Day 8 – My Favorite Bird

World Watercolor Group - Day 8 - My Favorite Bird - Eastern Bluebird - Missouri State Bird - Doodlewash

When I was a kid, I learned that the state bird of Missouri was the bluebird. It immediately became my goal to view one, however, they seemed rather elusive where I was living. A bird with a blue exterior and an orange belly was certainly exotic to me at the time and I was sure that if my home state had deemed it an official inhabitant, then I would get to see one. This spawned a short-lived obsession in bird watching. It didn’t last long because my attention span was far too short to sit and wait for birds to make an appearance, but I kept at it for a brief time. Yet in all my fevered attempts to track down the elusive bluebird I would always end up coming home feeling a failure. I don’t actually recall ever seeing one back then. This only made the fascination with them grow over the years, so when I was an adult and finally saw one land near me, my heart nearly stopped. Through all my fevered dreaming it was the precise equivalent of setting eyes on a unicorn. I’ve no idea if I truly have a favorite bird, but in that magical moment, this was definitely the one.

Birds have always be a particular fascination for me. As a little kid, I used to dream of flying. I even tried flapping my arms really fast thinking I could actually take flight. This, of course, never happened, but that’s the wonderful thing about dreams. They don’t know what’s impossible. They just know what’s in your heart. For a brief moment, a heart can believe that anything can happen, and to me, that’s just about like flying. That wondrous feeling that dreams can come true is the most amazing feeling of all. I may have never actually managed to lift myself into the clouds physically, but in my imagination, I flew to untold heights. I know, that as I grew older, believing in impossible things became much more difficult. I learned that certain things were this way and other things just had to be that way. But even now, when I choose to suspend my disbelief, I can still get that feeling of infinite wonder. For just a brief moment, I can still believe that anything is possible. And I really do feel that still managing to have that feeling as an adult, is pretty much the equivalent of learning to fly.

And guess what? I’m back with awesome freebies for you! I’ll be giving away things twice a week for the next five weeks, so stayed tuned to my posts for your chance to win! (check the sidebar on my site to enter your email and get my posts right away!) Today, I’m giving away a 9″x12″ block of Stonehenge Aqua from Legion Paper. This one is for U.S. residents only, and I’m giving them away to the first 10 who comment with “Let’s Fly!” and tell me which style of paper you prefer, Hot Press or Cold Press. I’ll have Legion send you that preference as your prize! Be sure to look for my response as I’ll likely need your address in order to have the prize shipped to you. And I sincerely hope each of you are still making something wonderful and new each day. We can all learn to fly when we let our imaginations take us wherever we’ve dreamed of going next. Sometimes, success seems a bit elusive, but in those moments, I always think back on those days when I was young enough to believe in the possible. Sitting and waiting, for that wonderful moment when I would finally get to see my favorite bird.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber, and Payne’s Grey.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
World Watercolor Group - Day 8 - My Favorite Bird - Eastern Bluebird - Missouri State Bird - 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, contact me!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. dharmakarmaarts 7 months ago

    Let’s fly!

  2. Nikki 7 months ago

    Let’s Fly

    • Nikki 7 months ago

      I prefer cold press 🙂

      • Nikki 7 months ago

        whoops i do live in us, ignore this

      • Nikki 7 months ago


      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

        Thanks, Nikki! 😃 Yeah, unfortunately, this sponsor is only shipping to U.S. addresses. But my next sample will include Canada! 😉

  3. Yvonne 7 months ago

    Let’s Fly! I love Stonehenge Aqua and have it in Hot Press but think I’d like to try their cold Press too! I love your bird, Charlie! I will have to show you the one I did today. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yay! I’ll have a sample sent Yvonne! 😃And I’d love to see your bird painting… have you logged into Doodlewash to create a profile yet? You can post it right on this site! 😉

      • Yvonne 7 months ago

        Thank you Charlie! I didn’t realize we could do that here. :O

        I did post it at the group tho so you could see it. 🙂

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

          Saw it! hehe Lovely! 💕 But yes, you can log in with Facebook right on Doodlewash and create your own artist profile now! Hope you’ll try it!

  4. Darlene Adkins 7 months ago

    Let’s fly! I’ve never tried hot press before

  5. Jennifer Walker 7 months ago

    Let’a Fly!! I love birds!

  6. Mary Beth McDonough 7 months ago

    Let’s Fly! Thanks, Charlie. I would like to try cold press. The blue bird is such a beautiful little bird. I like your painting. Yes. your encouragement has kept me painting most days….not everyone but many.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Aww that’s so wonderful to hear, Mary!! Yay!!😃 And yeah to free stuff too! hehe… I’ll have some cold press sent!

  7. June Hadaway 7 months ago

    Let’s Fly.. love the bird and your story.

    • June Hadaway 7 months ago

      I would read your stories even if you didn’t have a giveaway. Each one is so fascinating and many bring back a lot of my own similar memories. I am doing the Aug challenge. Still so
      hard to believe I actually finished the first challenge. Thank you for your daily encouragement.

    • June Hadaway 7 months ago

      Cold press please 🤗

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, June!! 😃 And Yay… cold press it is! I’ll have some sent!

  8. Bill Jackson 7 months ago

    Let’s Fly! Cold press for me. And seeing a bluebird always stops me dead in my tracks.

  9. jessica chaves 7 months ago

    let’s fly with cold press.

  10. lisacihlar 7 months ago

    Let’s fly! Cold

  11. Barbara Wirth 7 months ago

    I’m from MO, the show me state. Cold press flies nicely with bluebirds.

  12. a.filmer 7 months ago

    Let’s fly

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yay to that, Ann! 😃 And I just handed out my last sample for today, but check back as I have several chances to get something this month!

  13. Lisa McClure 7 months ago

    Thanks for sharing your bluebird story. Growing up in Texas, I always loved seeing bluebirds, too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      So happy you enjoyed it Lisa! 😃They’re just such wonderful birds!

  14. a.filmer 7 months ago

    Eastern Bluebird is your state bird. In California, where I live, we have the Western Bluebird. The Western Bluebird isn’t as stunning as your Eastern Bluebird, so be glad you have such a magnificent state bird. I spent my childhood on the east coast and I miss those spectacular birds … but we have great birds here, too.

    The Cardinal, which is ho-hum to most of the continental U.S. is not found in this part of California, so I swoon over it when I go back east, and I get oh-my-gosh eye-rolls from the people there. Cardinals really are stunning birds, but because they’re so commonplace, people don’t even look twice at them.

    When I have a little more time, I will start painting birds. Your bluebird painting today is beauuuutiful … and inspiring. Thank you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Ann! 😃💕 Glad you liked it! Yeah, I think New York’s state bird is also the Eastern Bluebird. And yes, cardinals are so common here they almost lose a bit of their magic. But they’re so pretty, it’s always wonderful to see one! (and yay to painting birds!!)

  15. Sharon Nolfi 7 months ago

    “Let’s Fly!” If I win I’d prefer cold-pressed if available.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      I just handed out my last samples, unfortunately, Sharon. But check back as I have many more chances to get stuff this month! 😉💕

  16. Barbara Cunningham 7 months ago

    Let’s fly! Cold press

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yay to that, Barbara! 😉💕 Unfortunately, I’m out of samples for today, but check back as I have many more chances to get stuff this month!

  17. Sneh lata maheshwari. 7 months ago

    As the 🐦 is beautiful li.n i think she is loveable.some r cute n some so so
    Now my question is if some bird love you n wants to close to u.what will u say .
    1get out
    2 naver come again.
    3 i don’t lvu.
    4 i lu plz come in dreams too.i wanted to be clos e to u.
    Ha ha
    All funny friend don’t mind .as iam in bed rest.due to heavy rain the river flooded over n destroy my city luckily due to hight we r save. But helping others ligament injuries n bed rest cant move so this is the best time to tease u.plz naver mind u know my mood. Thanks promise no tease nbe a a good students sorry sir.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Oh my goodness! So happy to know that you’re safe and sound, Snehlata! 😃💕 And as for talking to birds, well… that would be a funny thing to do indeed! hehe

  18. Kyra 7 months ago

    Let’s Fly and I love cold press!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yay to that, Kyra! 😉💕 Unfortunately, I’m out of samples for today, but check back as I have many more chances to get stuff this month!

  19. Barb Hayes 7 months ago

    You did a great job getting the eyes to look lifelike. Beautiful!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Barb!! That’s a wonderful compliment!! 😃💕

  20. EK O'Connor 7 months ago

    When I lived out West, I had a view of the high plains out my office window. While I typed, I’d watch Western bluebirds in the brush (all blue, no red breast) and lose time 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Awww that’s a beautiful view! I would be soooo distracted!!! hehe 😃💕

  21. Ellie 7 months ago

    Charlie, I love love love this painting! I have been working on drawing birds but now I am inspired to jump in with watercolor. That’s the Charlie way, right? Just jump in! And you never know if you might fly!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yep!! That’s totally the Charlie way!! Just DO!!! hehe… everything else simply has to work itself out somehow. Yay! DO it, Ellie!! 😃💕

  22. Sandra Gilbert 7 months ago

    I love your bird. I recently hung a bird feed beside my porch and I love going out to watch them. They seem so free and happy. Especially when I have just filled the feeder with fresh seeds, 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 And love watching birds… they’re so beautiful and wonderful. Yeah… fresh seeds are definitely a draw though! hehe

  23. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 months ago

    My dad was an amateur ornithologist so we grew up watching birds and learning the myriad ways to identify them. He even gave several model birds sculptures to put together and then paint. Wish I still had them. Now I’m painting a number chart for my youngest granddaughter. It ‘s a tree loaded with birds instead of leaves – one peacock, two herons, etc. I kinda wish I’d thought of a bluebird though I did paint six blue jays. Your painting reminds me how lovely they are. Glad you finally got to see your bluebird of happiness.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 That’s so cool that your dad was an ornithologist… how fun to learn more about different birds!! And what you’re working on sounds beautiful!! I’d love to see it!

  24. naca A 6 months ago

    Love the illustration of the bird, love the stories every day. Thank you for letting me just enjoy others’ efforts (it’d be a waste to give me any supplies. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoy these posts! 😃💕 And you’re always free to do whatever you like here at Doodlewash! hehe… I just hope to make it a fun place to hang out!

  25. Elizabeth Metz 4 months ago

    In Nebraska, we had the Western Meadowlark and its distinctive song. I knew the song, but rarely ever saw an actual bird, too.

    (It’s much less pretty than the bluebird, though. :D)

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