Land Of The Blue Mist

Fox Red Misty Background Mountains Watercolor Illustration Painting

For our prompt of “Misty” today, I nearly sketched my first dog since that was also her name, but then decided to try something a little more atmospheric. So we have a little red fox enjoying the view during a misty morning on top of a mountain. Or, at least that’s what I had in my head. I realized that I’d never once tried to paint mist before, so it was all a bit of an experiment to see what might appear. I remember when I was a kid, my parents and I traveled through the Great Smoky Mountains, also more cutely shortened to the Smokies, while we were on vacation. This range was originally named “Shaconage” by the native Cherokee which translates to “Land of the Blue Mist.” I’ve not seen these mountains since childhood so my memory is as foggy as the terrain, but I still remember the feeling of awe and wonder I felt quite clearly. It was like being in the presence of something truly magical.

My trip was back in the 70’s, and so the song “The Way We Were” was also running through my head. Not only was it playing on the radio back then, but also, the second line is “Misty water-colored memories of the way we were.” I think that’s a lovely description of how memories work. They are more of a painting of what we felt, rather than a photo of what actually happened. I don’t remember everything that happened on that trip through the mountains, just bits and pieces of moments. But I’d never seen mountains that tall before that trip and I still remember the winding roads and wondering what incredible thing might appear around the next bend. The feeling of adventure was so strong that it’s stuck with me to this day. Each time, I’m worried about trying something new, I think back to those feelings I had as a child. Those special moments where all traces of fear and worry were gone, and all that was left was silent wonder.

Today, nature still has that affect on me. Even if there’s not a mountain view or climb where I live, there’s plenty of lovely natural things to enjoy. Outside my window there are many tall and beautiful trees and host of small animals that are a joy to watch. Life gets so busy some days that I feel like I’ve almost missed living it. I have to remind myself to take breaks and slow down and just let the world wash over me. This is easier said than done, of course, as project deadlines are always looming in the back of my mind. But, when I stop and just let my mind rest and enjoy that more natural world around me, I always feel amazing. Each little bird or squirrel that I see outside my window reminds me that life is a gift. And one day, I hope to return to those mountains and see that wonderful view again. Until that time, I’ll simply enjoy the grandeur of those watercolor memories in that land of the blue mist.

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Fox Red Misty Background Mountains Watercolor Illustration Painting Sketchbook Detail

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Lisa 2 years ago

    A painting teacher I know paints mist and fog by using a rolled up piece of Kleenex over wet paint. It looks surprisingly good. And I love your fox. Its been years since I saw one in real life. We have a lot of coyote around here.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Glad you liked my fox! Yeah, there was a red fox that lived next to us, but then it went away. I miss that little one!

  2. Unique Tales 2 years ago

    I have used kitchen roll in paint on my Art, dabbed it, and finger paint is my next experiment.

  3. Unique Tales 2 years ago

    Love this post sweet fox and blue background.

  4. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    You have a real gift, Charlie! We are mostly wired to remember the bad things that happen, especially when doing something different from our daily lives. Makes sense. You want to rmember the things that might hurt you. You always remember the happy things. The true path to a happy life.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Aww thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah, I don’t think I’ve had an abnormally happy life, but I’ve found that the remembering happy things is way more productive and joyful!

  5. Marisela Delgado 2 years ago

    Such a lovely painting, Charlie. I truly believe that animals that live way up North, have actually stopped to look at the Northern Lights. They may not understand, but they see it. Your fox is so cute and your memories are always so sweet. You’re a good storyteller. Your description of your family vacation reminded me of our trips to Mexico; to my mother’s hometown. It was a long trip, almost an entire day. The last part was through mountains. They scared me because people drive really bad in Mexico. Including truck drivers. A big word that I learned as a kid was “arrebase.” Every few miles, a posted sign said, ” No arrebase. ” It means don’t go around traffic to pass up. Very important on a two lane road, hanging off the side of a very high mountain. My father was an excellent driver, but, as a kid, I was still afraid. My little life was in his hands. I always felt such a sense of relief when we were no longer in the mountains. Then, it was time to fear drivers on the street. haha haha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, those roads sound a bit terrifying… well… so do those other drivers! I bet that was a bit scary for a kid. And yeah, drivers on low ground don’t get any better! lol

  6. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Gorgeous colors Charlie! Another beautiful day here in New Hampshire. We worked outside for a while. I found my first tick this year. 🥺 Luckily it was just crawling on my arm. I had let my guard down and wore sneakers instead of my very colorful garden boots. I stood by the field talking with our neighbor who owns the goats.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Ugh! Ticks are the worst…. I remember those from when I was on my grandparent’s farm. Glad it was just crawling!

  7. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    Wonderful post and painting, Charlie!

  8. Fanna 2 years ago

    Another fantastic visual, Charlie, of “The Smokies.” I have ex-relatives (yes?) who live right in the Smoky Mountains, and send me stacks and stacks of physical photographs (the husband is a landscaper as his profession–AND a photographer–[landscape photographer in my book!]), but I must admit, his photos are stunning. We’re all diehard transplants should we move away from our hometown, but his frustrated wife, tolerates Etai stopping to put the car every 20 feet. So it’s no small wonder your sweet fox stares in awe at the magical views. I love a happy post with an even happier animal! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this! And wonderful that you get photos from The Smokies. I bet they’re fabulous!

  9. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    Beautiful painting, Charlie. We don’t have mountains, but have a ridge of hills about a 30 minute cycle ride away. I love to get to the top and look back over the coastal plain where I live. It’s especially nice in the winter when the low sun sparkles off of the English Channel.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Aww that sounds like a glorious view indeed! Awesome!

  10. jkpringle21 2 years ago

    Charlie a very endearing story of past and present. Yes now a days we look out into the world and watch the little critters to continue enjoying their lives, they bring laughter and joy to our crazy days. Even with our pets they too can be funny and crazy in the same moment to make us just shake our heads and laugh. I’ve adopted two chipmunks and I can who’s who, Daniel Greg and Pierce Bronson, then cutie pie flew in for some attention or just the nuts aka Bluejay Back up for the live entertainment for my indoor cats (Lexie & Maisie) who enjoy watching. When the gang gets together it turns into the movie “Fast and Furious”…. Sorry got off track, you couldn’t have selected such a perfectly appropriate animal for this topic, FOXIE its so beautiful and what a sweet smile. A fox fan at heart.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe! I adore your names for your furry friends. That’s so much fun!! Sounds like plenty of entertainment indeed!

  11. Mugdha 2 years ago

    Hello Charlie,

    What a beautiful Doodlewash and equally beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me of “The Way We Were”. I love that song – specially the mist watercolor memories bit. I’ve never been to the Smokies, so you gave me new dream to dream. 🙂 Thanks so much for that!


    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Yay for a new dream to dream. It’s a beautiful place indeed. And now that the song is in your head, it won’t leave for awhile… trust me! lol 😉

  12. shawnthompsonart 2 years ago

    Awww I’d love to have an orange dog friend like that. We can play in the field and she can pounce on grasshoppers. I really like your blue atmospheric background!!

  13. writerleenda 2 years ago

    Hey Charlie just this morning as I did my three pages of writing I remembered my grandmother always showing me the things of nature. “Ah what a pretty rock,” she’d say, and she’d point out flowers and birds and anything else in our path. One time she gave me a branch and said to beat up that bear over there. It was a boulder but in my mind it really was a bear and I had to give it a couple of good whacks.

    We were raised in the blue Canadian Rockies a few miles from the famous Frank Slide that took out Turtle Mountain. There was lots to look at. all of it incredibly beautiful. Love your fox!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Aww what a fun memory of your grandmother. She sounds like quite a character. And sounds like you were raised in a really lovely place indeed. Beautiful!

  14. Fatima Chamkha 2 years ago

    Beautiful fox!

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