How My Mom Sketches Stuff

Day 12 - Blue Butterfly Illustration - Doodlewash

Today, it’s Mother’s Day here in America, so since my mom loves butterflies, I decided to paint one for her in answer to today’s prompt. Since she doesn’t have internet access, she won’t actually see this, but it’s the thought that counts. I called my mother today to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and she told me she’d received the books I’d sent. I sent her a couple of my Sketching Stuff Activity Books and she asked me if she was actually supposed to draw something in them. I told her, of course, that’s the whole point. She told me that she hadn’t drawn anything since grade school. It was a poster for a contest, that included a drawing of person, and hers was awarded third place. Though quite crafty and a pro when it comes to crochet and sewing, this was the first time I’d ever learned she’d been awarded a prize for drawing at one point in her life. That was quite a wonderful thing to discover! So, of course, I told her that I can’t wait to see what she makes in the Activity Book and will be looking forward to seeing her pages when we visit this Christmas. She laughed and said, “okay, we’ll just have to see then won’t we?”

I’m not sure if this actually meant that she’d try her hand at drawing again. My mother has always been good at avoiding making promises that aren’t certain to be kept. I’m never once known her to over-embellish anything and certainly never outright lie about something. But, I secretly wish she would draw something in that book. I’d love to see my mother’s drawing style and it would transform it into a most amazing keepsake. Though I’ve kept letters with her handwriting on them, and still have many of the stuffed animals she made me, having her version of the same kind of art that I make would be incredible. I’ve no idea if I’d see my own style in hers, but it would sure be interesting to find out. It strikes me that so many of the stories my mother shares are of my own childhood and now the ones of her grandchildren. I love hearing her own stories of being a kid, but had yet to hear the one about that time she used to draw. It’s a story we all experienced as kids, but if she hadn’t won third place, it wouldn’t have become a story at all.

So, I hope my mother will try drawing again, just as I hope anyone reading this who hasn’t yet, will do so as well. It’s nothing so difficult that it’s only reserved for a select and talented few. We we all born artists, and drawing is simply another form of handwriting that some of us practiced more than others. Whether it was doodling in the corners of a notebook in school or winning an award for a grade school poster design, we’ve all doodled as kids. As I grew up and continued to create and make things, I once won first place once a continuous line contour sketch of a pair of sneakers. At the time, I was thrilled, and I remember my mother being quite proud and saying to the teacher, “This talent for art. I just don’t know where he gets it!” I’ve always known and credited my mother, as every needlepoint, quilt, crocheted doll, and sewn item of clothing were always, in my mind, a work of art. She inspired me to create my whole life, so maybe, just maybe, I’ve sent her the Mother’s Day gift that will finally return the favor. And, after all of these years, I’ll finally get to see how my mom sketches stuff.

Want To Sketch Stuff With Me? Check Out My New Activity Book!

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Indigo, Cobalt Blue, and Benzimida Orange. 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 12 - Blue Butterfly Illustration - Doodlewash
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
33 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    WOW! What a wonderful gift it would be to you if your mom did fill up your book with her drawings…keeping my fingers crossed :-)!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕Double cross those fingers… hehe… I would be SO thrilled to have a book drawn by my mother!!

  2. Laura M Bailey 2 weeks ago

    How lovely!💕

  3. memadtwo 2 weeks ago

    My daughter was just trying to tell me today she can’t draw…untrue! I hope your mother takes the plunge! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 I’m determined to get her to DO it! hehe… and to your daughter… that’s crazy talk! We can all draw, because we all did way back when. It’s less about learning something new than remembering what we already know!

  4. Fatima Chamkha 2 weeks ago

    Lovely story about you mother hope she becomes a little bit arty crafty !!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Fatima! 😃💕 She’s totally arty crafty…. but yeah, I want her drawings!! I’m going to make it happen! hehe

  5. Yvonne Nikolaison 2 weeks ago

    Love the butterfly and your story

  6. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    My father used to doodle on occasion, but always on old envelopes and scraps of papers and we don’t have even one of them. Now, I dearly wish that we had kept a few. We have lots of his writing – he kept track of every pay raise and the mileage every time he filled the car with gas, and the progress of the baby animals we raised for the zoo and those are so interesting to look through. But I don’t think they have the emotional connection that there would be with his drawings. I hope your mother leaves you some in your book. That would be a treasure indeed!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve kept my mother’s cards… I want to keep her hand near me always. But, it’s true…. a doodle takes things up a notch and makes it even more incredible!

  7. Anita Sinha 2 weeks ago

    Your book is reaĺly nice. I enjoyed the few free pages that you have given to the members of Sketchbook revival 2019. I am sure your Mom will love this gift from you on Mother’s day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕So happy you enjoyed the preview! Hope you had fun with it!

  8. Lulu Rain 2 weeks ago

    Oh! I bet your mom is delighted to get your books! I haven’t ordered mine yet, but plan to! I was born a lefty & forced to right so I spent my grade school years struggling to understand the world. 7th grade was my first drawing class and I excelled. I surprised my self as I had no clue I could draw so easily. It was so easy that I never kept at it. I went back as an adult and the struggle got real. Now I struggle constantly so I started using my left hand and it’s much better. I don’t know how that all works in the brain except that the studies show those left handed activities light up strong throughout life. I do everything else left right down to dishes. I’m so backwards that it’s a struggle to create art. Had I known at 12 that right brain was strong at work I would have continued to hone that ability. I need that wonderful book you wrote and gifted to the world. 💖

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thank you so much, Lulu! 😃💕And I love your story… yes… your left handedness was just your lovely right brain working overtime! Embrace it and draw away! I DO hope you’ll grab a copy of my book… but now selfishly just wanting to see your pages!! hehe If you do purchase one, please join us in our Facebook group and share what you make – https://www.facebook.com/groups/sketchingstuff/

  9. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    It would be wonderful to have your mom’s sketches in one of your books! I’m sure she was delighted to receive your new book.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, I suddenly felt that if my book only managed to create pages from my mom, then I would consider it the best book I ever wrote!

  10. Lisa 2 weeks ago

    I had a rather testy relationship with my mother. But to give credit where it is due, she started me on my birdwatching journey, and it is because of her that I’m such a nature girl. I remember collecting plants and ironing them between two pieces of waxed paper. Then I looked them up, wrote their names down, and made a book of the whole thing. There is power in being able to name things and she gave me that power, and the desire to find out what’s going on in the world around me.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      I think nature girl is a wonderful gift, Lisa! 😃💕Moms have that way of giving us things no matter how the actual relationship pans out. I love those gifts.

  11. bhudeshwarshewraj 2 weeks ago

    That is really amazing. Have an awesome time with your mother and Happy Mothers Day! cheers!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 It was only a call as my mother lives miles away, but it was wonderful!

  12. Snehlata Maheshwari. 2 weeks ago

    This is great gift to u r Maaaaaaaàa.
    Beautiful painting.
    Thanks.

  13. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 weeks ago

    This is such a perfect story for Mother’s Day, Charlie. Your mom is quite special, still surprising you with her skills.

    I was always the artist in our house, winning art attention and awards quite young. But my mom never indicated any interest in trying her own artistic hand. After my dad’s death, her Alzheimer’s made it impossible for her to live in her own home.Ten years ago, we were forced to place her in a residence that specializes in care for those with memory loss.

    I visited often, always trying out the engagement activities with her. Imagine my surprise when she agreed to participate in the art program, and it turned out that she had some talent. Sitting side by side, we watercolored every week. I was thrilled when about 8 of her paintings went to the yearly art auction to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

    The association gave an artist’s reception where each artist was highlighted. She felt like a princess, honored for her contribution. One of her paintings hangs in my home.

    It’s funny how art finds its way to the surface for many people as they discover they have a talent and passion for expressing the world in images. I bet your mom will open that sketchbook one day and start Doodling, just as you intended.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      I absolutely adore this story, Sharon! ❤️That’s so fantastic! I love imagining your mother experiencing those accolades for her art. And I’m sure the painting that hangs in your home will be a cherished keepsake! Yeah, we ALL have a natural born talent for making art. It’s just a matter of letting it find us again.

  14. LoriCtoo 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful butterfly! I bet your mom has already started! She’s a mom, and wouldn’t want to disappoint her baby. My son wanted to show my husband a waterfall in the Gorge yesterday. “It’s not too bad up there.” An hour of climbing up steep hillsides and creek beds, and him saying this is the trail. It sure looked like he was blazing the trail as we went! However, I was rewarded by a beautiful opening with a beautiful falls. This is an area in the Columbia Gorge most people don’t know about or have access to. It was well worth the trouble! I did not want to disappointment my baby because the day was all planned out by him. One of my best Mother’s Day ever!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Aww… I adore that story! And love that not disappointing your baby lead you on a beautiful new and exciting adventure! Awesome! I do hope my mother will try a few things from my book… it would mean the world to me. Your Mother’s Day sounds perfect in every way!

  15. angelfehr 2 weeks ago

    I always LOVED my mom’s drawing style. She would sketch little cartoon people on my lunch bags, and in our first house with the unfinished basement, she’d drawn a hilarious caricature of my dad on their bedroom wall. I think her willingness to be creative in little things has had major impact on my life and contributed to my choice to become an artist. But she would never agree that her little sketches were any good, either!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Love that story, Angela! 😃💕My mother is the same!! She’s a phenomenal and creative person with mad skills, but doesn’t embrace them. Yet, through it all, she managed to teach me to embrace them, just as your mother did as well. I guess, what we’ve learned here is that moms are just the coolest people EVER! hehe ❤️

  16. smzang 1 week ago

    I sure hope you sent/will send a copy of that beautiful butterfly and the accompanying article to your mom.
    There could be no better present in all the world.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 For the reminder that I should make a print and send this… hehe… I sometimes read my posts to my mother while on the phone or tell her to have my sister pull them up when she visits. hehe

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