Busy As A Bee

Two Bees And Daisy Flower Watercolor Illustration Painting

For our prompt of “Daisy” today, I doodled a daisy flower being visited by a couple of bees. Outside my front door there’s a cluster of flowers and I’m always fascinated watching all of the bees hovering around each individual flower and darting off to the next. I was standing there waiting for my dog Phineas to finish claiming a small tree as his own, when I could feel him tugging on the leash. Apparently, I was so enraptured by the bees, I’d been standing in one place too long and it was time to move on. While I tend to think I often lack focus, there are times when I focus so much on something that everything else starts to disappear. This was unacceptable to Phineas, of course, as he always wants to be the center of attention. But, that moment I spent lost in the sight of bees working away made me feel a kindred connection. I can often be found darting from one thing to the next, but it’s always part of a grander goal. To make something wonderful happen.

Today, I spoke to an illustration class at the Kansas City Art Institute. I was asked to tell the story of my career, which has been quite a wild ride, filled with ever-changing roads and opportunities. I figured I would just go in order of the events, such as they were, and tell the story chronologically. While creating the presentation, I realized that what had seemed perfectly incongruous and sometimes strange in the decisions I made along the way, all made a sort of sense somehow in the end. I learned that I’ve said “yes” most of the time and while actively seeking specific opportunities, I’ve always kept an open mind. This meant that I never quite did what I set out to do, but I always managed to find something that moved my story forward in an interesting way. I just turned to that next blank page and started again. My life has always been about “Sketching Stuff,” facing down those next blank pages and filling them with bits of creative imagining.

It was fun to share my story and I hope everyone enjoyed it. It’s admittedly strange to flash your whole life in front of someone else’s eyes. But mixed in all of those various jobs and choices, were my favorite parts of my story that had nothing to do with work. About that incredible moment when I met a beautiful man from France and how we managed to come together. How this same man arrived as a PhD scientist working in a lab only to become a marketing designer, photographer, and videographer instead. I’m so proud of both of us. And it’s a comfort to know we’re never completely defined by the choices we make, we’re simply whoever we are in this moment. In that next moment, we can still become whatever we can dream up. When we follow our passions, we make the world a sweeter place to live. So, I’ll keep right on darting from one flower to the next, building to something grand in the distance, forever hopeful, and always busy as a bee.

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Two Bees And Daisy Flower Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 1 year ago

    They say life imitates art, and I think what you’ve described is why. You start with a vision in mind, but as you’re making your marks, you let them guide what comes next. I wish I could have been in the class to hear you speak!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 It was a live ramble! hehe And yes… letting the marks guide you to the next is always the best way to live!

  2. I knew you’d Wow them! Art undergrads like to know how all the academics will lead them to a career. Their parents wanna know, too. By telling your amazing story and your outlook on life, you’ve inspired them to open their eyes to possibilities in the art world. Kudos!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Kathy! 😃💕 It was really fun! And I hope inspiring. I really wanted to share that even a very non-linear career path can still be filled with amazing things along the way!

  3. Lisa 1 year ago

    Yea! Pollinators!

  4. Linda Murray 1 year ago

    Wonderful Charlie! Sometimes, many of us can stand in one place, too long. It’s knowing when to move on. We have so many choices, we just have to grab them. So glad you have found your passion, and yet, ready for many more! 👍🤗

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve always tried to never overstay my welcome with work. I try to stop and move on to something new just before I get burnt out… that way life is always fun!

  5. Gary Middleton 1 year ago

    Beautiful doodle, Charlie. I love to watch all the insects in the garden.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s very calming and reflective to watch insects.

  6. Zoie McIntyre 1 year ago

    Oh Charlie – I love your work and I adore your mind! Keep enjoying your journey 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Aww thanks so much, Zoie! 😃💕 I hope you thoroughly enjoy your journey as well!

  7. Mary Roff 1 year ago

    Love this, Charlie! I’m with Sandra, wishing I could have been in that classroom to hear you speak. I’m sure you and your presentation were an inspiration to those students.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah… it’s funny to present as I really have no idea what it looked or sounded like in the end. But there seemed to be some interest there so that’s awesome! hehe

  8. Laura Kate 1 year ago

    Busy as Two Bees!

  9. writerleenda 1 year ago

    Right on Charlie!!

    • Marisela Delgado 1 year ago

      Hola, Linda! Fall has finally arrived in Texas. We were 100*F all last week. While the low humidity and cooler temperatures (89*F today) are nice, it won’t last. I hope you are well. I just had a birthday last week (9/15). Girl, yes, 52. JLo and I are the same age. I’m just the chubby JLo. 😂😂😂 Be safe and enjoy your Fall weather. We’ll be sweating again soon. 😀

      • writerleenda 1 year ago

        Happy Birthday Marisela! “Our lives should end up on a mountain top,” you said, “not in the valley.” But we have to descend the mountain and go into the valley to live our life helping others! You are wayyyyy to young to retire!

        We are still in shorts here although there have been a couple of jeans and heater days already. The good part is Macintosh apples, and cranberries to freeze for cereal, and good books to read. Yummy! Take care Marisela.

        • Marisela Delgado 1 year ago

          Hi, Linda! Thanks for the birthday wishes. No, I have no plans on retiring. I have been through too much (deep, dark, scary, painful, sad valley) to give up now. I’ve come too far to turn back now. I was talking about people that I know that had given up in their late 30’s. We are to help people that we encounter in the valley and on our way out of the valley although, with all that I have been through, it was hard to be the one in need of help. BUT such is life. 😀 We have been humid and sticky. We get cool and then we get tanning weather again. Enjoy your Fall, Linda. Yum apples! 😀 Have a wonderful week.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕

  10. Marisela Delgado 1 year ago

    Well said, Charlie! We are an ever evolving bunch. Well, we’re supposed to be. 😂😂😂 Every decision and every choice is a different road with different possibilities and different outcomes. I am always amazed how people meet or become friends or know each other. All of those “little” circumstances change us and make us who we are supposed to be for that very moment in time. I am always saddened at how some people reach a certain age and just give up and wait for death. Usually at a very young age like their late 30’s. Or at least the people I have known. Only up until the moment before we take our last breath should we stop living. Our lives should end on a mountain top, not in the valley. We must keep climbing.
    I don’t know where the hell my life is headed, but I am ready to see what’s next and who comes along for the ride. 🐝🐝🐝 Cute bees, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Not knowing what’s next is ALL of the fun! hehe And so true. I always imagine a beautiful storybook trail spiraling to that mountaintop. The path doesn’t always go straight up, but there’s so much to enjoy and experience along the way. Keep on climbing that mountain!

  11. Dr.Amrita Basu 1 year ago

    Usually the dots can be connected looking back.The now is for collecting the dots. Steve Jobs said something like this and I am an ENT surgeon who never planned to sketch or paint.But it’s fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      So true! 🙂 That’s so wonderful that you’re sketching and painting! It is so fun!

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