Memories Of Ice Skating

Day 28 - Little Girl With Ice Skates Watercolor - Doodlewash

Today, I decided to take a bit of a chance and doodlewash a human, which is incredibly rare for me as I’m not well-practiced in drawing them. So, I figured some practice was probably in order and took a moment to sketch one. This little girl reminded me of when I was a kid and attempted ice skating for the first time. I was really not good at all and everyone around me seem to posses a quiet confidence that I simply didn’t have. It was like everyone naturally knew how to skate with ease and I was the one awkward kid who hadn’t inherited the skating gene. I was amazed by those kids who could lace up those shoes with the knife blades on the bottom and gracefully sail across the ice. I would just shove off and slide forward, awkwardly hoping I didn’t land flat on my face. It strikes me now that I was maybe a bit too old by the time I tried it. While still a child, I was already growing up and wanting to do things “perfectly,” rather than simply have a bit of fun while trying them. My promise to myself in the coming year will therefore be to simply have fun doing things, and see if just maybe, in the process, I can end up doing things I never dreamed I could.

What I remember most about ice skating were those wonderful moments when I sailed forward effortlessly. Sure, I would end up using the wall to stop myself, having never figured out how to stop properly on those things, but I would do it! Just for a moment! In that glorious moment, I forgot all of the fears that were making me so bad at skating in the first place and just skated with glee instead. About the time I would hit that wall and lurch to a very ungraceful stop, the feeling would fade. But, I would just shove off once more and keep on trying and failing, and then trying once more. One would think that since I never learned to skate perfectly that I would have bad memories of those attempts. Yet, all I remember was the fun I had attempting it and those tiny moments of victory. Sure, I’ve always been a bit of an optimist, but those moments are awesome! Those little victories may not count for much by themselves when they happen, but when put together, they add up to a lifetime of achievement.

As I look back on my life now, I realize that beside every tiny failure there was usually always a tiny victorious moment as well. One so small that it often couldn’t distract me from my wallowing in my current deficiencies. I wanted to do things perfectly, but never stopped to understand what that even meant. Was I meant to skate exactly like those other kids I admired? Was that the definition of success? At the time, I assumed that it was, but thankfully as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized it’s not the case at all. That little girl who seemed like she was born on skates, used to make me feel inadequate. Today, I’ve learned that I have a gift that works perfectly well for everything I want to accomplish in life. Dogged determination. It’s less about innate skill and more about feverishly trying something until I can prove to myself that I can sort of do it properly. Thinking back to that kid I used to be, I’m glad he taught me to never give up, and I’m quite thankful for these enlightening memories of ice skating.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Vermilion, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue. 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 28 - Little Girl With Ice Skates Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
29 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 8 months ago

    Charlie, this is a beautiful drawing of a person!!!! Good that you learned to never give up!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you liked it! Drawing humans isn’t my thing, so I’m challenging myself to try it a bit more!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 8 months ago

    Growing up in So Cal, I learned to roller skate, loved it, and got pretty good at it. I’ve been ice skating only once, when my Girl Scout troop went to an indoor rink. All I remember is that when I fell down I got wet – a shock at first – and that afterwards my ankles were extremely sore. I decided too stick to wheels on pavement.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      hehe! Fun! 😃💕 Yeah, the wheels were much less stressful. I often wondered if our ankles were meant to be put through all that stress! They were SO sore!

  3. Susan Feniak 8 months ago

    Charming. Love it. Never say never right Charlie? Cheers my friend.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Yep! Never say never!! Good things will always happen when we try!

  4. Sandra Strait 8 months ago

    You do a fantastic job painting people! It’s funny how we’ll convince ourselves that something we do is good or bad as though everything must be one or the other and there is a set criteria that determines where it falls. We’d all do well to learn the same lesson you have and recognize our victories when they occur.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Yeah it’s weird how we convince ourselves of failure. I definitely prefer to focus on the little victories instead!

  5. Lisa 8 months ago

    Skating wasn’t for me either. I was horrible. It hurt my ankles. When I fell I couldn’t get up again and had to crawl to an edge where there was something to hang on to.

    Now put me on cross country skis, and I wasn’t exactly graceful, but I loved doing it. Maybe because there weren’t as many people around to see me fall?😁

    I wish my parents had taken me out skating, skiing, and to music lessons when I was three and four years old. I’d have been so much better at everything if I had gotten an early start when fear and embarrassment didn’t play such a big role.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      That’s SO true! 😃 hehe… I have a long list of things I wish I’d tried when I was young enough to learn it properly. But wow… that fear of embarrassment comes so early that we would have had to start when we were super young! 😉

  6. SnehLata Maheshwari 8 months ago

    Lovely art n story happy that u didn’t dropedd the idea of learning.
    Beautiful girl.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Glad you liked my sketch of an actual human! hehe… so rare for me!

  7. Carolann Hinkle 8 months ago

    She is lovely Charlie

  8. LoriCtoo 8 months ago

    Never give up, never stop learning, that’s how people become old. ;P I love learning new things. I’m thankful for the internet, so I can learn just about anything. (It is more fun in a class full of people however.) I was lucky enough to grow up in the Midwest and we ice skated every winter. One year our front yard froze into a skating rink, it was wonderful. My parents probably hated it, I don’t remember that. I think you should challenge yourself to sketch more people, however looking at this darling girl, I don’t think it would be much of a challenge for you. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 I am going to challenge myself to sketch more humans in the coming year. hehe… practice is the whole point! And yay for a front yard skating rink! That sounds perfectly awesome! (yeah, pretty sure the parents didn’t love it… but weeeeee!)

  9. Sharon Mann 8 months ago

    Awesome Charlie!

  10. Mamabror 8 months ago

    I like the people you paint!

  11. Ellen 8 months ago

    Your beautifully portrayed skater takes me back many years ago to another sweet skater, my youngest daughter. That blonde haired, green eyed, fearless wee bit of a girl loved figure skating. In my mind’s eye, I can still see her executing jumps and spins as she flew across the rink, and the triumphant smile upon completion of a rigorous routine. The last pair of that young girl’s skates remain an annual part of the Christmas decor, suspended from the old Flexible Flyer sled. Thank-you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Ellen! 😃💕 Glad this one brought back good memories! That’s such a wonderful story… I can see her executing those jumps with glee. I bet as a mother is was the most amazing thing in the world to watch!

  12. smzang 8 months ago

    Charlie said, “I have a gift that works perfectly well for everything I want to accomplish in life. Dogged determination”

    As perfect as Winnie the Pooh himself. (he’s one of my all time heroes) Yours is a wise and lovely outlook. I would
    remind you, however, you seem like a genius at everything you try. As for the painting, it is alive and so fine. It is as if
    you did a snapshot with your brush and pen.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Oh wow! Can I just say that being compared to Winnie the Pooh is just the biggest compliment EVER! 😃💕 Thank you so much! What a beautiful comment to receive!

  13. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 8 months ago

    Charlie, you’re a much better artist than you think – this lovely young skater exudes the confidence you share as you accept challenge after challenge with aplomb.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      You are so sweet, Sharon, and I MUST figure out how to bottle your comments up! 😃💕You always make me feel hopeful and well… talented… and that’s an amazing gift. Thank you SO much!

  14. I’m always a little envious when I see people ice skating! I never learned to do it when young and now…bones are fragile!
    I like the expression on her face, her gaze is beautiful!
    robert

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Robert! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this one! And yeah, I feel the same… I never learned to ice skate properly!

  15. artfromperry 8 months ago

    ” Regarding your entry about the girl and the ice skating, Ahh, good memories. For the longest time I used to go ice skating (as a child and then later as a teen). I was no expert and I wasn’t graceful but you know those skates were a way to get around the rink . And in other times, switching to roller skates on the streets of one of the biggest cities in America”. Fabulous entry, drawing and memory! Peace. …
    ..

    artfromperry

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this one! Those sound like perfectly wonderful memories! Fun!

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