Day 7 – My Favorite Shirt

World Watercolor Group - Day 7 - My Favorite Shirt - Jules - France - Doodlewash

Sometimes, when you think about your favorite things, you don’t so much choose them as they choose you. Such is the case with my favorite shirt, shown here in a loose little 3-color doodlewash. This is the one of the first shirts I purchased while visiting France, after discovering a little shop called Jules that has amazing prices, which to me, is something that’s always in fashion. The store is rather like the impossible scenario of H&M and Gap having a French love child. They sell wonderfully affordable shirts that actually fit, without being ridiculously baggy, or shaped like a triangle for people who work out every day. This particular choice is pretty basic, and regrettably plaid, which is insanely tough to paint quickly, but it still hangs in my closet like a little trophy of that moment of discovery. These days, I now pack very little clothes before our annual trip to visit family in France, and instead, purchase clothes when I arrive for the year. This reminds me that I need to remember to also purchase that larger suitcase I’ve been eyeing.

But beyond the incredible deal, the real reason I love this shirt is because Philippe and I had only really just met. We were still trying to figure out the complexities of being a binational couple and wondering if the notion of actually living together was even possible at all. All those romantic movies I loved made scenarios like ours seem so inevitable. But the journey hasn’t been as easy as the movies made it seem. I’m assuming they cut those bits out in order to get the story down to reasonable length. In real life, there were moments of doubt, and confusion, and coming home, completely alone from France, with just this shirt. A simple thing, to be sure, but one that holds all the memories of an amazing trip and a beautiful hope that everything must surely have a happy ending. I remember staring at this shirt, hanging in the closet, letting it take me back to my happiest moments and impossible dreams. I can’t say it was the only thing that got me through those difficult times, but it certainly helped remind me to never give up hope.

So many things in life feel like they’re out of our control, and yet we have so much control after all. We have hope. And that is a powerful thing indeed. It can make the impossible actually possible. It can turn doubt into a glorious victory. Yeah, I know, I’ve already admitted here that I’m a hopeless optimist. But, I’ve always found that if you chase your dreams with all the passion they deserve, those dreams will actually come true. Possibly not in the exact way you envisioned them, but reasonably close enough to prove that passion and persistence are reliable friends. No matter what you hope for, never let doubt stop you. If you truly want something badly enough, then simply live life as though it’s already happened. Reality often takes its own sweet time, but it will eventually catch up with you. And when you look back, you’ll discover the oddest things that helped you succeed. I’m now living the dream I once had, back during those many lonely trips home from France, and though I would imagine something grand to be my favorite memory. I’m quite happy to have the simple joy and comfort, of my favorite shirt.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Deep, Quinacridone Red, and Payne’s Grey.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
World Watercolor Group - Day 7 - My Favorite Shirt - Jules - France - 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!
Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
28 Comments
  1. Jodi 3 months ago

    a hopeless optimist and hopeless romantic. sigh. Now you know why I love you! 🙂 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Awww… I love you back, Jodi!! 😃💕 Thanks so much for your kind words and incredible support through my blogging journey. I really can’t think you enough!

  2. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    Another great painting Charlie. You really did a good job on the plaid. That had to be hard to do for sure. I am really happy for you and glad your dreams came true. Even the smallest of treasures can bring great memories.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Yeah, plaid was crazy difficult!! Yikes! But I truly believe that all things are possible, if you let yourself believe it!

  3. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    What a wonderful story, Charlie. You really opened your heart about opening your heart with the person you were meant to be with. Best wishes for your future – seems to be shining for both of you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this story… it’s the one I’m still living. And yes, I think the future is going to be incredibly wonderful! But as an devout optimist… I won’t settle for anything less! 😉

  4. Lisa Cihlar 3 months ago

    It makes my husband’s and my long distance relationship between Chicago and northern Wisconsin seem like a walk in the park! And I didn’t get any inexpensive clothes in the deal! 😂😂😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Hehe… what?? Not even cheap clothes! lol Long distance relationships are sooooo tough, but it’s so worth it in the end!! 😉💕

  5. Laura (PA Pict) 3 months ago

    I’m so glad that the shirt, you, and Philippe are all together now. I always enjoy reading about why you chose to paint a particular subject but this one really spoke to me. Lovely stuff.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, sometimes I’m never sure what will pop up for these posts. This is a memory I truly treasure.

  6. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    I love the romance of your history with Philippe. To be in love in France in no small thing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah it had all those movie moments, but so many challenges one never thinks about. I’m thrilled we managed to overcome them!

  7. Jennifer McLean 3 months ago

    yep totally agree with Jodi, you’re pretty darn lovable Charlie. Great story to go with the fabulous shirt painting. I’m thinking those stripes weren’t easy.;o)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww… thanks, Jennifer! 😃💕 You’re so sweet… and yes, those stripes were a bitch! lol There’s really not an elegant way to describe it. hehe

  8. Sneh lata maheshwari. 3 months ago

    Hi lie when ever u open ur treasure of heart u always make me cry now i asked u can u stop some one to love ? No my ans is. Actually this is the true love n biggest gift by allmighty.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww… you’re so sweet, Snehlata! 😃💕 What a beautiful way to describe it! Yes, I do think that true love is unstoppable.

  9. Sneh lata maheshwari. 3 months ago

    So that the shirt is fantastic i liked it very much. thanks.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe!! Thanks!! Glad you liked the doodlewash as well my friend! 😃💕

  10. Thomas Blanchard 3 months ago

    Great painting and story. You are blessed in many ways!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 We all are blessed when we really stop to consider what we have!

  11. Richard Eric Disney 3 months ago

    I LOVE this Sir Charles!!! I am HUGELY attached to MANY garments of yesteryear…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Eric!! Hope all is going well with you my friend!! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s crazy how garments can hide so many memories. It’s hard to let go of them!

  12. Ellie 3 months ago

    An especially lovely story today! It would be nice sometimes if we could cut out all the difficult, boring, or doubtful moments like they do in the movies, but at least sometimes we get a great shirt out of the deal. And I am extra happy to see that sepia ink in this one!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 Yeah, I think real life is always more interesting than movies in the end. So many more things happening! And yeah, I’m really gravitating toward the sepia lately. Glad ya like it!

  13. Sandra Gilbert 3 months ago

    That is the sweetest story I have ever heard. It makes me want to just hug the both of you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 I’m totally into hugs, so watch out if we ever meet in person! LOL

  14. Elizabeth Metz 1 week ago

    I’m so happy you found your shirt and got to bring him home with you.

    #GettinMetaphoricalWithIt

    <3 <3 <3

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