For our prompt of “Dog” today, I made a sketch of our little pup Elliott who has grown up a bit more since I last painted him. It’s only been a few short months since we brought him home from the shelter, but he seems to grow and change every single day. Though, his ears are still trying to decide which way they’ll point, making him adorably asymmetrical. When he’s not being a burst of ethereal energy, he can often be found curling up in a little ball like this. From the time he was just a little baby, I taught him the idea of “chill time” which started as a bit of a joke. The very idea of teaching a small pup full of boundless energy to take a moment and just relax seemed like an exercise in futility at the time. Yet, Elliott totally understood the concept and, when he’s not energetically trying to attack and chew things, seems to totally embrace the idea now. And, though I’m normally trying to do a million things at once, I’m learning to embrace this idea more and more myself these days.

Philippe and I have been hiding indoors during the day lately as the temperatures here have been horribly high. We’ve been taking Elliott for a walk later in the evenings just before the sun sets. He has a little friend he likes to play with that we meet there and is able to get a bit of running in before the sun disappears entirely and the fireflies take over. Watching Elliott run with such glee makes me forget about any stress I felt during the day. There’s so much happiness on his face. I’m reminded that simply being alive and well is a joyous event in itself. If I had any worries that I didn’t quite accomplish anything that day, they’re immediately erased as I realize that simply enjoying life is perhaps the single most productive thing one can do. It’s harder than he makes it look, but it’s impossible to see that level of joy without immediately feeling it in return.

As we were walking back home in the dark last night, we found ourselves completely surrounded by fireflies. The horribly warm and humid weather that I had been complaining about earlier in the day was precisely the perfect weather for them. They were everywhere we looked. Swarms of them seem to be spinning around us and enveloping us in glittering, golden flashes of light. Philippe, Elliott, and I just stopped in our tracks and stared in awe like children watching a magic show. It was so beautiful. Later that night, when I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I could still see those glowing sparks and felt that calming feeling once more. When I awoke this morning, I was more rested than I’ve been in weeks. Perhaps there was a bit of magic in those lights, after all. Or perhaps, I was just able to truly see what children have seen for generations… a glimmer of hope. And even in the blistering heat of an early summer, I could feel the beauty in that warmth, as it was magically transformed into chill time.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Opus (Vivid Pink), Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with the link and I’ll add it to my shop!
Ausky Mix Shelter Dog Curled Up Lying Down Mutt Watercolor Print Sketchbook Detail

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28 thoughts on “Chill Time

  1. What a wonderful portrait of your pup and your evening. There really is something magical about the “blue hour” on a warm summer night surrounded by those you love and love you back. Thank you for reminding us Charlie!

  2. We don’t have fireflies here but I saw them once on a visit to my relatives in Connecticut one summer. It is truly magical. Disneyland tries with their Blue Bayoo area but it’s just not the same.

    I get the chilling. Never taught that to the puppies but they have learned there is a time to romp and a time to relax. They have both learned to sleep in with me in the morning. No more 6am potty time or I’ll chew one of your blouses. Now they sleep in and when I finally wake they get some snuggle time and then it’s out for brunch. The reverse at night. Snuggles then to sleep.

    I think animals do pick up on the rhythms and moods of their people. Likewise I think we benefit from learning to slow down and try to match our companion’s pace.

    I love to watch Diana pawPrints and Freyja Grey at the dog park, running with abandon and having a great time. I also love to watch them sleeping at night, totally relaxed and secure.

    Along with his beautiful face and unsettled ears I think I like Elliot’s polka dots best.

    My guess is they’re going to stand up. Both Australian Cattle dogs and Siberian Huskies have prick ears. So do Chihuahuas but their ears are a bit larger in proportion to their faces. So very good chance Elliot’s ears are going to stand up, making him the most darling of dogs. Wait a few more months. Ramses’ ears stood up suddenly at 7 months. Complete surprise to me. How big will Elliot get? 35-60 lbs but there is that Chihuahua in the mix as well as some of the mutts. Diana is German Shepherd/Golden Retriever/Staffie but she weighs….105 lbs and she’s not fat. Her dad must have been a huge GSD. If you’ve been weighing Elliot regularly there are some online calculators you can use to estimate weight. For longevity, 12-16 years. I’m sure Elliot will live a very long time because you care for him so well. Good food, exercise and regular vet care will keep him healthy for a very long time.

    He has no idea how lucky he is. Or maybe he knew from the start and that is why he picked you.

    1. Thanks so much! 😃💕 Hehe… yeah Diana’s dad must have been a giant! And, Elliott has the DNA for prick ears so they should likely stand up, but they both haven’t decided yet. He just passed 7 months old. Should be under 60, but he has so many breeds that it’s hard to calculate so we’re just waiting to see what happens! 😉

  3. It does sound like a magical evening. So many people don’t believe in magic. I think we’re surrounded by it. Just because science pulls back the curtain and explains the process (often incorrectly) doesn’t mean it isn’t magical. Just a matter of semantics.

    1. Indeed, there are some things that science will never be able to explain! And those are the heartfelt, magical ‘knowing’!!! Fireflies and puppy dogs…. Aaahhhhh! 😀

  4. Oh my Elliott does look like he has grown. What an awesome painting of him :). I have always and still think Fireflies are magical – I could watch them for hours. We do have them in places in Alberta and I am delighted every time. I hope that your heat lets up a bit soon Charlie, here it is unseasonably cold at the moment. I has been raining alot, but it is nice to have that rain.

      1. Oh I wish Charlie (it was great to see you at Karen and Tina’s book launch today)! We have had steady rain here since June 21st, Actually it is Pouring interspersed with Thunderstorms and rain 🙂 and holding steady at 9C which is about 48F lol. Quite a contrast to last year when we had record highs of 36C (about 97F).

        1. Oh wow… cold rain is not fun at all. I hope it warms up and dries out for you there! 😃💕 And great to see you at the book launch as well. I had to leave before the activities, but glad I got to be there for Karen and Tina! I always love to support other artists and authors!

          1. Aww she’s wonderful! And so talented. She’s also the influence and reason why I showed up on video for the very first time via Sketchbook Revival. It’s amazing how we all inspire each other in this art community!

  5. Mi amigo, Charlie! What a great story and painting. I haven’t seen fireflies in years. We had more back when I was a kid, but now it’s a very rare sighting. I wonder why? My gordo had chilling out down to a science. He was a bundle of energy as a puppy, hence, his name, Monster, but he quickly learned that life moved slower here. I remember when we bought him a huge new bed, I gave him a bath and then we couldn’t get him out of bed for an entire week! He didn’t want to eat or go potty, just sleep. It was enviable how cozy he got for a snooze. I used to love to watch him sleep. He looked like a baby. I would stare at him for hours, listening to his snoring and breathing. I wanted to remember him that way. It was the only time that I could sneak over and touch his feet without the growling. Sometimes at night, it gets too quiet. That’s when I miss him. 💜 I hope the heat lets up some. We’re melting here also. Hugs my friend.

    1. Hugs to you mi amiga! 😃💕 Not sure on the fireflies… but they love humidity, so maybe it’s too dry there now. Aww, I do the same when little pups sleep. It calms any stress I have when I see that level of contentment. And, I’ll admit, never having had a puppy before, I used to stare just make sure he was still breathing. hehe Much love to you! ❤️

  6. Hey Charlie we just got our forecast for the week in our little Canadian hot spot — going ino the 20s C and up to 33C (91.4F) this coming week. Love it! You were meant to walk out in that spot just when those fireflies came along to enthrall you! Paint the scene and frame it and hang it where you can see it from your Me-chair. I love it already.

  7. Hello Charlie,

    Lovely post as usual and Elliott seems to be growing very fast indeed! Our firefly season here is almost over but yaayyyy it’s begun to rain! The monsoon is FINALLY here bringing with it puddles and sparkling trees and lots of raindrops clinging to branches. And speaking of chill time, my family and I are having to chill completely – we have all got covid and though there are no other symptoms, we are all terribly exhausted all the time and quarantined for 2 weeks. Hopefully we’ll be able to stand outside in the rain and feel the rain on our faces soon again. You take lots of care and be safe my dear friend.

    Love (I won’t send you a hug now 🙁 Don’t want you getting sick),

    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Glad you finally got some rain. But oh no, hope you and your family feel better soon!! Sending you good thoughts for a quick recovery. And virtual hugs are always okay! hehe… they’re sometimes the only hugs these days it seems. Much love (and hugs!!) to you! ❤️

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