Just Rolling With It

Day 9 - Vintage Roller Skates Watercolor - Doodlewash

When it comes to roller skates, while I find them a perfectly fun invention, my childhood memories of them are nothing but awkwardness. I couldn’t really skate well at all, no matter how I tried. I just hoped not to bump into or roll over the other skaters. But, despite my complete inability to do it properly, I still joined my friends at the skating rink and continued to do it time and time again. I guess you could say that skating taught me a bit about perseverance. Though I never learned to skate with any since of mastery, I did improve a bit. This meant I could propel myself around the entire circle of the rink without stopping to shove off from the walls on the side. This is a moment I remember quite clearly and I felt like I was an Olympic runner taking a victory lap. I had managed to get a bit better. Still ridiculously awkward, and notably less talented than those literally spinning circles around me, but, I improved. I’ve carried this feeling with me throughout my life and it’s one of the reasons why I celebrate simply “doing” above all else today. There’s always a bit of improvement when you do something continually and, for me, that makes the journey the entire reward.

Philippe and I are doing last minute things before we journey to Paris on Friday. I’ve heard the idiom that “getting there is half the fun” when it comes to things, but I’m not sure this can truly apply to international travel. It’s a long and arduous experience that has its moments of delight, but it’s mostly filled with stressful times and a hope that sleep will actually happen to reduce the numbers of hours involved. Weirdly, Philippe and I actually do enjoy our little airline food dinner. It’s not particularly delicious, but each little thing can be unwrapped like a gift, so it makes it more festive. And since they lovingly try to trick us into believing it’s a new day and time for breakfast, you get a second treat before the flight ends. In truth, we arrive at bedtime, and struggle to stay up until 5am our time to have lunch with the family before stumbling to our apartment to pass out for the afternoon. And yet, it’s all still perfectly wonderful. There’s a lovely buzz to be had when running on pure adrenaline from the excitement of being reunited with people you love.  In that wonderful moment, getting there is all of the fun.

Much like skating, my daily sketches see bits of improvement here and there. But, it strikes me that my biggest challenge is that beyond a daily one, I haven’t really set a destination for myself. My current practice is simply a fun game of showing up each and every day. I haven’t painted a perfect picture in my head of where I wish I could go. In some ways, I feel I should, and in others, I feel like the lack of that picture is the very thing that keeps me coming back each day. When you have a destination, the journey will ultimately end at some point. And I’m just not ready for this journey to end. When you don’t make that proclamation, you can happily skate along and enjoy the moments that come in the process. But, indeed, I should point my shoes down a particular path at some point. It’s prudent to have a sort of goal in mind when it comes to where you’d like to take your art. Yet, for today, I’m perfectly enthralled to just show up and make a little doodlewash. Each day, learning a bit more, stumbling in moments and shoving off the wall at times to get a bit of speed, still always thrilling to that immense joy that can be found by just rolling with it.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!).. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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 9 - Vintage Roller Skates Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
16 Comments
  1. Anne Albright 10 months ago

    Your detail is absolutely amazing!!!! And your stories bring smiles every day! I never learned to skate!!! 🙃

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks so much, Anne! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you enjoy my stories! Thanks for letting me know! And also, thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in never learning to skate! hehe

  2. Sandra Strait 10 months ago

    There seems like little purpose to rolling around and around a skating rink, yet it’s a popular thing to do. So I think if you keep on rolling and showing up with a sketch every day, it’s a bit like the same thing. The goal – if someone insists you have one – is to enjoy and share the enjoyment. People tend to focus on finished art, but for many it’s the journey in creating it that’s important.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      So true! 😃💕 Here’s to loving simply sharing the moment. It’s such a freeing way to approach things. And well… it’s all I’ve ever been able to manage. hehe

  3. Sharon Nolfi 10 months ago

    Wonderful use of color on the skates! I feel the same as you about airline meals – it’s so fun to have all the little sections. These days I only get them on international flights, because we generally fly coach. When I was practicing law, I flew First Class at the clients’ expense, and enjoyed nice meals served on china. Money doesn’t buy everything, but it sure does make travel more bearable!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Oh wow… First Class?? I’ve flown Business Class only a few times and only once on an International flight. The difference is amazing, but the price when a client isn’t paying is not, of course! lol

  4. Snehlata Maheshwari. 10 months ago

    Colour of skates wonderful.I liked the line of you.I felt like I am Olympic………. .
    That makes me laugh .
    Secondly in plain food. Seems ur very hungry hahahaha.nice
    Thanks.enjoy your holiday.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed that line. Yeah, you have to be hungry to enjoy airline food! lol

  5. Lisa 10 months ago

    Wonderful metaphor! A number of years ago I lived in Illinois and there was a place near to where we lived that offered weaving classes. I had so much fun learning to weave on giant looms. Lately I have been wearing a cape I made in one of those classes. It is not perfect, but it is perfectly beautiful to me. I have also taken classes in stained glass, quilting, origami, writing, basket making, felting, and bird carving. Many of them I took because I wanted to know how they were done. I never intended mastering any of them. I just love knowing how. In December of this year I will round the corner into my sixth decade. If someone asked me what I have mastered in my life I would say cooking, poetry ( having 4 chapbooks published) and kindness. That seems a pretty substantial list to me. It’s almost 3a.m. here and I’m beginning to wax philosophical here. So I had better get to bed. Goodnight fellow creator.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      I think your list of mastery is perfectly amazing, Lisa! 😃💕 Well done! And as for everything else… SO true!! It’s just fun to try things and learn how they happen. I still feel that way with sketching and watercolor. I’m no master, but I love learning more about it each and every day!

  6. LoriCtoo 10 months ago

    I never had a pair of skates like that growing up, nor did we skate at a roller rink. I had the lovely skates that hooked over your shoes They fell off all the time because I have wide feet and never fit right. My parents also bought me those lovely plastic kids style and they were worse and didn’t roll well. I can still see me trying skate with those. Tee hee…..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      hehe… that sounds like a funny image indeed! 😉 No funnier than my own, of course! lol Skating was just a mystery to me. I never had the kind you add on to shoes. They looked perfectly dangerous!

  7. Phil Cooper 10 months ago

    I’m rubbish at skating but your painting of some skates is so cheery I want to have a go again 😀. Have a great trip Charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks so much, Phil! 😃💕 Heading out in the morning and still have yet to pack, of course. hehe But, yay, thrilled I inspired you to give skating another go. You should totally DO it!

  8. smzang 10 months ago

    Charlie says, “…for today, I’m perfectly enthralled to just show up and make a little doodlewash. Each day, learning a bit more, stumbling in moments and shoving off the wall at times to get a bit of speed, still always thrilling to that immense joy that can be found by just rolling with it.”

    That philosophy promises the grandest of destinations.
    Love those skates. They awaken the senses.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! Glad tou enjoyed this one! 😃💕 I definitely think life is more fun lived that way!

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