For our prompt of “Carousel” today, my mind leapt back to being a kid and riding on one. Of course, this wasn’t really all that simple. Because, the first thing I had to do was choose which horse, or other more exotic animal depending on the type, that I wanted to ride. I remember standing there and watching the animals spin in circles imagining just what it might be like to ride each one. Some seemed a bit higher and some lower, and the faces were all a bit different. Yet, after analyzing each one thoroughly to the point of exhaustion, I’d still always end up choosing the one with the colors that I fancied most. For some reason, color was the most important part in the end. I had to consider if that’s still the case with things today. And, yes, I think it still is. From my clothes to even my electronics, color really matters to me. I’m currently wearing the most basic blue sweater that’s nothing special from a fashion standpoint. But the shade of blue is one of my favorites, so it makes me rather happy. Perhaps Little Charlie knew something important all of those years ago. When met with a lot of choices, the best answers always come from the heart.

Sketching this carousel was fun because it was a lot to cram into one little sketchbook. So, I also had to let Little Charlie do the coloring as well, because my adult brain exploded wondering how to get all of the details in there. As it turns out, color comes in to the save the day again and dabs of various colors can make a rather convincing facsimile of a carousel, when viewed from a safe distance of course. Zoom in closer, and indeed, it’s just a riotous mess of color dotted into places. This is when I’m at my happiest. When I’m approaching my sketches with all the reckless joy of kid at a carnival. I’ve no clue if things will turn out okay, but I always have faith in the process and rather like how Little Charlie paints. That’s why I always tell people to check in with their inner child as often as possible. It doesn’t have to inform your style as it does mine, but when things get stressful, that silly adult brain is always to blame. In those moments, I always hand the crayons over to the kid inside and start to play.

It’s been years now since I rode on a carousel, but I think I’d love to try it again someday. For adults, it’s just a lot of slow spinning in circles, but when viewed through the eyes of a child, it’s pure magic. When we let our imaginations come out to play, everything becomes a thrill ride. And, for me, that pretty much sums up my art journey. It’s definitely been a thrill ride every step of the way. I’m actually quite busy with my day job lately and these posts are appearing a bit later than usual. My friends are asking me if I’m still making something each and every day and I tell them, “yes, I am!” Then they make that astounded face and ask me how I manage to keep doing it. I don’t have a perfect answer to this. I stop and consider it and lots of things come to mind, but there’s never one that justifies something they would associate with commitment. If I were to answer with what I truly feel, they would think I was perfectly insane. I would simply say, “if you had a chance to ride a colorful carousel each day, wouldn’t you take it? It’s so much fun! It’s only a matter of choosing the right horse.”

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Indigo and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Carousel And Small Child Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

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27 thoughts on “Choosing The Right Horse

  1. Your ramble today reminded me of a story I heard recently about a rodeo clown who takes a retired rodeo bull to visit at Senior Centers and retirement homes. He offers rides and a surprising number of the seniors take him up on it. I think it’s a bit of what you were talking about today. They just go at a slow walk down the hall, but it’s that feeling that they’re doing something daring that makes them feel like they are returning to their younger days.

  2. There is a place here in Wisconsin called The House on the Rock which is filled with oddities. It has a full size carousel in one area. If you stand in the right place and stare at it, you suddenly get the optical illusion that you and the room are spinning and the carousel looks like it is standing still.

  3. Fantastic Charlie. In the UK we call these gallopers. I have memories of riding on the horse with my mum, at the fair that came to our city on 20th October every year. At the open air museum I’ve mentioned on here a couple of times, they have a vintage and steam weekend in the summer. Every year I ride the gallopers.

  4. This prompt was intimidating for me (I still haven’t finished it). I need to borrow some crayons and let little me work it out. I was always (am still) shorter than average. I would choose the lowest horse or the carriage, all the time wishing I was on the boldly bucking pony. The noise, lights, and size of the carousel was overwhelming. I preferred looking at the patterns on carousel animals while stationary. Once the ride started moving, I was anxious for the carousel to stop and be silent once again.

  5. I love it! I love it because, like you said, it’s just a bunch of dots of paints. You just taught a lot of us, the magic of paint. It is amazing how paint can change a sketch. I rode on two carousels in November. King Arthur’s carousel in DL and Jessie’s Roundup in DCA. Two completely different experiences that I enjoyed. If you ever get to DL, you need to ride Jingles. That is Mrs. Disney’s horse. When the attraction stops, it lines up in the same spot every time. Go to the left, a quarter way around. It is the one with the faux bells. You will feel the magic the minute you hope on. 😉 Google it!

  6. Charlie,
    I love the carousel and the memories it brings back, but I gotta tell you, you made a statement in the article that makes me know you are a nicer person than I am.

    My pet peeve in all the world is for someone, anyone, to ask me if I’m still writing. I immediately feel my hair rising and my face tinging red. I used to swallow my pain, but now I smile and say to them, “Why would you ask of something you don’t care about?”
    They give me a puzzled look and begin to babble nervously… something like, “O, but I do care. You are my favorite poet, I love your work, etc, etc,” to which I reply, “you clearly
    don’t care or you would not have to ask if I’m still writing.”

    Wow, I feel better already. Sorry ’bout that, Charlie, but rest assured I look forward to reading and viewing your work every single day. On the busiest days, I wait to reply but I
    always read and always know that you’re still DOing your thing every single day, and I’m thankful for it.

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoy my posts! And as for people asking if we’re still DOing it… yeah… it used to bother me as well. It was a sure sign they didn’t follow me or care to check out what I was making. But then it realized, it was something else… a fascination with anyone who manages to keep at something through sheer passion. It’s a rare gift as it turns out, so we should be very proud indeed! 😉

    1. Thanks so much! 😃💕hehe… yeah, I put this one on specifically because it “seems” complex. But it’s also fun to try complex things and realize… it’s not as difficult as we think to “fake” it! 😉

  7. It is very hot here today and I am catching up on blogs, I enjoy yours so much and again the inner child and letting them take over the colouring in is an area I need to really work on. I am working at the adult me taking over the reality of my life, and this is exactly the sort of thing I am aiming for giving my inner child the childhood she deserves and missed out on is many ways. I love art so therapeutic.

  8. Wonderful work and your rambling really touched me today! I experienced quite A eye opening when I started to look at reference photos for carousels it led me to save so many photos for future work and starting my creative mind working overtime.. your prompts and the inspiration found in this site really are just too marvellous for words… they help me to get to that playful child place thank for that! BTW you see I figured out how to comment on the fantastic works in the newsfeed!

    1. Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Yay! Your comment touched my heart. It’s exactly what I hoped I could make happen with Doodlewash. I just wanted to create a fun space to imagine, create and play! So we could inspire each other. Everyone has something to teach us, even when we’re on the playground. 😉

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