Flowers On A Cactus

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 9 - Flowers On A Cactus - Doodlewash

This is my entry for our prompt of “cactus” today, and I realized that I’d never in my life ever painted one before. This is the very first bit of cacti I’ve ever attempted to paint and while I pushed the colors to their bright candy variety as I tend to do, I think a version of the prickly plant managed to emerge in the process. You won’t find many cacti growing in my neck of the woods, so most of my memories of them are only on various vacations to warmer desert climates. I remember being fascinating when I first discovered the vast variety and range back when I had a photography blog. I took a lot of macro shots of various needles and alien bumps of green that captivated me at the time. Though I’m horrible when it comes to taking care of plants, a cactus plant would be a good choice for me as it needs far less watering. The fact that it can produce flowers as well is rather amazing to me. But I’ve never subjected one to my care as it’s just as likely it would befall the same fate as the other plants that came before it. Yes, I could even manage to kill a cactus.

This has been a whirlwind of a week and I’m rather thrilled to be heading into the weekend now. We’ve no unique things planned for the weekend which is an added bonus. I’ve been so busy lately that I have to remind myself to take a step back and relax a bit every now and then. That’s what I intend to do this weekend, and I hope each of you have a wonderful weekend as well! When I was a kid, the weekend was a time for watching cartoons and hanging out with friends. A break from the school week and such an exciting time. As and adult, it’s just a couple days off, and doesn’t always have the same bit of thrill attached to it. I think that’s why we like to have pancakes in the morning and still watch cartoons in our house. (and why I insisted that they appear in our little illustrated cookbook!). A little celebration of that youthful exuberance that made the weekends so special. It’s not exactly like it was as we still have the adult chores to do that our mothers had done previously, but it can still be pretty close.

There have been a few bumps in life lately that we’ve encountered and yet, things are still rather fantastic. No matter what happens in life, there’s always something really wonderful that happens to balance out anything less than fantastic. The littlest bursts of happy moments can be so incredible that they completely transform the day. That is, if you choose to focus on them and give them the attention they deserve. Lately, I’ve been focusing on those little moments. Those bits of time when everything works exactly as I intended. Even if it’s just a few minutes, I stop and celebrate it like it was a perfect day. A good and shiny thing that happens, in spite of all the stressful things that might be spinning around it, is the best thing in the world. Were I to focus on the stress, I might miss these amazing little things entirely. Sure, sometimes life can get a bit prickly, but there is always something wonderful and beautiful blossoming there as well, like flowers on a cactus.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Yellow, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 9 - Flowers On A Cactus - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

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31 Comments
  1. Terresa Peterson 3 months ago

    Ohhh I know all about killing cactus plants!!! I have a black thumb, not a green one! 😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe! You and me BOTH!! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone, Terresa! 😃💕

  2. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    Your cactus is amazing – I love your bright candy colors. You’re so correct about savoring the tiniest of happy moments. I think we’re hard-wired to focus on the bad things – it’s a good survival trait in a primitive lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean we can’t train ourselves into a habit of gratitude, and be the happier for it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 And so true… we always seem to focus on the bad when there’s way too much more good in the world.

  3. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Very realistic detail and lovely colors.

  4. Pamela Smith 3 months ago

    Beautiful color,the thorns look as sharp as they are…ouch

  5. lisacihlar 3 months ago

    I love your cactus! I was surprised to find out when my neighbor had a cactus bloom, that the flowers only last one day. At least in a painting they live a lot longer than that! 😁

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Wow… only a day…. that’s probably the amount of time I could keep a plant alive anyway! hehe

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    Cacti look a bit like alien creatures to me, and yours look like happy alien creatures. Yeah, the colors are bright but cacti flowers are nearly neon vivid so you’re pretty close. How wonderful to know you stop periodically to celebrate the day – that’s a great way to live.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I try to stop occasionally… hehe… but I still sort of run at a fevered pace most of the time. Still, it’s good to stop and focus on what’s most important.

  7. Nancy Sapp 3 months ago

    Charlie – did you have to go out & BUY a cactus so you’d have something to look at to paint? Or did you use one of your own photos as a reference? Just wondering…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe… I used a reference for this one! I wouldn’t subject even a cactus to my care. 😳 lol I end up using references quite a lot as what I want to illustrate and talk about isn’t always sitting in front of me.

  8. Suzanne Linch 3 months ago

    Haha, at least this one won’t die, no the feeling, life can suck at times, but hey there’s nothing like nature to lift the spirits.
    Love the Cacti, very life like and vivid.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Suzanne! 😃💕 hehe… so true! Life can surely suck, but there’s always a flower waiting around the bend!

  9. Sarah 3 months ago

    So spikey! I see a singer with her backing singers,

  10. Jodi 3 months ago

    Enjoy your weekend

  11. Jacob 3 months ago

    I like this colourful cactus candy, it makes them far more attractive! Perhaps they’re the ones Willy Wonka has in his factory 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕hehe… I would LOVE to think about them like that. I always wanted to be the Charlie that inherited that factory! lol

  12. Susan Cuss 3 months ago

    Such a bright cactus, and those needles look sharp, but the flowers are so pretty.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 Yeah, prickly as can be, be, but still there are flowers. hehe

  13. smzang 3 months ago

    Your cactus with blooms is so realistic and a lovely metaphor for life…

  14. Sand Salt Moon 3 months ago

    We have this prickly pear cacti on our property in FL – you can eat the pods, sans the pricklies. And they can withstand anything here, particularly the heat of summer and lack of water in the winter. They are easy to propagate – just gently take off one of the pads and place in a pot or on the ground and over time, “uprights” – little pads – begin to emerge. We put pads all along a fence line when we pruned our large mama plant, and the baby ones are sprouting up all around.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Oh wow! So cool! 😃💕 I think cacti are so pretty! It would be amazing to have them around all the time!

  15. Phil Cooper 3 months ago

    Wonderful painting, I adore cacti, such great shapes to draw, and thank you for that little burst of positivity in your post Charlie, we all need to take care to notice the good stuff 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Phil! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed the post. I hadn’t realized I’ve literally never painted cacti before, but this was fun!

  16. lauracooper17 2 months ago

    Here is the specific link for our video

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