Charlie’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Little Charlie's BearLittle Charlie's Bear by Charlie O'Shields

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.

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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49 Comments
  1. Fiona Rose 2 years ago

    What a great new doodlewashing series Charlie! Love that little bear and your story 🐻👶🏼

  2. kirkistan 2 years ago

    Pretty cool. I like the notion of a cabinet of curiosities.

  3. Jodi 2 years ago

    Oh no Charlie – I think I am going to love this month of doodlewashing toooo much! I am already smitten! 🙂

    • Author

      Awww yay, Jodi!❤️ I hope you’ll like it! It’s a bit of a departure for me, but I also need to practice new things.😊hehe

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        Meeee toooo!

  4. memadtwo 2 years ago

    What a face! You two must have made quite the pair. (K.)

  5. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Beautifully adorable painting, this is a great beginning …;D

  6. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    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!

    • Author

      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. 😉

  7. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    How cute, teddy bears are such good confidantes. I’ll look forward to your future curiosities.

  8. Kari 2 years ago

    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!

  9. Snehal Kank 2 years ago

    Wow something interesting! Buff is really cute 🙂

  10. Carol King 2 years ago

    Awww, what a sweet bear. Love this doodlewash and can’t wait to see all the things October will bring. Now get that crap out of your mom’s place already! LOL

  11. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    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! 😄🎨💜

    • Author

      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!! 😃😊

  12. thepaperbaker 2 years ago

    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 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks!! 😃Yay! My master plan to get Nicole doodlewashing is working!!! 😎hehe… I love that you’ll be start your own doodlewash expedition! I can’t wait to see where you’ll take us! 👍🏻😃

  13. […] Doodlewash’s amazingly quirky watercolours are so good I couldn’t not include them, despite being a recent Freshly Pressed find. Yesterday marked the start of their new ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ series. […]

  14. Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

    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.

    • Author

      Thanks Cynthia! 😃Yeah, I’ve been noodling on this one for awhile! Hope you like what pops up in the cabinet. As ever, I have no idea what will happen next! 😊Lol

  15. […] Source: Charlie’s Cabinet of Curiosities […]

  16. Jacob 2 years ago

    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!

    • Author

      Haha!! Thanks!! Dinner? That’s totally awesome Jacob! I think that reveals much about little you! You had your priorities straight.

  17. Margaret Hunt 2 years ago

    What a cute idea. Now draw the rest of his clothes please!! 😊

  18. Wonderment! Love it Charlie and looking forward to your treasures this month!

  19. ann christina 2 years ago

    Awwww, too cute!!! Love Buff!!! And the little story about your Mom telling you gently to go get your stuff! 😉 Too funny!!! Great post, Charlie!!! 😊

  20. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    So charming! So nice to meet Buff, adorable.

  21. […] Charlie’s Cabinet of Curiosities has inspired me to take some photos of my Jack, who is almost the spitting image of Charlie’s childhood bear Buff, and to show you Jack’s many faces, as prepared using my cellphone to capture the images and PicSketch, SketchCamera and PicturesLab, the software thereon. […]

  22. […] teddy bear to work (or school) with you. This sounds super fun but unfortunately, I forgot to bring my teddy bear to work with me today and so instead, we have a doodlewash of one waiting patiently for the bus. […]

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