Little Charlie's Bear Watercolor by Charlie O'Shields

Charlie’s Cabinet of Curiosities

So as October begins, so does another doodlewash tour, and this time, we’re going up close and personal. After two months of painting complete scenes and urban landscapes, I’ll instead be building a little virtual Cabinet of Curiosities this month by collecting drawings of things that inspire me. I used this same concept for my photography blog years ago, so I thought it might be fun in doodlewash.

For those of you who don’t know what this particular type of cabinet is, I’ll let author Patrick Mauriès tell you: “Cabinets of Curiosities, or rooms of wonders, were the astonishing creation of collectors who wished to gather together everything, all knowledge – animal, vegetable, or man-made – into a single unimaginable space. An entire universe in miniature.” Cool, huh? The unimaginable space, in my case, will simply be my new miniature Moleskine.

I’m starting this journey with a little doodlewash of little bear that used to belong to little Charlie. He’s practically the only clear memory I have from childhood, but probably because he’s been on a shelf in mother’s house for as long as I can remember. Last Christmas, I noticed him again, and since my mom was present at the time, she said, “Awww, I think he wants to come home with you.” (which is universal mom code for, “isn’t it time you got your crap out of my house?”)

I named him Buff, not because it had any personal significance, but because that’s what the branded tag had said. We were inseparable. And best of all, my mother was a talented craftsman and created matching pajamas for the two of us. He also had a few seasonal sweaters to add to his reputation of being the coolest bear on the planet.

It seemed fitting to start this journey with the first object I remember so fondly. Though it’s really not proper to call dear Buff an object. At the time, he was simply my best friend. Today, he’s a gentle reminder of how simple life used to be and how the simplest of objects can become so important in our lives. They’re a path to some our best and worst memories as we collect them each day in our own Cabinet of Curiosities.

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49 thoughts on “Charlie’s Cabinet of Curiosities

  1. I’m cracking up at “isn’t it time you got your crap out of my house?” Hahaha! My dad keeps trying to pass *his* crap onto us! I have pretty much nothing at my parents’ house anymore. Buff is adorable!

    1. Haha…one man’s crap is another man’s …well still crap actually. Don’t take it!! I spoke with my mother this week and she said, “I still have your large R2D2…the new Star Wars is coming out and I thought you might want it!” Yeah…that wasn’t even subtle this time. 😉

  2. What a beautiful memory and a wonderful doodlewash! My youngest has a bunny (named Bunny) that she still sleeps with. I know how meaningful they can be (as I’m remembering the night the whole family was looking for Bunny at 1 am because my daughter woke up and couldn’t find her). I look forward to what other item ends up in your cabinet of curiosities!

  3. Beary sweet Charlie! ❤️ How big is your tiny journal? I had a stuffed mouse that I named, “Dixie” as my childhood buddy. I loved its nose off. LOL! I drew it and posted it awhile back. Not easy to do. Buff looks super great! Love how you added all the details! 😄🎨💜

    1. Thanks Jill! ❤️😃 I bought a fresh 3.5×5″ Moleskine…I love it because I can actually pocket it, so never worry about taking it with me places. I got the next larger one, but haven’t opened it yet. 😊 I think I’ll wait until December’s doodlewash stories to break it in (I love Christmas!!) And awwww…Dixie was sweet! Well loved buddies are the best!! 😃😊

  4. Awww… So interesting… As I’ve been contemplating my upcoming Doodlewash expedition I’ve traveled my memories thinking of what to paint first….Between your captivating buildings… to your extraordinary guests to your fabulous new series, you have sparked a gazillion ideas 🙂 Great little bear 🙂

  5. Great project – it’s a term you used in a comment on my blog a while back so I know this has been on your mind for a while just from the title of your post. Nice transition from outdoor streets and buildings of KC to your personal world. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see more.

  6. This has made me smile. It’s just too adorable – all of it, right down to the matching pyjamas! I wish my PJ’s matched something. My teddy bear was called Dinner… I don’t know what that says about little me. I’m not sure if Dinner is still with us, actually.

    Cracking start, Charlie – looking forward to more!

  7. Ahh! I love your Buff! Mine is Old Teddy – he was Old Teddy even when I was too young to go to school, given to my parents to keep for me before I was even born. He’s lost and eye, and all of his fur, and his stuffing sticks out here and there. But he’s still a good friend, who sits on my dresser and keeps watch over me while I sleep!

  8. Aww, I’m so glad I got to meet Buff and to read your memories in this post. Especially liked the matching pajamas bit! I love Cabinets of Curiosities – real and virtual. Great topic, cute little bear.

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