Dreaming Of Spring

Bird And Flowers Lilac Breasted Roller Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Flowers” today, I decided on some pink flowers with a lilac-breasted roller added in for extra color. The weather has been cold and gray here today and the trees are missing most of the birds, so it was fun to conjure up a bit of spring in my sketchbook. Philippe drove me to work this morning and was bemoaning this time of year. After the holidays, the cold just seems to hang around longer than it should. In truth though, it’s rather mild here compared to winters of the past so that’s been nice. But I do miss all of the color that the next season brings. That’s why this month is going to be so much fun! Also, I realized I’ve been sadly ignoring some of the colors in my little palette, so this is a chance to use more of them. As a kid, I was much the same way. I had those particular crayons that I favored, even though the box came with 64 different colors options. Today, I only have a 12 color palette and usually only using 3-4 colors for my sketches. Unlike crayons, watercolors mix beautifully and one small can create an insane amount of colors. That’s equally why watercolor became my favorite coloring tool of all!

Though I unexpectedly headed back to work the last couple of days this week, I decided to still take a little of the afternoon off and ease back into things. Tomorrow, Philippe and I will be taking down all of the holiday decorations and that’s always a bit sad. Also, it’s quite a chore and is far less fun than putting them all up in the first place. We might light things up one last time this evening before we say goodbye. Last night, a late gift for our dog Phineas arrived in the form of a new treat puzzle. He’d already mastered his previous treat puzzles and this one promised to be more difficult. It has little drawers on each of the side where the treats are placed and then little knobs on top in the shape of bones that turn to release the locked drawers. It actually took Philippe a second or two to figure it out and then he sat on the floor with Phineas determined to teach him this new game. Phineas refused to take his eyes off the drawers once he realized the treats were inside, so splitting focus to play with the bone-shaped knobs wasn’t happening. In the end, Phineas just picked the whole thing up by one of the locked drawers like a suitcase and ran off with it like he was running away from home.

This constant race to find new indoor activities to amuse Phineas is how we spend much of our winter. When the weather is warm, he simply likes to sit outside calmly as though meditating. Sometimes, we even forget he’s still out there and have to check before heading to bed. In the cold weather, however, he goes a bit crazy and can’t seem to figure out what to do with himself. No doubt, feeling a bit cagey being trapped indoors for so long. As for Philippe and I, we handle January pretty well, but by February, we’re perfectly done with winter. Though we have to wait until mid-March for the official start of the next season and cross our fingers that it actually comes on time. But, the start of a new year still brings that feeling of rebirth and new beginnings that I love. That feeling that something exciting is waiting to happen just around the corner. I’m not quite sure what it is yet, but I’m anxious to find out. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the moment, sketching colorful things, while finding new ways to amuse a willful basenji and dreaming of spring.

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Day 3 - Bird And Flowers Lilac Breasted Roller Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail


Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    This is gorgeous and does feel like Spring! I don’t mind winter as I stay busy painting and get my people contact 3 to 4 days a week at the YMCA. I already have a date to paint in Maine some time in the Summer.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕That’s awesome! Yep, extra painting time is always a great thing!

  2. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    ohhhhhhhh so breathtaking!!! Aweeeeeee Phineas has a new toy awesome. lol 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe… Phineas is not super thrilled with his toy, but if there are treats, he’ll weather through!

  3. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    Yay! A lilac-breasted roller – my favorite bird! We bought our mastiffs puzzle treats once upon a time. Liam spent about 2 seconds trying to get the treats out. Then he picked up the toy and smashed it against the wall. Score – treats were out! We considered renaming him Alexander the Great for taking the same steps toward undoing the Gordian knot.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Had this on my list to try and paint for awhile now. haha! Sounds like Liam doesn’t mess around! Love that!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Beautiful painting of a gorgeous bird. Sorry it’s still cold there – but think how creative you can be thinking up fun activities for Phineas! We had a week of cold (to us) 50’s degree weather here but today it was 74.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 The weather seems to be shifting all over the place, but it’s still pretty cold here. I don’t mind it, but wow… keeping Phineas entertained gets tough! hehe

  5. Lisa 3 years ago

    I had to laugh because when Joe went out this evening he found our cat, Kirbie, sitting outside the door. He forgot that he had put her outside earlier. It was pretty cold out. I’m sure she was getting anxious thinking she’d have to stay out all night.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Aww… poor Kirbie! Glad she made it back inside. 😃 Phineas doesn’t let us forget if he wants back in… we here him trying to work the door knob. hehe

  6. Gary Middleton 3 years ago

    Beautiful painting Charlie. I’m a keen gardener so am always keen for spring to arrive. The sight of the first daffodils is brilliant.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Gary! 😃💕 I agree… though I’m not good with actually caring for plants. Those first daffodils are always so exciting to see!

  7. smzang 3 years ago

    Charlie says, “something exciting is waiting to happen just around the corner.”


  8. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Beautiful, Charlie!!! When we lived in NY I started a daily check of the trees for buds on Jan 2. Yeah, I know…way too early but once the holidays were over I was always ready for the colors of Spring to show up…and the sooner the better. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, that’s a bit early, but those buds and birds can’t come quick enough!

  9. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Beautiful sketch! Careful for what you wish for! You could be sweating in a humid 90 degree situation! I myself love winter, drab, cold, wet and windy. Winter did just start and of course it was a balmy 55 here yesterday ;< ….unusual for us. The winter cold keeps me inside creating and not feeling guilty about what's happening in my yard. My daffodills are up about 2" already.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… True… I definitely prefer cooler temps to warmer. Our spring ends up being much shorter some years and summer is not my favorite with all the heat and humidity. And yay to having time to focus on fun indoor things like art!

  10. Crystal Seeker 3 years ago

    Beautiful 💕

  11. Collette Hemmes Rock 3 years ago

    Charlie I live in Queensland Australia and it is pretty hot here your story cooled me down. I love your version of the prompt word flowers. It’s sad to take the Christmas decorations down but remember Charlie when you paint with colour it’s like Christmas all the year round.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Aww thanks, Collette! 😃💕 I love thinking about it like that! And yeah, other than trying to entertain a basenji, I actually do enjoy the colder weather. hehe

  12. shawnthompsonart 3 years ago

    Nice spring bird. Its been very mild here too this month. The nights are just below freezing when it sould be -12C or -13C All winter I dream of seeing birds flittering through the trees with small leaves and flowers coming out on the trees.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Shawn! 😃💕 Yeah, that’s much milder than usual it seems. It’s the same here. Should be below freezing, but they’re saying it’s going to be 16C on Thursday!

  13. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    The lovely lilac roller is dressed for a winter gala. Beautiful bird, wish we had them out here in California but I think they’re native to Africa. I used to teach art, such a fun and meaningful job. Kids often think their art isn’t complete until they’ve used every color in the box, at least a tiny mark someplace on the paper. My attitude was that purple cows and orange skies made a perfect painting. (But I often hid the black crayons and pastels.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve never seen one of these birds in person, but they’re so lovely. And a wonderful approach to art indeed! We need more purple cows and orange skies in this crazy world!

  14. Haroon Mirza 3 years ago


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