Day 12 – My Favorite Building

World Watercolor Group - Day 12 - My Favorite Building - French Cottage - Doodlewash

When it comes to buildings, I don’t really have a favorite, but Philippe and I were talking recently about retiring in France and that made me think of the cottage I’d like to have there. This is a fast and loose sketch of one that didn’t quite turn out as I’d envisioned it, but it’s been more than a year since I’ve sketched a building so I’m a bit rusty. But the idea of having a lovely little cottage in the south of France is a nice dream, at least. Actually making something like that happen is far more complicated than they make it appear in movies. According to cinema, you can simply be on a group tour and suddenly decide on a whim to leave your life and buy a little place abroad. Things are just a bit bumpy at first, but everything works out perfectly in the end. Real life, of course, doesn’t go quite this smoothly, but nobody would pay to go see that kind of story. Yet, the artist in me dreams of having a quiet secluded place to paint and write and long days to actually do so. My current reality consists of sneaking in time to make a quick painting and then typing faster than one ever should in order to make a little story about it.

No matter how lazy a day seems, or how little I think I have to get done, I still feel like I’m always short on time. Perhaps, even in my fantasy French cottage, I’d feel the same. I just have so many ideas running through my head and so many things I’d like to do next. It’s physically impossible to do them all and I find myself losing quite a bit of time just pondering them. If I could choose one and focus on that, it would be a much better path, to be sure. But which idea do I choose? How do I know that I’ve made the right choice and not spent my precious time on something that wasn’t the right one. These are the thoughts that I’ve been having lately and today, I realized the answer is quite simple. It’s always been there in that little manifesto I wrote when I first started this site. When pondering whether to DO or not to DO… the answer is always the same. Just DO already! Even if the idea you choose isn’t the best path, simply starting down any path at all will always lead to something new and wonderful!

And maybe that’s all those romantic movies were trying to tell me after all. The main character always achieved a dreamy life, but they did so by actually doing something. By taking risks and trying something that seemed completely insane to others. Sometimes, the risks can be little ones, ones so small and insignificant that you don’t even realize you’re avoiding them. I find that a lot in painting. I will lean toward a particular subject matter or way of painting, because it’s comfortable and I can better predict the outcome. Most of the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. This made me think about how many other places in my life I might be doing the same thing. All these dreams don’t have to be figments of my imagination. I have the power to turn them into reality. That’s a pretty wonderful feeling. And even more so, since now I know that one day, I’ll be headed to France and finally moving into my favorite building.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, and Burnt Umber.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
 World Watercolor Group - Day 12 - My Favorite Building - French Cottage - Doodlewash
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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36 Comments
  1. Lydia Fiedler 2 months ago

    awww – this made me a little teary! Yes, just do. And I can’t wait to see pictures 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww I will, Lydia! 😃💕 Though it will be several years from now, it’s definitely going to happen!

  2. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    Your French cottage is just beautiful, and I’m sure will provide you the ambiance and comfort you need to pursue your dreams, Focusing on activity is always a good choice – so much more gets done this way.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I’m sooo ready to move in! hehe… but yes… must focus and take things one step at a time!

  3. lisacihlar 2 months ago

    I love your little cottage!

  4. Lisa McClure 2 months ago

    Life is filled with possibilities, but my deep regret is that I can’t try them all out. I love your French dream cottage. I imagine you’ll have a lovely garden with loads of brightly colored flowers to paint and enjoy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 I totally agree!! It’s impossible to try everything I want in life. But this is one dream that simply has to happen.

  5. rothpoetry 2 months ago

    Very interesting!

  6. Louise, Elsie 2 months ago

    Love your little cottage! Much more more quaint and managable than Diane Lane’s and Sandra Oh’s!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… that’s exactly the movie that was in my mind! Lol Love it! But definitely would take something more quaint! hehe

  7. karen 2 months ago

    you are manifesting your future — this is real! You will be there with Philippe …and one by one..all your doodle wash family will be strolling down your lane to visit <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yay! It will be real! And family will always be welcome!! 😉

  8. SnehLata Maheshwari 2 months ago

    Its beautiful n wish u r dreams come true.

  9. Darlene Adkins 2 months ago

    Words to take to heart for sure. 🙂 Thank you for the reminder

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      My pleasure, Darlene! 😃💕 I truly believe we can make any dream happen if we focus on pursuing it!

  10. June Hadaway 2 months ago

    What a nice looking French cottage Charlie. I especially like the side stairs. Time goes by so fast you and Philippe will be there before you know it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 hehe… those side stairs were a challenge in my quick and loose style for this one! Glad you liked it!

  11. Sandra Gilbert 2 months ago

    What a lovely cottage and a lovely dream for your retirement. You will get there, one step at a time. I believe in you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra!! 😃💕 hehe… I guess I should hope retirement comes so soon as it also means I’ll be getting much older, but I can’t wait!!

  12. Thomas Blanchard 2 months ago

    Nice post! A great reminder in life that brings on the warm fuzzies. 👬

  13. louiseaprimeau 2 months ago

    Very dreamy cottage! My version would have loads of flowers and a little potager nearby. Of course, the cottage would be walking distance to a boulangerie where one could buy the most heavenly croissants with coffee in the morning. And since I am dreaming, please add the sound of the waves not too far away, and a field of lavender too! Ah, il faut rêver de temps en temps Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Louise! 😃💕 Yeah, I should have added flowers… hehe… but was moving too fast and didn’t have time to paint them! 😊 And waves and lavender… most definitely!!

  14. Jakki G 2 months ago

    Wise words indeed! And a lovely little cottage to aim for – so many places in the South of France to place it – which ever place you choose will be the right one, and perfect in and of itself. No second guessing:)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Jakki! 😃💕 hehe… that’s a great thought! Your’e right… just follow your heart and it will be the right home!

  15. Jennifer McLean 2 months ago

    you and I, my friend, are having disturbingly similar thoughts on this Sunday in August. They’ve been chasing me down the hallways of my life for a couple weeks now. I’ve decided this weekend to just DO, like you suggested. What’s to be lost if I just say YES to everything I’ve always wanted to say yes to but was afraid to? I don’t think the loss, if there is any, could be as big as NOT doing anything at all. Great article. Hammer struck nail, success!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yay! So happy you agree, Jennifer! 😃💕 Yeah, I always think that regrets are worse than failures. I’m much rather try to DO everything I want to try. It’s always the right thing!

  16. Yvonne Reeder 2 months ago

    It will happen Charlie … you must simply begin now to put it into place. I hope to see your real cottage some day! ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Von! 😃💕 Yes to that! It will happen one day! And I’ll definitely be painting pictures of the real thing when it does!

  17. It’s nice to see your dream…not bad at all 🙂
    robert

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Robert! 😃💕 Now to just make it a reality! hehe

  18. Elizabeth Metz 1 week ago

    There’s this internet meme that went around a while ago that I saved.

    “People who start projects and don’t finish them are infinitely cooler than people who never begin.”

    DO. Adjust your path if it’s not working. Then DO more.

    I can totally see you in a little French cottage, btw. 🙂

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