Creative Tools

Cat Thinking Artist Easel Paint Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Tools” today, I immediately thought of art supplies, of course. Truly, they’re the only tools I know how to use outside of a hammer. And, I’m not allowed to use that very often for fear of causing bodily harm to myself and others. My grandfather once tried to teach me to use farm tools, but quickly gave up after realizing I just wasn’t inclined to such things. But, the moment I held a pencil and started doodling, I was in love. I’d found the tool I loved most. Later, I would use that same tool for writing and discovered I had a love of that as well. Quite a versatile tool indeed. And today, of course, I use pens and paint brushes as well. I actually don’t own an easel, but since I used a cat as my stand-in today, I figured I should add one. For some reason, I just think a cat would demand one. Though, I’m quite content just making little doodles like this one in my sketchbook each day.

I can’t quite tell if this little cat is admiring a finished painting or trying to decide what the heck to paint in the first place. Indeed, the latter is always the hardest part. Even with our lovely prompts, some days, I just have no clue what to make. Despite all of the tools we use in art, the most important ones will always be our own imagination and creativity. In that magical place, we can find big ideas or just clever tiny ones. It might just be a little dab of color, used in a slightly different way, or something completely unexpected and totally different. Again, that latter one is probably the rarest thing of all. It’s a very exceptional day when all of the stars align to create something truly noteworthy. But, that’s never been my goal. In my mind, it’s simply enough to show up each day and create something. I get such a rush from making something each and every day. For me, at least, it fixes everything that sort of didn’t happen as I expected. Any little setback in the rest of my life is immediately made better when I’ve made a little sketch.

Sometimes, the idea of art therapy is described in terms of helping someone through something singularly challenging or even horribly tragic. But, for me, art has always been therapy. It helps me get through the little kinks of the day, so they don’t add up to become something that makes me sad. And, since you know I’m ruled by my inner child you probably won’t be surprised about what I’m going to say next. Focusing on something fun to DO, is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Truly, I’ve never once been disappointed in life when I stop to actually enjoy it. This, like most wonderful things, is easier said than done. There’s so much that needs to get done and so little time to make it all happen. But, we can make anything we imagine happen when we take that moment to once again pick up and use our creative tools.

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Cat Thinking Artist Easel Paint Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
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32 Comments
  1. Walt. F Pierluissi 1 month ago

    I love it…. It’s so cute…. Wao, great composition and joyful….

  2. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto, el gato muy pensativo jajjaa

  3. Anna 1 month ago

    Just amazing, the creativity is just amazing! So much flow of imagination!! I wish i can download Charlie’s mind into mine!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Anna! 😃💕 hehe… my mind would be a strange download indeed! lol

  4. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    This is so happy Charlie! Art is the best therapy!

  5. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    Sometimes, we start doing something for fun and suddenly realize we’ve created so many rules and deadlines for it that it has become a struggle instead. Finding that place in-between is so important, where we make the time to DO, but keep it flexible enough and simple enough where DOing isn’t a constant hassle. Having worked so many years for an organization where I had to document every move I made, meet irrational deadlines and submit plans without knowing what the obstacles might be, I find myself falling into that mode. Now in retirement, there are times it comes in handy, because I’ll have already figured out what I need to do to have time to DO. But I also have to pull back and remind myself “This is Fun! If I’m not having fun, I’m not doing it right!”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      So true, Sandra! 😃💕 When it stops being fun, then something is wrong indeed!

  6. Susan Feniak 1 month ago

    What a thoughtful kitty. Adorable.

  7. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    Cute kitty 🐱🐱🐱. I agree. I think the cat would demand an easel. haha I THINK he is trying to decide which of the pictures that he took with his cell phone to paint. Should he paint the embarrassing photo of the dog sleep/running or the squirrel hiding his nuts for winter (blackmail him or the cat gives out location info to other squirrels) or the nudie photo he took of his owner coming out of the shower, who didn’t take his blackmail demands seriously. haha haha Kitty revenge! By the way, your autumn leaf is gorgeous!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 haha!! I love the idea of blackmailing kitty artist! Too funny!!

  8. Lisa 1 month ago

    Good essay. And truth. I’ve been artsy since I was little. It was encouraged by my mom who was artsy too. She didn’t do much until she was older, but then she too up painting. My dad did bird carving and yard art. It was a wonderful thing to do art as a teenager because it was a good way to stand out from the crowd. My school had an annual art show and pancake supper every year and we always went because I had something in the show. I’m pretty sure in hindsight that my dad hated pancakes for supper. But he went every year.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Aww I adore your dad went to support you even if he didn’t want evening pancakes!

  9. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Great doodle Charlie. It’s about a year since I started doing art as a hobby. It’s thanks to all the encouragement and comments here that have kept me going. Having the daily prompt is great.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled to hear that! I agree… the prompts and community are definitely what keeps me going daily!

  10. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Wonderful post, Charlie! 15 minutes with my sketchbook and watercolors can totally brighten any day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yay for that! It’s definitely my favorite time of day!

  11. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Oh squeal!!!! This is so stinking cute. I have a thing for pictures of characters painting. I’ve picked up a few old valentines with child artists on them.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I kind of love characters painting… I think I might try more of them!

  12. Janice 1 month ago

    Love your cat , i think he’s pleased and your whole Philosophy.

  13. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Is the cat called Picasso – the famous feline artist? Or is he a serious art critic who after examining scores of paintings made by grown-ups has suddenly come upon a child’s artwork and is bowled over by the bold happy imagination? Thanks very much for your kind words yesterday. Yes, imagining stories about everything is definitely the best way to live. What would make it even better was if the stories unravelled themselves till the end. Its frustrating to be able to begin a story and get stuck midway. 🙁

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I love thinking this cat stumbled upon a child’s painting. And so true… I good at story starters, but it’s tough to get through the whole thing!

  14. Jacob 1 month ago

    Adorable! Haha, people are the same with me and ‘proper’ tools funnily enough. I can’t say I blame them; I panic when I have to use a screwdriver, never mind anything else. I’m just waiting for things to go Mr. Bean levels of wrong!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕 haha… me toooooo! I’m totally Mr. Bean when it comes to other tools. Best if we just stick to the art ones. lol 😉

  15. Priscilla DeConti 1 month ago

    Love love love this!! and again the expression on the cat is priceless…And art supplies my favorite tools as well..thanks for supplying us with a wonderful way to express the creativity in all of us..when we take the time to DO it!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Yay for art supplies and always taking the time to DO things with them!

  16. Fifi Mifi 1 month ago

    cute kitty, like this illustration so much ^^

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