Discovering Something New

Baby Panda And Butterfly Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Panda” today, I made a sketch of a baby panda meeting a butterfly. I’ve always thought pandas were super cute, bumbling about in often comical ways, and seeing one always makes me smile. It’s so fun to watch a little baby animal discover the world for the first time. And, it’s a beautiful reminder that although we adults think we’ve seen everything, there’s always something new to see and explore. Trying to keep that sense of wonder as a grown up can present a few challenges, but I always strive to keep that beginner mindset. Each time I make a sketch, I love just jumping in and finding out what appears as I go along. I have a general idea, but I’m not entirely sure what will manifest once I start scribbling and coloring. This element of surprise is what keeps me sketching. Even if something doesn’t quite turn out as I imagined, the end result is always rather captivating to me. It’s equal parts conscious and subconscious, coming together to produce an idea that I’m meeting for the very first time.

In truth, I sort of approach my entire life with this same attitude. While I know there’s so much good that can come from planning something in advance, I tend to just go for it. Once I have an idea that excites me, I just jump in and start playing with that idea until it becomes something more tangible. I often feel a bit like this little panda that I’ve pictured here today. I’m terribly fascinated by everything around me, and just want to experience life as I go along. Looking at the world with fresh eyes may not always be easy, but it always makes life more intriguing and fun! For example, this past weekend, Philippe and I went to antique stores and thrift shops with friends. While there were many things that sparked my memories and nostalgia, there were other weird and wondrous things I’d never seen before. It’s comforting to know there’s still a lot of mystery to be enjoyed in this world.

In many ways, I guess I simply haven’t really figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life and I’ve enjoyed the myriad of experiences. Perhaps, I don’t really want to decide. It seems so final to commit to something so seemingly important. Instead, I want to keep following the path I’m on, jumping off to explore various side paths that interest me as I go along. The journey can be very fulfilling, even when the final destination is in doubt. And, perhaps at the end of my life, I’ll look back and wonder what would have happened if I’d committed to doing only one thing the entire time. What level of success had I thwarted in my effort to try so many different things? Yet, I have a feeling that I won’t think about that at all, when the time comes. No, I don’t think I’d even bother asking the question. Because, I’ll  be far too distracted in that moment, once again, happily discovering something new.

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Baby Panda And Butterfly Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Laura Hale 4 weeks ago

    How adorable!

  2. Linda 4 weeks ago

    Hey Charlie I just called a friend this morning and asked if she thinks it is time for us to have a thrift store excursion! Looking for deco whose colours should be red, green, and orange to support my paintings and my room will be decorated top, bottom and soon, middle (table and trunk tops).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yay! That sounds like a fun excursion indeed! I adore thrift shops. And sounds like your room is going to be awesome! 😃💕

  3. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    I wish I had that sense of just going for it. I do, a bit, in my approach to painting, but after a lifetime of working for organizations that wanted things to run faithfully on a timeline (which they seldom did), I’m so used to trying to set everything up to a schedule and being flustered when it gets disrupted. Ah well — I’ll get there yet. As soon as I figure out where it fits on the schedule, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Lol… yeah, I often wish I were better at scheduling and planning, but I manage to do it when I absolutely have to! 😊

  4. Zoie McIntyre 4 weeks ago

    Oh Charlie he is so delightful. You know I love your work, but I think this little guy with his butterfly is my absolute favourite and when the last part of the renos (for this year) are done and my art space is at least at a place where I can start sorting out and setting up – he will have a place of honour on the wall to remind me that this is all fun ;). I am 70 and I will never know what I want to be when I grow up – as a matter of fact, I don’t want to grow up. Grown ups are way too serious for me!! Too much to learn and discover to be a grown up. Its not that I don’t have bad days – but every day can be an adventure. I learn things every day (some still the hard way .. lol) but hard or not it is all still an adventure. I love going to a walk in the country and the smallest things can give me a moment of delight, unfortunately I only have myself and the trees to share that with, but that does not take away from the joy. A gigantic spiderweb glistening in the morning sun is a thing of beauty. The sheer size of what can develop overnight is amazing. Things like that. A little mushroom struggling to come out of the ground — so many things right?!!!! Thanks for the beautiful moment Charlie. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww thanks so much, Zoie! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoyed this post. And I agree… let’s never grow up. I’ve met those serious people and they are soooooo dull! lol I don’t want to be like that. Everything you mentioned sounds beautiful and just the sort of things that actually matter in this wild world. Oh… and if you do decide you’d like a print of this little panda, it’s over at my Sketching Stuff shop here –

  5. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    Your panda is totally adorable!!!
    The same thoughts were running through my mind about finding something and sticking to it….as I was playing with something new and interesting…again. I’m am never going to grow up…at least not on the inside.(the mirror tells a different story) or stop trying new things and I don’t ever want to lose my sense of wonder at the simple, joyful things in life! Today I got to see two osprey dancing in the sky, a flock of white pelicans enjoying the early morning sun and one of our resident squirrels came to chatter at me before I headed out for my day. Oh, and my little rose bush has two buds and the oak trees are wearing their spring green new growth. I had a conversation with someone close to my age the other day and she was telling me how her days drag by. I am so thankful to have a life so full that the hours speed by….every day is an adventure.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yay for an adventure every day. I think when we keep that wonder and notice the beauty and intrigue in the ordinary it does mean that life is never a dull moment indeed!

  6. Carolina Russo 4 weeks ago

    Awww so adorable Charlie! Panda are so cute!

  7. Dolly 4 weeks ago

    I love your Panda and your approach to life! Keep it going.

  8. Marisela Delgado 4 weeks ago

    Such a cute Panda! I love Pandas. They’re so round. 😂😂😂 There’s nothing wrong with having a zest for life and new adventures, my friend. It’s what keeps us young. 😀 Sending you hugs, my sweet friend, Charlie. 💜💜💜

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, mi amiga! 😃💕 Hehe… nothing wrong with a bit of roundness either. lol Yay for staying young on the inside no matter what our bodies decide. hehe Sending you hugs and love, my friend! ❤️

  9. Gary Middleton 4 weeks ago

    Your panda is very cute, Charlie.

  10. ANGELA D BROWN 4 weeks ago

    Great panda and great reminder to look at things through the eyes of a child.

  11. Mugdha 4 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    I love love LOVE the little panda! I so wish I had your guts for jumping into something with full confidence. I tend to overthink everything and most times some fear of failure keeps me from trying anything at all. I wish I was more carefree…. but am so glad that you are. It’s something I look up to in you, among many other things. Big hug to you,


    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I’m not sure I really have guts… and I definitely don’t have full confidence. I’m just sooooooo curious!! hehe… I want to try things just to see what happens next. I’m not worried about success… it’s a rather elusive and impossible to define thing anyway. But with enough curiosity, I’m willing to give something a try, at least. And, that makes life more fun!! Big hug to you and much love! ❤️

  12. Barbara Richards 4 weeks ago

    Hello, I’m Zumi (that’s my spirit name, it was given to me by a friend, it means Dances for Joy). I’ve just joined this lovely site. I paint every day, I’ve had a difficult life and watercolour painting gives me joy. I don’t know how to use this site yet, but I want to join in the fun, and share some of my artwork. I love the daily challenge that Doodlewash has, so I’m going to join in with that, as sometimes my mind goes blank and I can’t think of what to paint. I love your panda, pandas are kind of survivors, they nearly went extinct, but they’re also playful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 That’s fantastic to hear that you’re joining in the fun, Zumi! Welcome to Doodlewash!

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