First Sign Of Spring

Iris Purple Flower Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Iris” today, I made this little sketch of one. It was still quite cold here today, but the sun came to visit again for just a little bit which was lovely. It will be a few more days before flowers will begin to appear, so it was nice to pause and paint one. Philippe and I are staying home these days, like so many people, and so we’ve spent most of it watching classic movies. In particular, we’ve been watching Disney movies from the 70’s. Earlier today, we’d just finished watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks with Angela Landsbury. Then, in the weirdest coincidence ever, Philippe got a text from his mother in Paris that she’d just watched the exact same movie! So, even if we couldn’t all watch it together, it was still like we were sharing a moment virtually. Indeed, in these times, sharing online moments has become the status quo. But even virtual moments can create a lot of joy!

Indeed, these are very unique and trying times. Our city just issued a stay-at-home order starting this week and lasting for an entire month. Philippe and I can easily work from home, so we’d already decided to do so before the order was revealed. The only word I can find to describe everything is simply surreal. It’s a strange sort of world that we’ve all been thrust into, but I’m still quite confident that with aggressive measures like these, we’ll all get through it! So I welcome them. And, watching movies from childhood really cheered me up! We also watched the original Pete’s Dragon again as it’s just a sweet story, and well, there’s a cartoon dragon and songs, so who wouldn’t love that? I was just a little kid in the 70’s but still remember hearing the song “Candle On The Water” playing over and over again everywhere I went. It was the same year as the song “You Light Up My Life” appeared as well. Looking back, I can hardly remember any other songs playing while these two songs were popular.

And, since both songs are about love and hope, they seemed like the perfect tunes to remember right now. Philippe and I ordered some groceries for pickup from the only place we could find that would do so. We got only a fraction of the items we requested as it seems pasta, flour, and bread are already scarce here. This will no doubt last for several days before people have hoarded enough that they can’t possibly fit anything more into their refrigerators and pantries. Weirdly, this could prove to be the best diet ever, since the only thing we can’t seem to find are carbs. Yet, we can still walk outside and enjoy the flowers that will be appearing soon. And, we can still connect online with everyone we love. And I’m sending much love your way, dear reader, and wishing you happiness and health in the days ahead. Our continued vigilance and spirit of community will help us get through this and prove to be the most beautiful first sign of spring!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) with 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!
Iris Purple Flower Watercolor Painting


Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. J Name exercise 2 years ago

    My favorite flower-maybe because they come back stronger every year. Your color choices are awesome!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 And I love the idea of coming back stronger every year!

  2. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 years ago

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh simply fabulous!!!! I too am anticipating the blooming of the iris’s 🙂

  3. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Beautiful iris Charlie! Another quiet day here. I am working on acrylic abstracts for an online creativity class so the day was spent applying paint, creating textures, sanding parts off and repeating the process. I started these two wood panels on Tuesday. Odd to paint without an end in mind. It will all make sense in several weeks and my art should be stronger. Right now it is kind of just more chaos. On a pleasant note we just got to face time with the grand children and the youngest daughter. Good to see them. Stay safe Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Glad you got some family time in! Yeah, these days are odd, but if we keep on making art, we’ll get through it!

  4. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    How funny that your family on both sides of the big water were watching the same movie! They say there is no such thing as coincidence, so it must have meaning! Bookworm that I am, I’ve been reading rather than watching TV. I reread my favorite Lassie Come Home and Black Beauty and Pinocchio and am about to start Dr Doolitte (having been much disappointed in the latest movie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Aww yay! Those sound like wonderful choices to read! I’ve got a new book in a series I love downloaded, so I’m excited to start reading it tonight! 😃💕

  5. Zertab Quaderi 2 years ago

    What a gorgeous iris! Love the colour! Thanks for the words of hope, Charlie. A complete lockdown in Dhaka seems impossible although the streets have become quite empty and the supermarket shelves have started to become empty as well. However, my work as a freelance content writer is going on at the same pace. With my husband having to go to work twice a week from this week, it feels a little weird (in a nice way!) to have him around the whole day. Praying for better times.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 Here’s to better times… these are odd times indeed. Stay healthy and safe my friend!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 2 years ago

    As always, thanks for your positive message and lovely art.

  7. Walt. F Pierluissi 2 years ago

    Very good Charlie… Love the colors.

  8. Lisa 2 years ago

    Makes me glad I but 25# bags of rice. I made a potato and cauliflower curry with basmati rice yesterday with leftovers today. It was excellent and there is leftover rice to serve tomorrow with whatever veg I decide to chop up and stir fry. Hubs was going to stop at the store today for a few things, but he said it was too crowded to bother. And this is just a tiny small town Piggly Wiggly.

    I’ve got some tiny crocus blooming! And one snowdrop. I’m hoping for more.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      That’s lovely you have blooms, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah… it’s a crazy time indeed. Hoping the next few weeks will prove effective!

  9. Danai Mongkolrat 2 years ago

    Very beautiful

  10. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    Beautiful painting Charlie. I love irises but I think they need perfect conditions to grow so have never bothered. I love a good old Disney film, and a new Disney Pixar film.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕Yeah, it’s been great to have Disney Plus during this time. So many great memories to enjoy!

  11. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    Beautiful iris, Charlie!! Love all flowers but those Spring and early summer blooms,are my favorites!! Really looking forward to Sketchbook Revival starting tomorrow!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yay! Hope you enjoy Sketchbook Revival! (and my portion! of course too! hehe)

  12. memadtwo 2 years ago

    Sending also the same back Charlie. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Wishing you and yours much health and happiness during this time, Kerfe! 😃💕

  13. LoriCtoo 2 years ago

    Such a beautiful iris! I do love iris’s, but they are rather a menace in the flower beds. They like to take over if you don’t stay on top of them…..which I failed to do. So I ripped mine out and passed them onto a better gardener. I have one left that I missed and it hasn’t produced a flower in years.(Probably mad at me because I sent his relatives away.) For some reason, I’ve kept it, in hopes some day it will bloom again. Go figure. I expect they will be putting Portland in lockdown tomorrow because people weren’t listening and were out in droves in the Gorge. “We aren’t worried, we are outside.” Idiots. The trails up there are maybe 3ft wide, get hundreds of people up there and you definitely aren’t social distanting. I think they were holding off on doing it because we have had a beautiful week of weather and the rain returns tomorrow. We have a lot of implants here and they don’t like the rain(why they moved here always puzzles me) so they will all be inside. Okay, off my soapbox and off to paint my Strawberry Shortcake for “strawberry prompt”. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, I think the only way to get Americans to stop doing something is to enforce it. Suggestions are never very effective. Hopefully, we’ll move past the “suggestion” mode quickly so we can squash this!

  14. Fatima Chamkha 2 years ago

    Gorgeous iris!!!

  15. Laura Hale 2 years ago

    Beautiful iris and thoughts. Stay warm!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕(and yay you were able to comment!!) Stay warm and healthy my friend!

  16. Linda Calverley 2 years ago

    Lovely iris. I’ve got some in the garden just now, the mini ones.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Yay that you have some in your garden! Lovely!

  17. Fanna 2 years ago

    Lovely Charlie–the curves are enviable! My 2nd favorite flower next to peonies.

    And I appreciated your insight with the potter’s pink paint. I had W&N and the DS version is a bit more brown, but granulates SO beautifully! I’m always thankful for the information you impart to all of us at DW. You’re a rare gem to respond quickly and personally, and that too is such a gift in your very busy life, and the cabin fever lives we are all enduring.

    ALERT: Birgit O’Connor is offering a complimentary half sheet rhododendron tutorial, along with a downloadable six page line drawing. I’m uncertain if it’s available to everyone, or prior/current students. Her recorded four-part tutorial that accompanies the flower is extensive and generous. I just d/l the line drawing, so it’s a cut and paste bold lined sketch.

    Thanks again, Charlie, for everything you do to keep us connected to the beautiful world of watercolor: the one thing that connects us all, keeps us “plugged in” to that which speaks through our respective hands and brushes.

    Best of health to you and Phillipe.

    Fanna Turano

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕Aww you’re too sweet! I’m SO happy to answer questions and provide any insight I can always! And yay to Birgit’s course… I think this is a perfect time to sign up for courses and learn new things! Wonderful and productive distraction during these times. Best of health to you and yours my friend!

  18. Priscilla DeConti 2 years ago

    A beautiful flower…and yes we will get through this…virtual hug to you and Phillipe. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 A virtual hug to you as well!

  19. Teresa Osgood 2 years ago


  20. Susan Masters 2 years ago

    Beautiful work thanks for all you do for us lifting us up so

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