Fairytale Moments

Day 31 - Fairytale Moment Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

We’ve come to the end of our Doodlewash March art challenge and I hope everyone who joined in had a wonderful time! It’s been a fun month of unexpected things and beautiful stories. And, of course, I hope you’ll keep right on painting with me in April (my birthday month!), as we sketch and paint like a kid again! Okay, not actually like a kid, per se, unless that’s what you’d like to do, but definitely holding hands with our inner child and having fun! Our final prompt is a good segue to this challenge with “fairytale moment,” which could be so many different things. I decided to imagine a little community where everyone lived in mushroom houses, just because I’ve always thought that would be really cool after watching The Smurfs as a kid. It would be awesome to get shrunk down to a tiny size and experience the world in miniature. Though, if I were also turned blue in the process like a Smurf, the shade would indeed have to work well with my new glasses. While I always treat my sketchbook habit as simply a wonderful escape, it was even more fun to escape to a place that only exists in my mind. This is one of my happy places where the colors are bright and the world is always peaceful and happy.

Today, Philippe and I met up with my family as my mother was in town to do her taxes. Not having a computer and not wanting to switch to different tax account, she travels all the way from Texas each year around this time. Though it seems terribly inconvenient, it’s always nice to get a bonus visit! We went to Sea Life, which is just a couple of blocks from us so we could walk down to meet everyone for lunch. Lunch was at the Crayola Cafe, which was a blast because we got to color on the placemats with crayons. Each one of us had a different drawing and mine was a normal looking house, so I colored it as best I could, but knew I just had to come home and paint a properly whimsical one. My mother’s placement simply had a bucket on it and she asked me what on earth she was supposed to do with that. I told her it was a sign to make out her bucket list as she turns 80 just a couple days before my birthday in April. So, she wrote “Bucket List” on the side of her bucket and then underneath it added the word “Islands.” I asked her if that was the entire list, and she say, “yes, any islands will do really.” Then she pushed the mat over to me and said, “it’s a palm tree.” So, I grabbed my crayons and made a palm tree coming out of the bucket. Philippe had a dinosaur, which was cool since he loves dinosaurs. He colored it in beautifully and then added a meteor soaring through the sky above with a caption by the happy dinosaur that said, “I can’t wait for my date tonight!”

At the end of the meal, my mother insisted on collecting all of the placemats, which made me happy. I know she doesn’t have room on her refrigerator for all of them, but it’s lovely that she still likes to collect art from her children as a memory. Next up was Sea Life and though it’s small and meant for children, it was a glorious experience. I adored seeing all of the fish and sea creatures and learning little bits about them along the way. And the glorious natural patterns and gorgeous and unexpected colors that nature never gets wrong are what inspire my own little doodlewashes. When we got to the end of the exhibits they had one of those machines where you can press a penny as a souvenir for just 50 cents. I didn’t have any change, and was bummed at first, but then realized I had my mom with me so I asked her for some. After nearly 48 years, nothing at all had really changed. My sister jumped in front of me and chose the seahorse design I was going to choose and my mother was right there so I could whine and tattle on her properly. As we were leaving, we stopped to get our souvenir photos. I had coerced my mother, who hates having her picture taken, into doing them with me and they were priceless. We made fish faces together and pointed at a stuffed fish only later to find ourselves in a photo marveling a giant octopus. Even my mother had to agree, they turned out rather perfectly. And, I was experiencing the pure bliss of being a child again with my family and feeling truly lucky that no matter what happens in life, it can still manage to deliver those fairytale moments.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Cobalt Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink and sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Fairytale Moment Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
21 Comments
  1. JA Wilson 7 months ago

    Another lovely story and piece of art. Myself I was sure Borrowers lived in our old mill house walls.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… yay! I think that would be the coolest thing ever!

  2. Jodi 7 months ago

    What a wonderful day! And I can’t believe your mom turns 80 only a few days before you! You look amazing for being almost 80! LOL!!!!!! 🙂 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      haha!! Thanks for the catch, Jodi… I altered it slightly. Though, yeah, if people thought I was 80 I’d look really amazing!! lol 😉❤️

  3. June Hadaway 7 months ago

    Adorable mushroom houses. Perfect for the prompt. They are all so cute. We were kind of thinking the same when pertaining to shrinkage. 😊 Alice In Wonderland characters were my choice…. my very favorite fairytale. 😁I love that you had fun with your family. I can picture all of you on that special island for your Mom’s birthday and possibly for yours too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 These were fun to doodlewash! hehe… and love Alice in Wonderland… it’s one of my favorites! And I do hope I can experience that moment with my mom on an island. It would be amazing!

  4. LoriCtoo 7 months ago

    What a fun day and a fun sketch! I love mushroom houses. I sketched Snow White because she is my favorite princess and it was a fairytale moment when I got to meet her. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 It was such a fun day! And yay for Snow White… I almost chose that one! hehe

  5. Sandra Strait 7 months ago

    It sounds like a perfectly wonderful day. My mother’s finally at the point where she finds it difficult to walk much at all, and has little energy, so I won’t be doing this kind of thing with her any longer. It makes the memory of such days all the more precious!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Yes it was a totally special day, Sandra! 😃💕 My mother will likely never pose for a photo again like that (actually I know because she told me as much)… this was likely our last photo together like this. And with all of the sea creatures and silliness… it’s perfectly awesome, priceless and exactly what I want to remember most. 😊

  6. memadtwo 7 months ago

    You can always count on Mom!
    And I want one of those mushroom houses as well…especially that blue door. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 I know right… how cool would it be to live in one of these?? hehe… and moms are just the best hands down.

  7. Lisa 7 months ago

    What a great day! I love that you still tattle on your sister to your mom! You do know that you are going to have to take your mom to an island sooner rather than later. Even if you have to take out a loan to do it! It’s a no regrets kind of thing to do. A month or so before my father died he was telling me about some thing he wanted for his bird carving hobby. I sat right down and wrote him a check for it. He was thrilled. When he died I found the check pinned to his frequently called board. He hadn’t decided yet which model of tool he was going to buy. Lol. I still have that old check as a reminder to make people happy whenever you can while they are still alive. Funeral flowers are too late.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Oh my goodness… I adore that story, Lisa! 😃💕 Such a beautiful message! Yes, it’s always best to make happy happen as soon as we possibly can. And I share much of your father’s indecision so that makes it extra lovely! 😉

  8. Sharon Nolfi 7 months ago

    I’m so glad you make the most of time spent with your family! It’s sounds like you had a very special day together. Your mushroom house is delightful. My dream is to live in a house carved out near the bottom of a tree trunk – like the mice, rabbits, and squirrels in storybook illustrations. It would be complete with tiny furniture, curtains and window boxes. Your mushroom would be under my tree’s canopy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 It was a truly lovely day! hehe… I’ve always dreamed of a house in a tree trunk as well. It just seems like the coolest place ever!

  9. Mary Roff 7 months ago

    Love the mushroom houses and what a wonderful way to spend the day with your family!!!! Hope you can make your mom’s dream come true.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yes, I think that’s a new mission… must make mom’s dream come true!

  10. smzang 7 months ago

    A new favorite O’Shields’ sharing. What fun to join you and your family on your outing…
    to hear the quibbling that says love and belonging, to feel the laughter, to hear the
    rub on crayon on paper for those seconds when everyone is concentrating on their
    particular piece of art, the comet and the comment, the mushroom houses. This
    one is definitely a family heirloom and it is you at your best!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 It was a totally fun day! Yeah, I adore the moments when family is just together and doing their own yet same thing and then comes together to share it. We do that quite a lot as my mother usually always has crayons next to placemats at all of our family gatherings.

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