Men In Boots

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 28 - Men In Boots for Winter - Doodlewash

While I do love winter snow, I’ve never been a fan of wearing boots. Today’s doodlewash is of the only pair I actually own and they’ve only been worn a few times. These I bought after I realized just how freaking cold it can get in Montreal, Canada. I had gone there for the first time to scout locations for a Christmas movie I was working on for Hallmark. The movie was about Santa’s home town, so snow was required, but I somehow didn’t realize we’d actually be trudging through the stuff during the trip. I had worn regular shoes and found myself knee deep in snow at one point. The others giggled at my lack of preparedness and kept asking if I was okay. Not wanting to seem like a total idiot, I said I was fine, which I was at that moment as I couldn’t feel my feet at all, so they really weren’t a bother. It was heading back to the hotel when I still couldn’t feel my feet that I got a bit concerned. Luckily, I was fine and nothing had to be chopped off, but I returned on the next visit with these boots instead. Though faux fur-lined and visually cozy, they proved to be of little help against the bitter cold, but this time, since I at least looked the part, nobody asked questions.

These were found online and, while I was shopping for boots, the first thing I realized was that most were perfectly ugly. They were all large clunky bricks that I couldn’t bear to wear, so I opted for these, because they sort of looked a bit more like actual footwear. There are many men who looked perfectly sexy and rugged in a pair of bulky books. I, however, am not one of them. Instead, I look more like a child who tried on his father’s boots for a bit of play. Sure, I guess if I managed to complete the outfit with looser, washed out jeans a heavy flannel plaid shirt and one of those furry caps with ear coverings it might help. Unfortunately, I don’t own anything like that as I don’t live in the wilderness fearing the next bear attack or drive a truck. While growing up, I quickly learned that I wasn’t “a man’s man,” or at least in the disappointing way I discovered that it meant. To be that meant you were a guy who loves to prowl around in man packs, go camping, and do manly things. I was never taken on those camping trips, most likely because I asked if there would be appropriate light for reading and if I should bring my violin.

I was only briefly in Boy Scouts, when a neighbor boy who was popular at school joined and I thought it might help me seem cooler. Well it was actually Cub Scouts as I was apparently too young to be considered a boy and instead seen more as a baby carnivorous mammal. The most exciting bit was getting to build a wooden car for the event known as the pinewood derby. The official car kit came with a rectangular block of wood, four wheels, and four nails. I was thrilled at the infinite possibilities and immediately began sketching designs and making color swatches. My car was a vision in bright orange in homage to the show The Dukes of Hazzard, and to my wee little eyes, looked like a winner. Unfortunately, I’d whittled most of the block away and the car was too light to roll properly. One is allowed to stick pennies or drill some lead in I believe, but that would have messed up my aesthetic. It rolled so slowly down the ramp, I actually caught some of the other cubs yawning. Shortly after, I quit the Scouts, and joined a ceramics class instead. I was the only boy, but I didn’t care. By then it was perfectly clear that I was just never meant be one of those men in boots.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Red, Yellow Ochre and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 28 - Men In Boots for Winter - Doodlewash

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!

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50 Comments
  1. Laura 4 months ago

    Those boots might come in handy with the weather that we’re getting. Brrrrr. Awesome Doodlewash. I liked how you did the faux fur.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s extra cold here… tomorrow and the next are the coldest yet! I’ll probably be indoors hiding by the fireplace.

  2. Mary Roff 4 months ago

    Nice boots but give me flip flops any day.

  3. Vicki Rowley 4 months ago

    those are some nice boots!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    Charlie, you’re perfect just the way you are! I’ve never owned any boots, not needing them in L.A. Plus, in general, I don’t like to bundle up. My ideal is barefoot and tropical wear.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I think sometimes I was actually meant for a warmer climate, like Phineas. hehe

  5. creatingincolors 4 months ago

    Well yes those boots are visually cozy. Another great painting, and another great story. The way you include humor makes me smile!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I’m happy you enjoyed this one. And glad this turned out visually cozy… I do think the real boots are rubbish and I should have opted for something more practical.

  6. Sandra Strait 4 months ago

    As a girl, I was never into dolls, frilly things or make-up, so I feel for ya. Though your boots may not be practical, you’ve turned them into something special in your painting – add leather (or leather-like substances) to your list of artistic skills!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 It’s good to be different! And yeah, I do love painting textures of all kinds. It’s a fun challenge in watercolor.

  7. jansiking 4 months ago

    Wonderful story, Charlie, and great sketch of your boots! I love your stories as much as your sketches!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 And yay! The watercolor is actually the easier bit. Trying to ramble on for a few paragraphs can be challenging. I’m so thrilled you enjoy the stories!

  8. Jill Gustavis 4 months ago

    Haha, I thoroughly enjoyed your post! Mostly since I joke that once the snow falls, my boots are the only pair of shoes (besides slippers inside) that I wear until Aprilish. As for how they look, I think they’re a classic looking leather/rubber/shearling combo, plus they’re warm, so I don’t care what anyone else thinks, lol. I mean today it was in the negative with wind chills, so I don’t think anyone was looking at my feet, everyone just wants to get inside again, hehe.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      hehe… thanks, Jill! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! And yes! When it’s that cold, fashion is not to be considered. I think I’m going to be spending the weekend indoors. It’s going to be crazy cold here!

  9. Jennifer McLean 4 months ago

    When I go camping my first question is “does that come with a room key and turn down bed service?”. hehehe. Oh and a tip from an official Canadian… MUKLUKS. I have two pair of moccasins as on the west coast I don’t need them to be up to my knees (if we have that much snow with these mountains footwear is the least of my problems, lol). One pair of slippers, the other pair of outside shoes with a Vibrum sole to be anti skid. Both with rabbit fur. Yep, real fur. I figure as long as someone uses the rest of the animal for food I’m ok with that. (No one eats mink so that’s a no-no, lol.) Your painting is off the rails Charlie. Your best to date, how to end the year going out in style. (try to do bad ones for the next three days just so I’m right, K? hhehe) Seriously though, the perspective is awesome. I have to now go look up Terra Cotta, I’m guessing it’s a PR101… We’ll see. ;o)

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 months ago

    I can just see you, Charlie, with your violin on a camping trip. The boots are rather clunky. While I prefer to wear mine only when hiking in rough territory, I can’t help but smirk at the folks who like to wear the big hulking boots around Southern Cal, while shopping in the malls. Snooty Club Authentic Not Much.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      In my defense, I did later attempt to learn to play guitar which is probably more appropriate for camping. lol Yeah, SoCal is funny… a light chill becomes a chance to rock arctic fashion. I’d be in flip-flops the whole time! 😊

  11. Sue Pownall 4 months ago

    Love this story for its honesty. Great painting too.

  12. Delores Azary 4 months ago

    Wonderful boots! Your work is amazing!

  13. smzang 4 months ago

    I love it!
    You deserve high honors
    for writing, for painting,
    and for philosophy. You
    always give the very best!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      You’re so sweet and encouraging, Sarah! 😃💕 Seriously, I want to bottle you up into an essential oil and dab you on each time I feel a bit insecure about my writing and painting. No, wait, that sounds super weird. Suffice to say, I truly and deeply appreciate your comments!

      • smzang 4 months ago

        You have me giggling.
        On a serious note. My only complaint about you : ) is that you aren’t publishing hard copies. Most of us have ordinary talents but you have something special. It should not fall victim the possibility of failed electronics or systems becoming outdated. I want to hold your book in my hands and pass it on to my granddaughter when these hands are too frail to hold a book. Ok, I’ll quit preaching and just say
        Happy New Year and thank you for all the hours of pleasure your blog brings to so many. Happy New Year!!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

          Thanks so much! Happy New Year to you as well! 😃💕 You’re so sweet!! And yes… I do hope to one day make a book of some kind. They’ll be an illustrated cookbook coming later in January, but I hope to create something like an illustrated memoir in the future. Still forming the idea in my crazy head. hehe

  14. Chad 4 months ago

    Wonderful watercolor and commentary as well. I feel we’ve had similar childhoods. And when I read the bit about Cub Scouts and the pinewood derby experiences, it was confirmed!

  15. Susan Cuss 4 months ago

    Great boots, Charlie! I needed my big, black, almost knee-high, fur-lined, clod-hoppers yesterday. The temperatures with the wind chill were in the -30’s!!! Aaacckkk!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 Yikes!! That’s sooooo cold! I have to switch to Celsius for Philippe and looked at the temps yesterday thinking it was still C and it was actually Fahrenheit… ugh! It’s far colder than usual where we are!! brrrrrr!

  16. edisney165 4 months ago

    Sir Charles, I LOVE this…I must say that I have felt EVERY feeling you describe here…EXCEPT I DO have a pair of man-boots that I really love–they at least help me pretend that I’m a manly-man, even though it’s pretty obvious that I fall short in just about every other category… 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww I’m glad you connected with this post, Eric! 😃💕 Manly men are boring… I’d spend time with us artist types any day. hehe And I bet you rock those boots!! Much love! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!

  17. niasunset 4 months ago

    It is always so nice to be in your pages, beautiful blog. Thank you, with all your sharings and art works, you made my days. Happy New Year, Love, nia

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Aww that’s such a wonderful message to receive!! Thank you so much, Nia! 😃💕 All the best to you and I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  18. louiseaprimeau 4 months ago

    Those are definitely not the type of boots to wear on cold days in Montreal. Sorel boots are much better to keep your feet toasty warm. These days, it is too cold to be out for long no matter the type of boots we are wearing. I am cocooning with a glass of B&B (a brandy) in front of the fire. Stay warm Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks, Louise! 😃💕 Yeah, these boots proved a poor choice indeed! hehe… But I still love the look of them. lol And yay to cocooning with brandy… that sounds like a lovely choice! I’ll likely be doing that this weekend as the temps dip further!

  19. M. Caulder 4 months ago

    Was anyone else thinking, “These boots are made for walkin’…” ? 😋
    Such great commentary for the painting; always interesting! 😁 “Baby carnivorous mammal” 🤣

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Miste! 😃💕 hehe… I did immediately think of “These boots are made for walkin'”… and now…. it’s back in my head and won’t leave for another few hours. lol Catchy song!

  20. Sandra Gilbert 4 months ago

    I am not fond of winter boots myself. They are all seriously ugly, but I dislike getting snow in my shoes even more. So I actually bought a pair for when I need to shovel snow. And yes they are dreadfully ugly black… Ugh. 😃

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Yeah… I’ve never met a pair of boots that I enjoyed. But yours turned out lovely when you changed the color… they should sell them looking like that!! Much prettier! 😃💕

      • Sandra Gilbert 4 months ago

        I agree, I would wear those everywhere, whether it was winter or not!

  21. Patsy 4 months ago

    Love the boots and the story made me image you knee high in the snow with regular shoes! Thanks for making me laugh out loud. Do so love an individualist, with talent too.

  22. Nicolai Cull 2 months ago

    What does being man mean to you? Can people stereotype or categorically not?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      I think people are generally prone to stereotype and create norms. But I’ve no problem falling outside of them. 😉

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