A Holiday State Of Mind

Day 8 - Cardinal Christmas Red Bird On Tree Branch - Doodlewash

Today was a perfectly lazy day at my mom’s house in Texas. Outside, a rare snow has been falling all day, completing the holiday mood, as Mom, Philippe and I worked on this year’s puzzle. At 1,500 pieces, we’re making slow yet steady progress. The show Property Brothers was on TV in the background, apparently a marathon event, so I’m not quite sure how many homes were renovated during that time, but I think it was quite a few. Spending an entire day doing nothing much at all is a joyous experience and one of my favorite bits of the holiday season. I normally do a million things at once all of the time, but that tends to make each day feel like it’s rushing by. Today, however, has felt blissfully slow and wonderful.

Last night, we enjoyed a fun evening at my sister’s house. She had made her infamous rum balls, but had waited a bit too late to make them, so they didn’t have time to become quite as potent as last year. But, they were still delicious! We’re hoping the weather doesn’t hurt our plans to attend the dinner theatre this evening, but we’ll be waiting until the last moment to see if the show is cancelled. Our backup plan will be a pizza party where everyone brings a holiday movie of their choice and we’ll vote on which one we’ll all watch. So, either way, it will  be a fun time. Knowing my family, it will be a game of picking the worst possible movie as a joke. My fingers are still crossed for the theatre, though, mostly because I love the bread pudding they serve for dessert. A silly thing to be sure, but I love the tradition.

In times like these, I wonder why I never make a little more space in my life to enjoy nothing much at all throughout the year. I get so caught up in everything I’m doing and all of the grand schemes I have planned, that I don’t often allow myself these little breaks from it all. This makes my watercolor time each day extra special. Though it’s not much time at all, it’s at least a little moment to pause and reflect on life. A special time where I can focus on something outside of chores and deadlines. It’s that briefest moment of piece in all of life’s chaos. And, as my inner child giggles gleefully during this wonderful time of year, I’m happy to have found a hobby that’s so emotionally rewarding. It always makes life a bit shinier and happier when I let myself enjoy something I’m passionate about. And, for just a moment each and every day, I can once again experience the fabulous feeling of a holiday state of mind.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Vermilion, Aureolin, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!
Day 8 - Cardinal Christmas Red Bird On Tree Branch - Doodlewash
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

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!

24 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 6 days ago

    I had to laugh at your statement that the reason you were hoping for the theatre was because of the bread pudding. It struck as such a Charlie statement, lol. I’m with you there. I’d rather bread pudding over pizza any day! I’m glad your enjoying your family time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      hehe!! Yeah, I’m a simple creature! lol 😉 Give me some bread pudding and I’m totally happy! 💕

  2. Sharon Nolfi 6 days ago

    Beautiful sketch of the cardinal – a very holiday sort of bird. I wish I had some of your sister’s rum balls – I love those things. Glad you’re enjoying your holiday visit.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, the rum balls were awesome! She made a ton so we didn’t even have a chance to eat them all while we were there. Plenty to share!

  3. Lisa 6 days ago

    Today I put up on Facebook a photo I took of 15 cardinals in the tree in my front yard. They really are the holiday bird. I hope you’ve left for the theatre as I write this at 6:30. If you’re watching Xmas movies, I beg you to bring Die Hard! It’s got everything!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      haha! Die Hard was on the list! Totally a Christmas movie! lol But, thankfully, we made it to the show. 😃💕 It was a fun time!

  4. Mary Roff 6 days ago

    Sounds like a dream of a day. Hope you made it to the theatre!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 We did make it to the theatre… and I got my bread pudding! hehe Yay!

  5. Laura H 6 days ago

    What a wonderful doodlewash and reminder that it’s truly is the little blessings that that make life big. Have a wonderful time wherever you end up this evening.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s totally the little things. And we did get to see the show complete with bread pudding, so it was a perfect night!

  6. Jill Kuhn 6 days ago

    Happy to hear you are enjoying some time with your family, Charlie! 😍 Your Cardinal is beautiful! 🐦 Cheers to slowing down and enjoying life! 🎁 It truly is a gift! Thank you for sharing your art and heart! 😘💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 Yes…. I think slowly down a bit was just what a needed! Now I’m back and ready to be all crazy and doing too much at once again! 😊lol

  7. smzang 6 days ago

    That cardinal is especially noteworthy because it is so faithfully real. It’s expressive eyes
    hold secrets that it will share with each of us if we take the time to listen. Not only that,
    the cardinal is the WV state bird (as well as that of several other states.) I hope you make it to your dinner theatre. Bread pudding is a favorite winter treat for me. I’m just a bit envious, but I’m pretty sure whatever you and your family choose to do it will be a
    memorable event that will no doubt inspire a future doodlewash.

    Charlie says, “Our backup plan will be a pizza party” It is always wise to have a plan B.
    (extra cheese for me please.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 I love painting birds… they do seem to be hiding secrets. (well, that and cats… hehe). And though a pizza party would have certainly been lovely, we thankfully made it to the show and the pudding! 😉

  8. YesterdayAfter 6 days ago

    Beautiful Cardinal and such a lovely post Charlie! I am happy that you’re finally enjoying time with family and stopped for a moment your super busy life! Enjoy every minute while there! <3 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Carolina! 😃💕 Appreciate it! Hope you and yours are having a fabulous season!

      • YesterdayAfter 4 days ago

        Thank you Charlie and I loved to hear your Podcast! I know I haven’t been much present on Doodlewash cause I have been busy with collaborations creating but I always post on the World Watercolor Group! I had some time and I visited your blog and discovered all your beautiful new things! <3 Congratulations also for your new book I would love to get it as soon I can I love your stories and art! <3 Have a wonderful Christmas and Holidays

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

          Thank you SO much! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the podcast! 😃💕A total experiment and since I’m a bit shy… a big achievement to show up like that! hehe And so happy you enjoy my stories and art! Let me know what you think of the book! (and if you enjoy it! Let Amazon know as well.. hehe.. I always forget to ask that. I’m terrible at marketing myself and would far prefer to market YOU! 😊)

          • YesterdayAfter 3 days ago

            Awww thank you! And yes you did wonderful with the Podcast I really enjoy it and you have a nice voice perfect for that! <3

          • Author
            Charlie O'Shields 2 days ago

            Thanks! That makes me happy! 😃 I was too nervous to appear on video so I figured a podcast was a good first step! hehe

  9. Elsie Hickey-Wilson 6 days ago

    Beautiful Cardinal sketch! Enjoy the bliss of little to do and being with your mom! Priceless memories are made of that!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Elsie! 😃💕 I have a fabulous time with Mom… she’s a blast to be with! I wish I could see her more, but cherish every moment!

  10. Anita Sinha 5 days ago

    Very nice doodlewash of red cardinal bird! I have never seen one in real but looks very pretty…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 days ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 They are gorgeous birds…. I still get excited each time I see one. So pretty!

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