Mesmerized By Lights

Cat In Christmas Tree Lights Watercolor Illustration

While thinking about our prompt of “Lights” today, I thought about how I often to get a bit lost staring at the lights on our Christmas tree this time of year. Though I do have a penchant for sparkly things of all kinds, I just adore watching the lights flicker and pulse on the tree. It creates such a magical atmosphere and a cozy sense of place that just feels safe and happy. Exuding a feeling of complete and utter joy. At least, that’s it always feels to me. I often sit in my chair across from the tree this time of year and stare at the lights. Each one illuminates a tiny ornament that represents a lovely or, more often, amusing memory. No longer just a simple pine tree we carefully selected this year, but now a canvas that we use to tell our family story. A three dimensional scrapbook that actually glows with holiday cheer! Each speck of light is brilliant in its own right, but when combined with other lights it’s like seeing the entire world smile at once. Now, that would truly be a magical thing indeed.

Philippe and I started our countdown to Christmas yesterday with our advent treats. It was really fun, but this first part of the season is also a bit challenging. We’re always rushing to complete things at work before heading off to Texas to visit my family. Once we’re back home, there’s a few more days of work ahead and then we can really begin to relax into the season. Each year, I take an extended break from work as well. Nothing quite as long as when I was a kid, but I always like to have a full two weeks to truly enjoy the holidays properly. And to enjoy any toys that I might get. So, yeah, not much has changed since I was little. I still ask for toys from Santa and I ring in the New Year by playing with them all! I’m always careful to ask for things that I would never get for myself. Things I simply want and don’t actually need. In truth, there’s nothing much more that I actually need in life, but you can be sure that art supplies are on the list as well!

So, I continue to admire the latest bit of sparkle to catch my eye. And, I’m feeling very happy and thankful. Each year, as I get older, the feeling during this season is a little bit different. Something a bit deeper and more soulful. A bit more introspective and thoughtful. Though there are many gifts to come, I can’t help but stop and appreciate all of the gifts I’ve already received. Most of these are entirely intangible, like the gift of our community of supportive artists.  And the gift of you, dear reader, if you’ve managed to make it this far through today’s daily ramble. You’re the reason I show up here each day. Though when I started I had all the wild-eyed exuberance I needed to keep me going, these days I very much rely on all of you. Thank you for supporting me and my crazy ideas these past four and half years. Time definitely does fly by when you’re having fun with friends. And now, as the glow of the season begins to flicker its message of hope once more, I’m thrilled to find out what will happen next. Until then, I’m quite content simply being mesmerized by lights.

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Cat In Christmas Tree Lights Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
52 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 4 days ago

    Great post Charlie! We use to have a cat that liked to play in our Christmas tree far too much. I got in the habit of putting the tree up at the last possible moment just before the grandkids would arrive. I really should break that habit and put the tree up soon. Maybe this weekend. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕You should totally put that tree up! For YOU! hehe… I think Philippe and I are going to start the week prior to Thanksgiving just to get it there and enjoy it longer! hehe It’s never too soon!

  2. Mary Roff 4 days ago

    There is something truly wonderful about the glow of Christmas tree lights. Wonderful post, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕yeah, that glow is pure magic… I adore this time of year!

  3. smzang 4 days ago

    Charlie says, “And now, as the glow of the season begins to flicker its message of hope once more, I’m thrilled to find out what will happen next. Until then, I’m quite content simply being mesmerized by lights.”

    This post (painting and writing) is as mesmerizing as the most beautiful tree conceived.
    That kitty cat’s face is beyond precious and the words warm heart and soul like a mug of
    mulled cider on a snowy winter’s day. Wishing you a bounty of joys and a spectacular trip.
    It seems the season has begun!

    • Amanda 4 days ago

      I absolutely love reading your posts. Makes my day! Thanks for always showing up and sharing.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

        Thank you so much, Amanda!! 😃💕I’m so happy to hear that! That makes my heart smile!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 This time of year is sooooo fun!! I love it! And it seems like it’s gone in a heartbeat each time!

  4. Sandra Strait 4 days ago

    If our appearing to read your posts is a gift to you, please realize that your posts are a gift to us!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Huge hug my friend! The posts are actually the hardest part! Sketching is second nature. So thrilled you’re still enjoying them!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 4 days ago

    Wonderful post. I feel the same as you about the magical power of twinkling lights on a Christmas tree. As a child, I used to lie on my back and slide myself head first under the tree. This allowed me to look up through the branches at lights and ornaments. Now I’m thinking that perspective would make a great sketch.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 That perspective would make an awesome sketch indeed! And what a fun view. I loved being child-sized… so many places I can’t go today easily. 😉

  6. kiddlescarol 4 days ago

    I love this group of supportive artists, Charlie, who indeed “light” the way for future artistic growth! True treasures!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Yay to that, Carol! 😃💕 I agree… it’s just such a warm light that we’ve created together. And so inspiring!

  7. Robert J. Coleman 4 days ago

    Just sitting and gazing at the lighted tree, filling with the warmth of memories. Surrounded and enveloped by the darkness of the long winter night. This is the most meaningful of meditation times.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      So true, Bob! 😃💕 There’s really nothing better. This time of year may get dark, but there’s more than enough light to make up for it!

  8. Jerson Antao 4 days ago

    Nice painting Charlie!😊Starry Starry nights!😉😃

  9. Amelia walters 4 days ago

    Wonderful posts day by day Charlie…..thank you so much . Glad to have found you….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      I’m so thrilled we found each other, Amelia! 😃💕 That’s been the best part of my art journey, as unique as it’s been with me in the helm. I’ve so loved watching your journey. You just keep getting better and better!

  10. Fatima Chamkha 4 days ago

    Fabulous post and doodle cats like to play in trees with Christmas nearby makes it so special!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks, Fatima! 😃💕 hehe.. yeah, this cat is super curious! Probably a disaster ahead, but in this moment… just magic!

  11. Alicja Alka 3 days ago

    Beautiful. My cats behave like that at the Christmas tree:)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks, Alicja! 😃💕 hehe… I can’t blame them. Christmas tree lights are soooo beautiful!

  12. Crystal Seeker 3 days ago

    Awww beautiful

  13. louiseaprimeau 3 days ago

    Oh so cute!

  14. Darlene Campbell 3 days ago

    Your lights painting is so amazing, Charlie! The cat’s expression says so much! What focus! Might there be a sparkle of mischief in the eyes? Hmmm…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks, Darlene! 😃💕 hehe… I always get comments about how I make animals smile AND have a bit of mischief. hmmm… I guess it’s true that everything we make is a self-portrait in the end! lol

      • Darlene Campbell 2 days ago

        Ah! So your paintings are a reflection of you, Charlie? That’s enlightening and inspiring!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 days ago

          I think our paintings are always a reflection of who we are. It’s impossible to escape it! hehe 😉

  15. shawnthompsonart 3 days ago

    Ah, Cats and Christmas Trees!!

  16. memadtwo 3 days ago

    My mother’s poodle used to sit and “guard” the tree. Your kitten reminded me of her! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Aww I love that, Kerfe! 😃💕 It’s so funny, as when we put up the tree, Phineas guards it, but then he’s sort of over it! lol

      • memadtwo 2 days ago

        Short attention span–I identify with that!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 days ago

          hehe! Yeah, I think mine is actually getting shorter as I age. 😊

  17. Linda Calverley 3 days ago

    The cat is mesmerized by the light and I’m mesmerized by the cat.

  18. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 days ago

    Breathtaking!!!! ahhhhhhhhhh I am so in love with the kitty lol. 🙂

  19. Priscilla DeConti 3 days ago

    Lovely and our cats have the same look when we put up our tree!! LOL

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks, Priscilla! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I love how curious cats get and a bit jealous they get to be inside the tree! lol

  20. Jacob 3 days ago

    Hilarious, adorable, and indeed relatable as our cats used to love exploring the tree – sitting behind it, getting their claws caught in it, causing trouble. It’s not quite as exciting/tense now with only one old cat who has little interest in felling the tree.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… I’ve never had a cat with my allergies to them, but I love that sense of mischief! I’m not sure what it means to be allergic to one’s spirit animal! LOL

  21. Laura Kate 3 days ago

    Beautiful cat.

  22. Lisa 3 days ago

    My friend gave me a lovely tortilla press for Xmas. One of those things I wanted, but didn’t need. She had a big laugh over it because she claims in her only friend in the world who would want a tortilla press. Lol! She’s probably right, but it is a beautiful object, even though it only does one thing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 days ago

      Hehe… so true! Philippe got a tortilla press this summer. It’s a very cool object indeed! And though it only does one thing, what it does it pure magic! 😃💕

  23. Lidia Marina 7 hours ago

    I love your watecolors, this one particulary touched me, such a lovely expression, beautiful and inspiring!!!

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