Lost In The Waves

Day 1 - Lost In The Waves - #doodlewashAugust2018 - Doodlewash

Today is the first day of the month and that always means a brand new Doodlewash adventure! This month’s theme and art challenge is Travel Stories, and we’ll be exploring all of the lovely moments that travel has to offer us. If you happen to actually be traveling this month, this is a wonderful time to take us with you on your vacation so we can all live vicariously through your sketches. Or if, like me, you have no trips planned at all this month, then it’s a perfect month to reminisce about your favorite vacations from the past. I’m still playing catch-up with all of the things I need to get done after a thrilling World Watercolor Month this year, so we have a quick little three color doodlewash to kick things off. Our prompt is waves, and I since I don’t really do landscapes, I decided to speedily sketch a pelican standing in front of some. This is actually a brown pelican. I like them because they’re particularly funny looking, even more so than a typical pelican. Sort of like a balding man stumbling on the beach wondering where he partially buried his beer in the sand, and hoping it’s not now under those waves back there. Well, yeah, that’s where my imagination takes me at least. And I’m also longing to be on a beach still, so this takes me back to one of my favorite memories of the first beach I ever visited.

The very first beach I ever experienced didn’t reveal itself to me until I was in college. It wasn’t a Pacific or Atlantic beach, but instead one in Texas off the Gulf of Mexico. One of the beauties of college days is that driving was never a bore and still felt like a sense of pure freedom. Suddenly, you could go anywhere you like as long as you were willing to endure entire days trapped inside a car. So driving directly south from Kansas City until it was impossible to go any further seemed like a good idea at the time. On this route, my travel companion and I experienced the hills of Missouri and Arkansas while moving suddenly into the impossibly flat landscape of Texas. This was a bit of a shock as you could see the city you were approaching from miles away, like it was only a mirage. Houston appeared this way and just south of that, we drove on until it was growing so dark we could barely see anything at all. And then, finally, we found ourselves on the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. We were far too late for any of the pleasures there, so we had to park to the side and just walk out onto the dark beach. The moonless sky was not our friend that night and so most of what I remember is the feeling of the sand between my toes and the sound of the ocean. I couldn’t see much of anything in that moment. But, what I imagined still feels like pure magic.

Our hotel was “off the beach” which always means that it was an economy hotel with absolutely no view of the beach whatsoever. I could really have been just about anywhere when I woke up the next day and stared out onto a large barn-like structure with equally large letters spelling BINGO on the side. So, after playing a couple rounds of BINGO we decided to head to the beach in the daylight. And it was a truly fantastic sight! Sure, we were merely meters from a hall of people shouting “BINGO!” at the top of their lungs, and standing next to something evocatively called a “Pleasure Pier,” but none of that mattered. It was the final stop of our grand adventure and the glorious start of a brand new one. We had no idea what would happen next, and in that moment, staring out across the beach, time seemed to stand still. It’s this very moment that I recall most from that trip. Not whatever happened next, but the splendid feeling of wondrous possibility that I felt when I arrived there. That “anything is possible” feeling that’s often so hard to obtain as an adult. But strangely becomes quite easy, when you set out boldly on a new journey and happily find yourself lost in the waves.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Indian Yellow, Perylene Maroon, and Turquoise. 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 1 - Lost In The Waves - #doodlewashAugust2018 - Doodlewash
Recommended5 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!

31 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    Love your pelican! I’m kind of envious, in that living only 2-3 hours from the Oregon coast, I don’t really remember my first impressions of the beach – although for the longest time I was terrified that there would be a tidal wave and would stare out at the ocean fixedly in case one was coming. Not sure where that came from. I probably saw a newscast of one or something.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, if you lived near a beach it’s just part of growing up, but when you experience it for the first time as an adult, it’s crazy amazing! And here’s, of course, to no tidal waves coming! 😉

  2. Sheila 3 months ago

    I love your Pelican, Charlie!! I live on Historic Galveston Island and enjoyed your view of us. I hope you had a wonderful time and will be able to come back someday. What year did you visit us and what season was it?

    I love your description of that “anything is possible feeling” that is often so hard to obtain as an adult”. I recently had that exact same heady feeling while I was traveling back to my ancestors home across the pond. It was an exhilarating, intoxicating feeling of unleashed, untapped potential. I try to live my life through that lens, not that it always works. 🙂

    • Sheila 3 months ago

      https://www.galveston.com/murdochsvideocam/
      Go to galveston.com, find the webcams and take a familiar tour Charlie. Enjoy! 🙂

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

        Aww thanks, Sheila! hehe😃💕 I’ll definitely check that out!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sheila! 😃💕Aww that’s so cool you live there! It was such a fun and memorable trip! Though…. I haven’t been back since! Yeah, it’s always more fun to life life through the childlike anything is possible lens. Great things always happen that way!

      • Sheila 3 months ago

        🙂

  3. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    I love the way you described your pelican. He does sort of resemble a balding man. Funny, but still, oh, so cute. Like his short legs too. Yes, you definitely need to get back to the beach. Just the sounds alone are so relaxing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed my bald staggering little pelican man! lol And oh those sounds of the beach! Love them !

  4. Lisa 3 months ago

    Such a fun guy that pelican! Baldy as I like to call him. We have the big white pelicans here in the great lakes. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t true when I was a kid, but they have started living here now. At least in the warmer months, because pelicans are not fools. They are snow birds I guess. Just like the retired grandparents who head south at the first sign of a snow flake. Grandma says to grandpa, we better pack and get on the road. I’d hate to break a hip if I slip on this flake. Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      haha! I love that description of pelicans, Lisa! 😃💕 Makes me love them all the more!

  5. SnehLata Maheshwari 3 months ago

    Pelican is no doubt is a beautiful bird.but i saw them only in zoo. The way you describe the any storeys boost the energy in me.
    I want ed rest for few days but your post pulled to words my drawing table.
    Isn’t a good sign 🙏🌸🌷😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Snehlata! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! And if my posts called you to the drawing table, then they have done their job perfectly! 😉

  6. cjwaterfieldart 3 months ago

    Travel is simply good for the soul. We learn new things, feel new experiences and meet new people and wildlife. Great blog, I for one will be adopting the August theme as I’ve just come back from Patagonia and have quite a few paintings and blogs posted already. Now that’s good for the artist’s soul!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      That’s so awesome! 😃💕 Yay! Thrilled you had an inspiring trip! Travel is amazing. I have a travel theme going with literally no trips planned, but I’m excited to relive the memories! 😉

  7. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Sweet memory of first beach trip! Brown pelicans are my favorite sea birds. Your pelican looks great – you’ve captured his wonderful, wise expression.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… it’s such an odd little character, but so wonderfully fascinating!

  8. Les Grindey 3 months ago

    lovely story Charlie it felt I was walking with you . great experiences from you

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Les! 😃💕 That’s a fabulous compliment. So happy you enjoyed this story!

  9. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Wonderful Pelican! Feel so fortunate that I live where I can see these characters most every day and every sighting makes me smile. Remember my college road trip with friends….ended up in Nantucket and came home with wonderful memories.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Sounds like you live in the perfect location. And ohhhh those college memories. Too much fun! So glad we survived to remember them! lol

  10. LoriCtoo 3 months ago

    Ohhh I love him. You can see his beer drinking side of him, but yet he still looks real.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe! Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yeah, I tend to give my animals human characteristics even though I don’t paint humans. lol

  11. Sharon Mann 3 months ago

    Hi Charlie, your Pelican and beach scene is awesome. I was camping at the beach this week and I enjoyed watching the pelicans dive bomb for their meal each day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… that sounds like a perfectly awesome week! I’m rather jealous! 😉

      • Les Grindey 3 months ago

        I did Charlie I have heard of the place’s you have mentioned .You made it so real how you moved through your story look forward to the next one

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

          Thanks, Les! That’s such a wonderful comment. I hope my writing is improving along with my sketches, so I’m so happy to know you enjoyed this! 🙂

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    Really like the loose approach of this painting, Charlie, perfect for a pelican standing at the edge of the ocean. Love your story of your very first sight of the ocean. I can see you standing there, your hair ruffled by the breeze, realizing you’re at the edge of land and water and looking toward forever.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 I’m so glad you enjoyed this story! It was a truly incredible experience. There’s really nothing like the first time!

  13. smzang 3 months ago

    “That “anything is possible” feeling ”

    I think that is the best feeling of all.
    Also, I like that you give information about the subjects you paint.
    I did not know about the brown pelican, so thank you for your writing,
    for your painting and for teaching me something new.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! Yeah, I always try to put my mind in that “anything is possible” space. It’s so easy to think something can’t happen, but so amazing to assume it actually will!

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