Fading Flowers

Wilting Flowers Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Flowers” today, I decided to illustrate a pair as they are beginning to wilt. Though certainly an event that’s a bit melancholy I also find it quite beautiful. And indeed, whenever I attempt to keep flowers in the house, this result happens much sooner than expected. I’m not remotely good at caring for plants, but I adore having them around me. Indeed, I didn’t even have flowers to sketch from life today as I’m not allowed to buy anymore until I learn to take care of them properly. This is what Philippe basically told me when my recent requests to bring some home from the grocery store were shot down with a sly smile. I found myself turning into a child again and saying things like, “I promise I’ll take care of them better this time!” To this, he just shook his head and wandered off toward the produce. I was left standing and admiring the flowers that would not get adopted by me that day, and if I listened closely enough, I’m rather sure I heard them breathe a sigh of relief. So, making a quick sketch of some is the next best thing, and probably the best thing for the flowers as well.

Today, Philippe and I decided to go to lunch at a French bistro that we’ve not been to in awhile, mostly because it’s a bit pricey. But, we decided since we’ve yet to plan a proper vacation, we should treat today like a staycation and splurge a bit. The weather was amazing and mild and we had a table outside. We started with escargot, had a couple of glasses of Bordeaux wine, and a delicious main course (chicken for me and liver for Philippe), and closed with a lovely apple dessert. So, as we head into dinnertime, we’re both too full to eat anything at all. But, it was totally worth it! Today was a fun reminder of enjoying life as it comes and not spending too much time planning how it turns out. And, in truth, days like today make me feel like I have actually taken a trip of some kind. I love the simplest things in life and one of the simplest ways of finding a bit of extra joy is simply to break up one’s routine a bit. Of course, as we were sitting in this particular neighborhood, we decided we’d like to live there as well. So, after lunch we took a drive to look at houses we might like to inhabit at some point.

Philippe has never lived in a traditional home in his entire life, having grown up in Paris apartments, so the idea of having four walls of his own and a yard is quite alluring. Though I grew up in a traditional split-level Midwestern home here in the States, as an adult, I’ve mostly lived in city apartments. I have to admit it would be nice to have a yard and own all four walls of a house, but there’s a bit more upkeep involved and I struggle with keeping plants alive. Our current house is a row home and we’re on the end so we own three walls, at least, which is rather lucky for a place right in the middle of the city. I’ve not thought about returning to a full house, but it’s a life experience that I really want Philippe to have, so perhaps one day we will make the change. After we spent the afternoon dreaming, however, we came home and had that other wonderful feeling in life. That feeling where nothing at all is missing. Surrounded by our simple things, we were comfortable and content. It’s wonderful to dream of grander things, but equally wonderful to stop and enjoy the subtle beauty of everyday things, like fading flowers.

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Wilting Flowers Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
30 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 2 weeks ago

    They are lovely Charlie! I’m glad that the two if you had a wonderful lunch. It is fun just to DO something on a whim. My husband and I love to do that now and then. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕It was SO fun! Yay to doing things on a whim. Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well!

  2. Bonnie Ottaviani 2 weeks ago

    Love your fading flowers, grocery store flowers don’t last long! Your lunch sounded very nice! Have a great weekend.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Bonnie! 😃💕 Yeah, I think those flowers would last a bit longer in someone else’s hands. hehe… hope had a great weekend my friend!

  3. smzang 2 weeks ago

    Charlie says, “That feeling where nothing at all is missing.”

    That’s a beautiful place to be.

    I think your flowers are beautiful;
    they don’t speak to me of dying,
    they speak to me of a life
    well and fully lived.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 I love your interpretation! Yay to a life well and fully lived!

  4. Zertab Quaderi 2 weeks ago

    Love the sketch and the post. You’re so right about getting joy from simple things around us!

  5. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    I’m finally home and exhausted. Turns out I had a heart attack on Tuesday morning and the catheterization I had yesterday confirmed that I had a heart attack. The only reason I know this is because I was reading some of the papers they sent home with me. The called it arrhythmia and other things at the hospital. So now I have to give up salt. So I say to you, go buy some flowers if you want. Tell Philippe I gave you permission. Life is too tenuous not to have flowers if you want them. I like your dying flowers. I have a small collection of things left behind she the inhabitants die. Bones, a turtle shell, an armadillo shell, etc. I find them fascinating.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Oh my friend! So sorry to hear that! But glad to hear you’re home again. 😃💕Here’s to your health and happiness! ❤️

  6. Jill Kuhn 2 weeks ago

    Sounds like a fun day! 🏠💗 It is fun to treat yourself to a delicious meal and a glass or two of wine! 🍷 Cheers friend!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Hehe.. yeah, it was a blast, but we were SO not hungry for dinner! lol A bit of excess every now and again is good for the soul!

  7. Jerson Antao 2 weeks ago

    Nice sketch Charlie of the flowers. I love flowers too!. A small tip Charlie…
    Next time if you get flowers from a shop try putting some sugar in the jar with water and then put the flowers in the jar.

    I bet they will last more longer.😊 Then let .e know.😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Jerson! 😃💕 And thanks for the tip! Someone on Facebook recommended adding a tablet of aspirin to the water as well. I’d never heard of that one before!

  8. Loan Anh Pham 2 weeks ago

    One day, I realized my white jasmine had purple dots. I couldn’t describe what beautiful it was, but I was supprised. Then another day, I understood that it was wilting. I mean the life of flower like our life, it has many stages with many subtle shadings. And your sketch with your writing made me feel deeply. Thank you, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕 Yeah, colors change throughout our lives, but each new shade is beautiful in its own right.

  9. Simply Splendid Food 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful! 🥥

  10. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    There’s even beauty in a flower past its prime and cut flowers aren’t meant to last forever…they’re just meant to bring a little joy into our lives. Just buy them and enjoy them!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… I love your logic! I’m going to use that on Philippe on our next grocery trip!

  11. LoriCtoo 2 weeks ago

    Evening wilting things can be interesting. I had to do a weekly sketch of the same flower for 4 weeks.(It’s on IG). It was interesting to see the changes it took. I have been on a bit of a staycation myself this weekend. My boys went to the beach for 3 days to a car thing. A friend of mine and I scrabooked all weekend. I’m trying to finish up my son’s books. It’s a hobby that has changed for me now that he is 20. I am doing sketchbook travel journals for our adventures and loving it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      That’s so awesome, Lori! 😃💕 Sounds like you had a lovely weekend indeed! And travel journals are the best. No better way to capture all of those adventures!

  12. Susan Cuss 2 weeks ago

    I’ve always thought that flowers held beauty in every stage of their life, and often the cut flowers will stay until the leaves have wilted and the blossoms have browned and my DH tells me it’s time to get rid of them. I make sure there’s no leaves in the water, and I only use 1/2 of the preservative so I can use the other 1/2 when I change the water and re-cut the stems. Then I’ll use sugar in the water for the next water change, again re-cutting the stems. I’ve had cut flowers last 3 weeks doing this, but not all are as hardy as others, so a mixed bouquet works as I can pull out the quickly fading ones and still have other blooms left to extend the bouquet time. Pretty flowers.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 And thanks for the tips! I agree… I love every stage of flowers. We’ve left some that are dried and completely done with this world just because they still managed to look beautiful.

  13. Ellie 2 weeks ago

    Your flowers are lovely, Charlie, as are your words. I love the image of the two of you having a vacation afternoon!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 It was a brilliant afternoon! I think we might try it again next weekend. 😉

  14. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful flowers!!!!!! And you know I always enjoy your painted glass. fabulous 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 hehe… I always try to paint glass whenever I can sneak it in. It’s so much fun!

  15. napkinwriter 2 weeks ago

    Hey Charlie,
    Particularly nice blog today. I really traveled right along with you and enjoyed all the things you were enjoying, leaving the liver however to Phillipe. Very soothing homecoming with your words to match the feeling.

    • napkinwriter 2 weeks ago

      Pardon me Philippe. There, that looks better.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 What a wonderful compliment! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this one! Yeah, Philippe can keep the liver however. hehe 😉

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