For our prompt of “Pine Cones” today, I made a quick little doodle of a mouse marveling at holiday decorations. It’s a few more days before we’ll actually decorate for the holidays at our house, but I’m already in the mood. I’m so ready to see the warm glow of all of those twinkling lights. My inner child gets super excited this time of year, and it’s tough to contain my excitement. I always try to sneak in a few more lights each year, or at least little decorations that light up. It’s a sparkling time of year and so I figure that a little more sparkle couldn’t hurt. And as I see each little light twinkling, my mind spins back through years of wonderful memories. Beautiful times spent with my family and friends that I’ll always keep close to my heart.

This holiday season is quite a bit different, of course, as we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. So, Philippe and I are going to be staying at home and won’t be visiting family for the first time this year. But we’re going to figure out something special and virtual so we can still spend some moments together. And next year, I have high hopes that we’ll all be together in person once again. Yet, even with all of the changes, there will still be tons of twinkling lights and lovely evenings with my little trio. Even our dog Phineas seems to enjoy the holiday decorations that appear. Well, at least he seems to as it’s often a bit tough to tell with him. He definitely enjoys the fireplace this time of year which makes a glowing comeback each season.

Though the lights and décor are wonderful, I’m also super excited for the food that’s heading my way. Philippe creates a full Thanksgiving dinner even though we’ve always spent that holiday with just the two of us. It’s always fun to see his gourmet take on my childhood favorites and he changes it up a bit each year. Phineas usually gets a little something special that night as well since the entire house is filled with amazing scents all day and it drives him completely crazy. He’s not alone, of course, as I’m feeling much the same way. We don’t eat until the evening so it’s quite a long wait. But, like most magical things, the wait is completely worth it in the end. I’m in no hurry to have the season fly by me and want to savor each and every minute that passes. Each year combines with the next and makes our traditions more meaningful than ever before. It’s that feeling of love that glows just a bit brighter with a touch of holiday spirit.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Red, Pthalo Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!
Christmas Mouse Ornament Pine Cone Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail

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30 thoughts on “Holiday Spirit

  1. It sounds like you’ll have a marvelous Thanksgiving! I hope people realize that the Holiday should be about being thankful for those not sick (who are the majority), and what we do have, and not about freaking over what has changed in our lives.

  2. It’s hard to believe that the holidays are nearly here…where has the year gone?? Although we always spend Thanksgiving with friends this year it will just be the two of us and our 3 cats. Hoping that next year we can all be together again!!

  3. Charlie I beat you to it. A relative put up their tree and sent me a picture so I said okay I am gonna put mine up and say you made me do it. I took it down from its shelf and hauled it into the living room and etc. Actually it is about two feet tall and missing its cord because after 35 years I no longer trusted that. An uncle made it an dmy father wired the base onto it for the lights. An aunt and I each have one from the same tree makers, hers too minus the cord now. So you put a couple of battery operated candles on the table with it and it is gorgeous.

    I found a batch of what look like tree branches from a fake tree. I do not know how I obtained those, likely from a thrift store. So I thought to make a centerpiece with those and some ornaments.

    When it got dark outside I noted that the neighbour had their Christmas lights on already. Methinks people are looking for some joy and cheer in these dismal times. Now if they stay home and create like we artists do, the pandemic will have no one to attack.

    We had our Thanksgiving last month so here’s to a happy one for you and Phillippe and of course Phineas.

    1. Hi, Linda! They interviewed a lady here on our local news. She said that she was bummed out about everything going on so she decided to take out a couple of Christmas decorations. The next thing you know, she said that it snow-balled and she decorated the entire house inside and out. She was even wearing a Christmas sweater! Keep in mind, we are in San Antonio, Texas. We’re still hitting temps near 90* F, and we are definitely running the A/C. 😋😋😋 I think everyone wants and needs something hopeful and happy to focus on right now. She lost me on the sweater, though. haha haha I can’t decorate like I used to. We have sofas on steroids and my tree doesn’t fit. 😂😂 But I do love Christmas and decorating. Many years ago, we hit a heat wave and I decorated the house while it was 101*F outside. haha haha Enjoy your beautiful tree! 💜

      1. Thanks Marisela. It is warm here, 8 Celsius, for this time of year. I love those high temps such as those and what we get in summer. Love it while everyone else whines and snivels yeesh alteady. They get even in the winter when I freeze and they are saying what, it’s warm out here. Like blazes it is.

  4. Wonderful Charlie! I hope you have a great week! We are hoping that the electrician shows up tomorrow so that are deck project will be done. I have two paintings to deliver this week to the last live show that I am part of. Other than that I get to play in my studio.

  5. Hola, Charlie! 💜 Such a sweet painting. Do you know what it reminds me of? Do you remember National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Do you remember how Chevy Chase gets the biggest freakin ‘ tree for the family from the woods? It was drenched in sap and, unbeknownst to them, there was a squirrel hiding in the tree. haha haha 😂😂😂 And then it jumped out at Chevy Chase. 😂😂😂 And let’s not forget that the little old aunt wrapped her cat as a gift. Oh, such a funny movie.
    Charlie, I love to decorate for Christmas. I love all of it. Setting up the Christmas tree to making my Christmas cards. Nothing like Clark Griswold, but I love it all. Sadly, living in someone else’s house, doesn’t allow me to go all out. I, too, have big hopes and dreams for a better year in 2021. I have lost so much of my life, my time, and even myself already when I was injured for so long and, now, with covid. I am busting at the seams to get my life back and live my life again. Including and especially my own house. I have BIG hopes and dreams, Charlie. I am ready to live my life again! 💜

    1. Yay for big dreams! 😃💕 It’s time to live and dream again indeed! This time just gives you more time to dream so you’re really ready to take on the world. And I do remember that movie… it cracks me up every time! lol

    1. Hello Mr. Middleton,

      My name is Mugdha and it’s the first time am connecting with you. I hope you don’t mind. Just wanted to say Thank You for your prompts this month. It’s the first time am following the prompts and the ones you have suggested have been simple enough for me to figure out – except a couple which I struggled with and ended up doing something completely different, but am feeling a bit more confident each day. I only started painting in July (all thanks to Charlie) and Im still figuring out how to sketch basics and paint, but these prompts haven’t been scary at all. Thanks so much again,


  6. With my being homebound for quite a few years now, we really don’t go anywhere during the holidays, but usually people come to us for at least one of the holidays. This year I am not sure we will see anyone. Our neighbors may come for Thanksgiving if all the stars align, but we’ll have to see. No matter what, I’m cooking turkey and stuffing, so that will make me happy. And gratefulness will abound.

  7. Hello Charlie,

    Today’s Doodlewash is as usual, very sweet. I especially love the pine cone. I have got to a point where Im able to doodle a two dimensional pine cone (that people can tell is a pine cone!) but the minute I try to paint one, everything becomes a big brown blob. Does one start from the darker center outwards or lighter edges inwards? I also think I get impatient like a little kid – which is something I need to work on. But if you’ve got any tips, I’d be super thankful for that. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I’m totally impatient, so I completely understand. I draw the outer shapes that will be light and then just add lines converging inward. Then I use a bit of yellow ochre on everything but the tips, add a light red (Terra Cotta in my paints), and then mix a dab of blue and light red without much water and dab in darks at the center and under the tips. It’s quick and dirty but keeps the contrast that makes it look like a pine cone at least! 😉

  8. That pretty little mousie, she looks magically inclined and she’s already enjoying the beautiful decorations of Christmas.I want lights and trees and glitter-you know in an understated way. (Ha!😆😂🤣 No, not really, I want to be finding glitter till 4th of July!) We have so much to be grateful for this year, even if it seems different, I’ll be celebrating what I love to celebrate every Christmas!

  9. That’s cute, though I’m not sure how I’d react if a mouse were crawling through the decorations! Normally I would say it’s way too early but I think people areentitled to some extra festive cheer this year.

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