Jumping Off A Swing

Jumping Out Of Swings Kitten Ginger Tabby Jumping Swingset Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Chain” today, my mind leapt to swings on a playground and then to leaping out of those swings when I was a kid. It was certainly fun to swing back and forth and see just how high I could go, but the dismount was the real thrill ride. I don’t remember being particularly graceful when I jumped, and imagine it was more a wild jumble of arms and legs flailing in the air while laughing hysterically. While I was never terribly high in the air at the time, there was a bit of danger to the whole thing that made it all feel so exciting. As an adult, I have to stop myself from a tendency to always play it safe. So, I try to keep a bit of that feeling of fearless recklessness alive in everything I do. I never want to be so sure of what will happen next that I forget to just take a flying leap every once in awhile. Sometimes, the most creative things happen with just a little jump into the unknown.

Lately, I’ve been doodling away and trying to practice drawing various objects and using different techniques. Many of my doodles are now digital drawings on my iPad pro with an Apple pencil. I’m working on lines a bit more rather than always moving right to color. Mostly playing around and seeing what happens. I find myself worrying less about the outcome and just experimenting more that way. But, I adore watercolor most so I can’t let a week go by without splashing around some traditional paint and sharing it here! I showed this doodle to Philippe and his response was just “Weeeeeeee!” which was exactly the reaction I wanted. I’m not sure anything about the perspective is particularly accurate, but I just wanted to evoke that feeling of being a kid again. That wonderful sense of “Weeeeeeee!” that can easily get lost in all of the stress of work deadlines and those other adult responsibilities.

As we move closer to Halloween, the first of three autumn holidays has almost past. The month is zooming by quicker than I’d like and so I’m really going to let my inner child rule the roost in these last few days and play as much as I can. Whether it’s by doodling something crazy, playing games, or watching fun spooky shows on television, I’m going to focus on just having a blast. Philippe and I have been spending the evenings cuddled up on the couch with our dog Phineas and it’s been a lovely time indeed. These moments don’t last as long as they should, but that’s what makes them so special. And even though I adore the beauty of routine, I also try to give myself permission to leap to whatever next new thing I might be compelled to do. As much as I love being comfortable, that place just outside my comfort zone remains infinitely fascinating to me. So, I’ll continue to enjoy the warmth of the known while eagerly exploring those things you can only really experience by jumping off a swing.

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Jumping Out Of Swings Kitten Ginger Tabby Jumping Swingset Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
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20 Comments
  1. De 1 month ago

    Weeeee! Oh, you brought back some wonderful memories of the backyard swingset, swinging as high as we could, then jumping out. I can see it and feel it. Thank you, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, De! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled this brought back fun memories!! Such a fun time indeed!

  2. Janis Huntley 1 month ago

    De you said exactly what I was feeling when I saw Charlies picture! What a talent to be able to express those wonderful feelings in a painting. Thank you Charlie for bringing back those lovely moments. You are special!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww thanks so much, Janis! 😃💕 That makes me happy to hear that this brought you wonderful feelings! Yay!

  3. Irene Hynes 1 month ago

    Love this brave little kitty! Jumping off the swing, ready to land on his feet! Your sketches/doodles are so awesome!
    I have never see a YouTube demo from you…might be fun…?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Irene! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this! I don’t currently do video demos outside of very occasional workshop appearances, but I have a couple Sketching Stuff Activity Books that share my childlike approach and watercolor tips! I’m hoping to do more video next year as I have a new idea I’m working on next! 😉

  4. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Wonderful, Charlie!!! Did I read correctly that this was done our your ipad? If it was I am even more impressed…it’s WOW!!! Always, loved swinging as high as possible and then jumping to see how far I could “fly.” Ah, the good old days 😁😍

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh no! hehe…. this was traditional watercolor in my sketchbook. I still try to do one of these a week so I can post them here! 😉 Though my picture books were painted on the iPad for the final version and everything I make ends up looking like me no matter how I make it seems. hehe… so yay! Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕

  5. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    Your plan sounds like the best way to enjoy October! Being in Florida for a good part of the month, I missed out on a lot of the seasonal change, but I’m back home now to enjoy the best of it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Welcome home my friend! 😃💕 Yeah, I love this time of year… I try to balance going too crazy with projects so I can just enjoy the season. Hehe

  6. writerleenda 1 month ago

    Right on Charlie! Always be a kid! I still dance backwards around the house while Bobbi McGee plays in the background. Etc!!

  7. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    Hola, Charlie! 💜 Are sure Philippe wasn’t saying, “Oui!” haha haha I’m teasing! Gosh, who doesn’t remember those dare devil maneuvers on a swing!?! Of course, if I tried that now at 52, well, suffice to say that I would be the Mexican Humpty Dumpty in serious need of help. Maybe even surgery! haha haha 😂😂😂 I made myself laugh with that one. Oh, it sure was fun to play like that when you were made of rubber and nothing scared you. I used to love riding my bike especially at super fast speeds. Well, as fast as my short, chubby legs could take me especially going DOWNHILL! There was a street near school that was a LONG and steep hill. I would fly down that thing with no regard for cars or hitting something that would send me flying straight into a major hurt. It was just so FREE! And no helmets or knee pads, right, Charlie? Dare devils! Of course, you and I grew up watching Evil Knievel. 😀 You’re right. We should keep an air of excitement and a willingness to try new and exciting things. We should never stop living our lives until the very instant that we take our final breath. And our last words should be, “Weeee!” 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Indeed!! We should never stop being that child inside. And I loved Evil Knievel as well… I had an action figure and motorcycle too! lol We all survived somehow even through all of that crazy and reckless daring (at least by today’s standards). But yeah… after 50 a lot of the physical stunts will just have to remain a lovely dream for me as well! hehe Much love! 😃💕

  8. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    I love this doodle, Charlie. The expression of joy on the kittens face is brilliant.

  9. Laura Kate 1 month ago

    You are truly fortunate that you never broke a bone during a wild leap off the swing. But seeing the joyful expression on your cat’s face sorta explains why you did it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, I think getting through the 70’s as a child unbroken was pretty much pure luck! lol But it was so free and fun!!

  10. shawnthompsonart 1 month ago

    Nice drawing, that kitten has that adrenalin rush look on his face that is priceless. I was never the kid to jump off of swings, but I’m sure it must have been a ton of fun.

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