Digging Up Old Bones

Dog Digging Up Dinosaur Bones Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Fossil” today, my mind immediately leapt to dinosaur fossils as those always fascinated me as a kid. I’ve always wondered what it might be like to one day discover a dinosaur fossil myself, and even wondered if they might be in my backyard. So, we have a little dog digging, surprised to suddenly find something rather unexpected. That’s what I loved most about my childhood. Not as much was expected and there were surprises around every corner. Indeed, I never found a dinosaur in my backyard, but I equally never actually tried to dig one up either, since my mother would have killed me. Well, first she’d be intrigued by what weird thing I came up with this time, and then she’d tell me to put down the shovel and come inside for dinner. Yet, I continued to keep my eyes peeled for any little thing that seemed intriguing. I was always in search of a mystery, and when I couldn’t readily find one, I would just make them up in my imagination.

Today, little has changed on that front. Though, yes, I’ve learned about all of those things that adults now know are impossible, or at least highly improbable. As an illustrator, though, I have to listen to my inner child instead. Otherwise, I wouldn’t sketch that first odd idea that came to mind and instead “fix” it and make it something more plausible. Though, it’s the weird and wonderful ideas I enjoy most. Those thoughts that make me giggle at first and then think it might be fun to see. When I first started sketching, I was never able to make the things that were spinning around in my head. So, that’s why I dutifully kept sketching stuff, one bit of stuff at a time, so I could practice and learn. Now, I’m just putting all of that I learned together into the little scenes that I’ve been making lately. And, It’s been really fun. Finally, those scenes in my mind are starting to make appearances in my sketchbook. And, Little Charlie is super happy about that!

I’m still not completely sure where all of this is going to lead me next. But, I’m loving the journey. My head is spinning with various stories I could tell and that makes me smile. It’s been a lovely weekend and yet feels like it zoomed by too quickly as they all tend to do lately. Since, I have a job and adult responsibilities these days that keeps me from simply playing all of the time. And, that keeps making these moments spent with my inner child even more precious to me. It’s a wonderful reminder to never take life too seriously and never think that what I’ve now learned is impossible can’t still happen in the dreams of the stories I create. Anything is possible in my imagination, even as a grown up. That’s why you’ll always find me telling stories of my past and dipping into those memories for inspiration. Those days are long gone, but still feel like they happened only yesterday in my mind. Sometimes, the most amazing things can happen when we’re digging up old bones.

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Dog Digging Up Dinosaur Bones Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
28 Comments
  1. writerleenda 4 months ago

    Ah Charlie! “Bones” is one of my favourite writing prompts with a few short stories to show for it. Amazing what those silent hidden things can tell you.

  2. Sandra Strait 4 months ago

    When I was a child, books like ‘The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek’ and ‘The Enormous Egg’ fired my imagination. I knew they weren’t real, but boy did I wish they were.

    • Ellie 4 months ago

      I loved The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek! And, I too really wished that could actually happen.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Hehe!! That’s the best things about good stories! We immediately want them to be real! 😃💕

  3. Mary Roff 4 months ago

    Love the expression on this dog’s face. I loved searching for and finding fossils when I was a kid. Never did find a dinosaur but what a find that would be!! One of the many things I “wanted to be” when I grew up was an archaeologist….can you imagine being paid to dig in the dirt and find things?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Oh wow… I can imagine that! Philippe was inspired to be a scientist because of Jurassic Park…. hehe… he doesn’t dig in the dirt to find things, but still similar and kind of cool! hehe

  4. Walter F Pierluissi 4 months ago

    For sure he has been surprised or spooked. Ajjaajajja

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Walt! 😃💕 hehe… more bones than a dog can deal with!

  5. Karen Fortier 4 months ago

    Wonderful Charlie! All my dogs ever found was an old leg of a deer which was nasty and of course they had to bring it home. It likely came from the neighbors. Dinosaur bones would have been much more fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 hehe! Dinosaur bones would have definitely been a bit more fun!

  6. Lisa 4 months ago

    Up to the age of 9, I lived in a house where the yard had some grave sized humps in it. I always imagined there was cool stuff buried under those humps. The most I ever did was dig at them with an old spoon, and found nothing because spoons are not the most efficient tool for digging up old mounds. If we had lived there longer, I’m sure I would have graduated to better equipment. As an adult I was involved in a stone age dig and we did a meter square hole that was over a meter and a half deep. We found a copper point, and an old fire pit. It was fantastic fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Oh wow!! That’s so cool you went on a dig!! 😃💕 I love that! And what fantastic finds!

    • writerleenda 4 months ago

      This writer is extremely curious about what or who is under those grave sized mounds. Oh my. I can imagine a ton of stories to come out of this one! Did no one ever investigate?

      • Lisa 4 months ago

        Not as far as I know. We moved away and that was it. I suspect it was just my kid imagination.

        • writerleenda 4 months ago

          We do have those all right! We have to hang onto them too.

  7. Marisela Delgado 4 months ago

    Hola, Charlie! Such a cute little dog! I didn’t really dig much in my yard, but on one side of our house, there is a long skinny stretch of grass between the house and the chain linked fence. It runs the length of the house. At the end of that patch, you can look over the front of the house to the street. Weird shrubs and ivy grew on the fence so I was hidden. It was my secret place. I would take my dolls, my dogs (sometimes puppies) or my cat with me. I would even dress my pets in baby clothes. They probably hated me! I would take my books and read in my secret play house. It was my secret place, where I felt safe and yet still able to snoop on the neighbors and passing cars. I would spend hours there talking to my pets like I was their mom, I would sing with my dolls, read my books or color. I was the adult there. I don’t remember when or why I stopped going back there. I grew up without realizing it. You sound like an only child like me. You make do and your imagination can take you anywhere and everywhere! 😊 Man, Charlie, you’re like a therapist, who makes us go way back to those kid memories. Your prompts really do prompt you to remember. I am terribly sorry if I have shared too much.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Aww… I adore your memories… they’re so wonderful. Love that you put baby clothes on your pets, even if they didn’t. And it’s never too much to share!! Our childhood defines us in ways we sometimes forget… especially when we adore art… then we get the chance to never grow up… just grow through it all… and experience and adore each moment!

  8. Gary Middleton 4 months ago

    Great doodle, Charlie.

  9. Susan Masters 4 months ago

    Love his expression! So glad little Charlie gets to play as it makes joy to so many of us.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 So thrilled this brought you joy!

  10. Mugdha 4 months ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Great sketch as usual. That little doggie looks stunned, spooked, pleasantly surprised and disbelieving all at once! Looks like he isnt able to decide which feeling he feels the most. 🙂 Little Charlie… hmmm.. that sounds like the title of a book! The opening line would probably read something like “Little Charlie found a paintbox one morning. As he reached down to pick it up, he fell right into a world of colors with a great big SPLASH!!!” You probably think me crazy coz of the way my mind works but I cant help imagining stories about everything.

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I adore the way your mind works… you’re so creative!! And we have so much in common. Imagining stories about everything is the best way to live life!

  11. Laura Kate 4 months ago

    Your doggies looks both excited and nervous with his “find.”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, that’s quite a big find!

  12. Priscilla DeConti 4 months ago

    The look on the pups face is priceless!! love it! Gorgeous painting!! And yep we keep seeking the treasures of our memories and imagination! Isn’t that wonderful!😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 That’s totally wonderful! Memories are the best thing in the world!

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