SO much, Sherrill! 😃💕And welcome to Doodlewash! Yeah, my philosophy is that art should be fun, simple and inclusive. So, that’s what you’ll always find here!

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