Next Up To Bat

For our prompt of “Bat” today, I decided to blend a couple of possible meanings for the word and ended up with a bat playing baseball. When I was a kid, I used to collect baseball cards. I enjoyed watching baseball, but wasn’t really a super fan. Instead, I had simply found a set of baseball cards once at a flea market that looked cool and then decided on the spot that I would become a collector. I did this a lot as a kid. Any time I would see something that was part of a set, I would get all excited to assemble the entire collection. The cards ended up in one of those books with the clear vinyl pouches so you could thumb through them while seeing both sides in all their glory. Had I actually followed baseball more closely, the images of players and their names would have probably meant much more. I just wanted to see if I could “collect them all” as the words on the outside wrappers stated. In the end, I don’t think I managed to get a full set, or more likely, I was just once again distracted by something else shiny that simply had to be collected.

As an adult, I’ve had moments where I wanted to collect things. After purchasing an antique stereoscope once, I grew interested in collecting stereoscopic cards that were humorous in nature. Or, at least meant to be funny for the time. They’re all now in a drawer somewhere, but I can’t remember which drawer exactly. I assume I’ll rediscover them one day while moving to a new house. These days, I’ve realized that a true collector would actually commit to something in order to amass a worthy collection. My dabbles in collecting never really amounted to much. Recently, however, I was looking through all of the sketches that I’ve made over the past few years. I have stacks and stacks of sketchbooks filled with all sorts of little watercolor sketches and doodles. For the first time in my life, I’ve managed to create and keep adding to a collection that truly feels like it has some real value. At any rate, it’s been fun to see all of the new images appear and wonder what on earth might appear next.

I’ve recently categorized and organized over 325 illustrations on my Sketching Stuff site, where I’m offering them as both unframed and framed prints. I plan to add more as I go along, so if nothing else, it will provide an easier way to browse through many of the sketches that I’ve made. I was flipping through the pages of this new gallery and showing Philippe. Since I only paint at the kitchen counter, there were many times that he was sitting next to me as I sketched stuff. But, I guess he wasn’t paying close attention as he pointed out things he liked as though he’d never seen them before. And now, there’s a little puppy named Elliott who simply lays down and sighs dramatically each time I get out my little paint set. He doesn’t really like it when he’s not the center of attention. And though I no longer share every single little thing I make, I do still sketch stuff each and every day. I still write bits of stories daily that may stay hidden away or may become part of my next post or book. The coolest part of this journey is not just what I’ve already made and collected along the way. It’s the anticipation of what will happen next. I’m never at all certain what that next blank page will reveal, but it’s always worth showing up to see who’s next up to bat.

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Cute Bat Holding A Baseball Bat Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. JA Wilson 11 months ago


  2. Celticpeasant 11 months ago

    Oh my gosh – did this ever give me the giggles. Up to bat with a Bat playing baseball – lololo! Oh my gosh! That is just too cool. Boy I wish I could think of things you folks thing of for prompts. Maybe eventually. Still hoping to be able to do the prompts – maybe I’ll get in for the July Watercolor. Your Bat (and bat) is just fabulous Charlie :). The first thing I collected was comic books (oh my I had an incredible collection but I took them to the convent with me and the nuns burnt them all and made me watch 🙁 – a very sad Zoie) Next I collected books, then stamps and then coins. Then I collected antiques but I’ve had to let some of those go for lack of space. Oh and I collected spoons, or rather not me, but I inherited a collection (I haven’t added to it). I collected playing cards. But thinking on it, I guess I am like you – nothing ever got to the point of worthiness because I would see the next shiny thing and be off – lolol. Happy days Charlie and thanks for the giggle and the awesome Bat/bat 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Awww thanks so much! 😃💕 So happy this made ya smile! hehe That’s so sad to hear about the comic book collection. That sounds amazing. I collected books and coins as well! It’s fun to collect things… it brings some order to life. And the shinier the better! Much love to you, my friend!

  3. Nellie Nellie 11 months ago

    Hmm, let me think…pigs, sheep, angels, mid century pottery, tote bags (its a tie between LLB and PLG which means I had to stop-Im not an octopus🐙🤣!) When we moved to my husbands childhood home (its small but double where we lived in a giant Jenga puzzle under 1000’sqft) we downloaded 65% of all our “stuff” and vowed to never collect again! Its a precarious balance between being two “well equipped” artists and hoarding! I may love a new color or brush but I recently moved my painting area back to the end of the kitchen counter, just to keep the focus smaller and less cluttered!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      We’re the same way!! We always say we’re going to stop collecting more stuff and get rid of what we have, but we only do so in bits and pieces. We’re not full on hoarders yet, but it’s certainly possible if we don’t make good on those promises! lol 😉 💕

  4. mlaiuppa 11 months ago

    Are you familiar with Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies? It’s a children’s picture book. One is a series. (Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, etc.)

    I’ve also been a collector all my life. My parents used to refer to my room as “The Museum.”

    I have teapots, Wendt & Kuhn figurines, Met Museum jewelry and objects, autographed books, Christmas ornaments, German music boxes, blown glass paperweights, Teddy bears, and of course, watercolor palettes. I am not a fanatic obsessive collector like those that do coins and stamps and lust after that one of a kind rare one. I do have a lot of dog stuff of various kinds; shirts, books, jewelry, statues, toys and lots of books. I find there is no way to have a “complete” collection as there always seems to be one more somewhere. I think the only complete collections I have are book series or DVDs, although they always seem to be rereleasing something advertising more or new. A new forward or a director’s cut. I think a collection is more than three related things. I have plenty of “collections” but nothing that is obsessive or complete. (I have six sewing machines)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      I hadn’t heard of those picture books… I’ll have to check them out! 😃💕 And those sounds like some awesome collections indeed! hehe… you’re so right… there’s often never a way to complete a collection. Always something new to discover next. But, I guess, that’s what makes collecting stuff so intriguing! hehe

  5. Marisela Delgado 11 months ago

    Hola, mi amigo, Charlie! Okay, my friend, now you know that I love you, but do you know what terrifies me to no end? Bats!!!! They scare me and they know it! When I used to run, it was like they were waiting for me to run by. Oh, they knew what they were doing. Cute painting, though. Okay, that’s it for me on the bat talk. 😂😂😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      hehe! Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, even a cute bat isn’t a very popular subject matter. I like the faces, but the wings kind of creep me out a bit with the real thing. lol Much love to you, mi amiga!

  6. Mary Roff 11 months ago

    Cutest bat I’ve ever seen!!

  7. Sandra Strait 11 months ago

    I’m a collector too – I did the Beanie Baby thing even though I didn’t like them all that much. It was running around town trying to find the newest ones that was the draw. I’ll tell you, I walked to most of the places and lost all sorts of weight, so in the long run it was probably cheaper than joining a gym or doing nutrisystem or something. Now – what to do with all those little stuffed animals …

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 10 months ago

      hehe… that is the draw. It’s often more about the hunt than the find! But, that’s definitely a more fun way to work out, so that’s awesome! 😃💕

  8. Steven A. Falco 10 months ago

    Great idea. Could be a team logo. Wonderful artwork.

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