Blown Away

Windy Autumn Fall Leaves Mouse Umbrella Watercolor Illustration Painting

For our prompt of “Windy” today, I sketched a little mouse experiencing what happens quite a lot where I live during the autumn months. We often have what’s called a blustery day, which sounds rather nice, but it means winds so strong you can sometimes lean forward into it and still remain standing. Indeed, there are strong and sudden gusts of wind that will nearly cause a tree to go completely bare, losing all of its remaining leaves in one big whoosh. As a kid, I loved watching the sudden burst of leaves sailing through the sky like a little tornado. Yet, sometimes, as an adult, I find myself a touch bothered instead. For example, I might be walking into a building for a meeting, all groomed and thinking I look rather nice that day, when a wind gust decides to give me a sudden makeover. My hair is standing straight up as though I’ve just seen a ghost and my clothes are suddenly covered in leaf dust. Just when I’m about to feel truly perturbed, I hear my inner child giggling with glee. And, I’m reminded that once upon a time, nothing so silly and simple ever really bothered me.

Indeed, as a child I just busy exploring new things and letting the world blow over me like a wonderful wind. I didn’t try to fight with what was happening, I just leaned into it. It was far more fun to see where the next breeze might take me than to insist that I follow the path I already had in my mind. These days, I try very hard to do the same. The difference is that I’m an adult with those silly adult responsibilities requiring me to do certain things at certain times. What I’ve learned is that while it’s all well and good to have a plan at times, it’s perfectly wonderful to proceed without one during other times. Whenever possible, I like to just set out with just a bit of intention and see where it leads me. When it comes to my art and writing, I have only the vaguest notion of what I’ll sketch or write each day. And if while in the middle of doing either, my mind travels someplace else, I just sail right along with it and follow.

The best thing about this approach is that I’m never disappointed and quite often pleasantly surprised. Something even better than what I’d imagined will often appear and that’s the coolest experience of all. And though I can still make mistakes, I’m always moving forward. I’m always failing forward and learning fun new things along the way. A new idea for shading or color that I then use in my next sketch. It’s not a technique, in the traditional sense, just a notion or feeling of what makes something look a bit more interesting. I hope to keep on trying and experimenting like a little kid throughout my art journey, but indeed, I do have those books I’d like to illustrate and write somewhere along the way. Yet, I don’t put pressure on myself to achieve something. I just give myself permission to play more. I know whenever I do that, those other things will magically happen somehow and I’ll continue to be surprised by my own art. Sometimes, even blow away.

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Windy Autumn Fall Leaves Mouse Umbrella Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
30 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Wonderful, Charlie! Mr Mouse looks like he’s off on a fun adventure!

  2. writerleenda 3 weeks ago

    Charlie, just keep being Charlie and doing what you do!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I don’t think I could do anything else! Hehe!

  3. Karen Fortier 3 weeks ago

    Weeeee!!!! Fabulous Charlie! Here’s to all of us listening to our inner child more!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yes!! That inner child has some fun ideas!

  4. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    We have winds like that here in Oregon too, and of course, the static electricity that goes with it. When my hair is long, I begin to feel like Medusa, because as I pass things it will reach out and zap the things I pass by. Very strange feeling, and I get strange looks when I’m out in public.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      That almost sounds like a superpower! Can of cool really! 😉 💕 hehe

  5. Marisela Delgado 3 weeks ago

    Charlie, I literally laughed out loud when I read about your sudden makeover and your hair sticking up like you just saw a ghost 👻👻👻!!! 😂😂😂 I always hated wearing my hair down on a windy day. Nothing worse than having your hair blown into your eyes and getting tangled in your eyelashes (mascara/long eyelashes). You leave the house thinking you look pretty and your makeup looks good, only to have your hair tangle up in your eyelashes and leave them looking like spikes a la Madonna spike bra. Boys don’t like that, Charlie. 😀
    Cute painting. 💜 You know, hand gliding looks fun, but I have a feeling that there would be a Marisela sized splat on the side of some mountain. Never mind.
    Oh, I forgot, Charlie. I saw a travel show that was out exploring the Rio Grande that borders the U.S. and Mexico. Now, it’s dangerous as hell (drug running), but these people thought this expedition was worth risking their lives. They used canoes and were paddling around looking for birds. Border Patrol scared the doo-doo out of them when they walked out from their hiding place. ANYWAY, they were looking for GREEN JAYS. I have never heard of Green Jays so I was curious. Charlie, they look like Blue Jays except they’re green. They are beautiful, Charlie! Only in Texas. haha haha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, that wind is a crazy thing indeed! lol Oh wow! I hadn’t heard of green jays… I had to look them up. They are lovely. I’ll have to make a note to sketch one next time I have a bird prompt!

  6. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    It was a breezy day here too, but pretty warm and sunny. Tomorrow my helper girl is coming so we/she will be picking up the garden debris. When the leaves come down we pile them on the beds for winter protection and they really break down nice for winter fertilizer. I will get some garlic bulbs in the mail which need to be planted in October, but then everything is in bed for spring. I have a carton of fresh eggs from the neighbors, so tomorrow is breakfast for dinner. Eggs and pancakes sounds good on a fall day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Oh my! That sounds delicious!! Nothing better than fresh eggs! Yum! 😃💕 And it must be a bit bittersweet to put your garden to bed. But it will all be back next year!

  7. Gary Middleton 3 weeks ago

    Great doodle Charlie.

  8. heila 3 weeks ago

    Ha ha great

  9. Fatima Chamkha 3 weeks ago

    Great doodle!

  10. LoriCtoo 3 weeks ago

    I would not be surprised if I saw this little guy sail across our yard. Living close to the Columbia Gorge, we have a lot of wind from Fall to Spring. I do see this cute little guy in a story. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… If I saw a little mouse float by on an umbrella, that would be the coolest day ever!

  11. Robert Coleman 3 weeks ago

    Love the flying mouse, he’s off and zooming away! And you have put down the foundations for a super animal story book with your doodles, maybe like a collection of fables like Aesop, with lessons for living the best of your life. Like putting your philosophy on paper with “wee beasties”. We are all waiting for that book….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 hehe! So thrilled you’re enjoying these! Yes, I was thinking something very similar as I don’t have time to write one long story these days. I think I’ll have to assemble these into something soon though! 😉

  12. Nellie Nellie 3 weeks ago

    Charlie! I’m waiting for that blustery day magic to coalesce and a book to spring forth! My new grand niece is only 6 months old, so we’ve got plenty of time.😉 (That being said, I better get busy with my own huh!👍🏻)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Aww so thrilled you enjoy these, Nellie! 😃💕 Yes, I’m hoping to compile a book of some sort, but time is not my friend these days. I’ll sneak it in somehow, I’m sure!

  13. Fascinante, Charlie siempre me sorprendes con tus acuarelas

  14. somdattadeb 2 weeks ago

    Hi Charlie, I like your illustration a o lot. I would like to learn illustration for kids on demand of my daughter. Do you have any previous post or tutorial on that?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Actually, I’ve only switched to this type of illustration recently. I started by simply sketching stuff and making a single item. I’m now putting it all together and just experimenting. I’m sure I’ll have something to share about that in the future, but I’m still learning myself! 😊

  15. Priscilla DeConti 2 weeks ago

    This is fabulous!! Your sketches are wonderful..and I love the idea of just going with art..as that is what it is for me too..to let the art take me away…and let the lines flow where they are..thanks!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Yay for letting art take you away! I think we often try to make art a goal… instead it’s more of a destination… a place we visit and just see what happens when we DO!

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