One Day, A Butterfly

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 25 - Monarch Caterpillar - One Day A Butterfly - Monarch Caterpillar - Doodlewash

Sometimes nature is truly ingenious and perhaps one of my favorite examples is the little caterpillar, our prompt for today. It’s amazing to think a caterpillar like this one will one day do the impossible and transform into a lovely monarch butterfly. Milkweeds are the only plant where monarchs will lay their eggs as its the only plant a caterpillar like this one can eat. After munching ravenously for 10-14 days it forms a chrysalis, undergoes a truly radical transformation of its bodily tissues, and two weeks later a butterfly emerges. To change from something rather like a worm into something with intricate, stained glass wings capable of flight seems almost inconceivable. To me, the butterfly is living proof that anything is indeed possible. Since I was a child, I’ve always found them fascinating and they’ve always been a symbol of hope for me. The very idea that such radical change is possible for them means, in some leap of logic, that even my craziest dreams just might have a chance to flourish and take flight.

I’m not, of course, a caterpillar, nor do I think I was one in a past life. But, some days, I certainly do feel like one. Inching along ever so slowly, struggling to do the things I wish I could do, but lack the necessary skills or time, and hoping that one day something will change for the better. As I write and paint each day, I see progress only from a bird’s eye view. A view of everything I’ve done since I started. There’s definite progress there to be sure! But individual days are often hit or miss. On some days, the image I create is less than I’d hoped and completely different from the far more impressive illustration I had imagined in my mind. On others, I’m rather surprised by what comes out and it’s better than I thought it could be. But each day, I approach these posts with the same hope and enthusiasm, even on days when I only have 30 minutes to make it all happen. This is something that I’ve done my whole life. I definitely get discouraged along the way, but I never let that stop me from eagerly trying again, and again, and again.

Years ago, my father and I chatted briefly on the phone. This, in itself, was memorable as it rarely happened. We didn’t have a typically close relationship and conversations never really came easy. I mentioned, at the time, wanting to be a writer and thought he’d just move on to the next bit of conversation not bothering to feign an interest. But what came next surprised me. He said, “If it’s something you really want to do, then you can do it. You can do anything if it’s important enough to you.” Those were exactly the words I needed to hear and words I still hear in my head today when life gets challenging. Just a few weeks after that call, my father unexpectedly passed away, so these would also be the last words I would ever heard him speak. This is why I still use “DO” as my simple motto to this day.  And why even though it can often seem like my dreams are inching along slowly, I know in my heart that all those truly important ones will eventually come true. After all, what seems like only a caterpillar in this moment is, one day, a butterfly.

Join Us For The February Art Challenge – Let’s Go On A Nature Hike!
Click Here To Learn More!

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Yellow, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 25 - Monarch Caterpillar - One Day A Butterfly - Monarch Caterpillar - 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, contact me!

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    Both your leaf and your caterpillar are amazing. The story of your conversation with your father touched a chord in me. I can see where you get your ‘can do’ attitude.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 Glad you connected with this story. Sometimes the littlest things can mean everything in the right moment.

  2. Sharon Nolfi 3 weeks ago

    What a wonderful memory of your dad! Your caterpillar is a beauty.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 It was a very special memory!

  3. Janet Kyle 3 weeks ago

    Charlie, I love love your posts. Love your writing and commend you for perseverance as I am sure you just don’t want to post some days. Thank you for all your inspiration and sketches to paintings. They are amazing. 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much, Janet! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoy these posts!! That really means a lot to me!

  4. Shar Kennett 3 weeks ago

    Beautiful Caterpillar. Hungry, too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Shar!! 😃💕 Yes, definitely a very hungry caterpillar!

  5. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    I love your dad story! I was so glad that when my dad died we had said everything. No regrets.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yes, life can filled with so many regrets, it’s nice to have those moments when there aren’t any at all.

  6. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    P.s. I love your caterpillar!

  7. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    So happy that your father gave you those words of wisdom!!!! Iso truly believe those words….took a long time to get there. Beautiful caterpillar too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 I think I’m still really getting there each day. It’s tough to truly take those words to heart, but I keep trying!

  8. Pamela Smith 3 weeks ago

    Super cool caterpillar Charlie , great words

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Pamela! Glad you enjoyed this! 😃💕

  9. smzang 3 weeks ago

    You just keep outdoing yourself..
    I’m afraid I’m going to have to bill you for tissues on this one.
    Heart and soul, a true artist.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Aww… I hope those were tears of hope and joy! 😃💕 Thank you so much. Your words mean the world to me.

  10. iqra2095 3 weeks ago

    Beautiful caterpillar!

  11. Ellen 3 weeks ago

    You possess the heart and soul of a storyteller! Each post is a tale that is woven throughout with your delightful wit and wisdom. Each Doodle is a small bit of your enormous talent. The Doodle is the peanut butter to the story’s jelly…they are great separately, but divine together. I love how each Doodle and post is presented, is developed and then ended like a gift wrapped up with a bow. This post is a very special gift. Thank-you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      You have just seriously made me blush all over!! 😊Thank you SO much for your kind words and encouragement. I’m so humbled and thrilled that you enjoy this posts! Thank you so much for reading and viewing them, Ellen! 😃💕

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 weeks ago

    Your dad understood you more than you realized, Charlie. I’m so sorry he didn’t get to see today’s Charlie in full butterfly mode but he did witness the caterpillar on his way to his destiny.

    The painting is perfect, BTW – a lovely composition.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      That’s such a sweet thing to say, Sharon. Thank you for that. 😃💕 I think he must have known I’d get there one day. And glad you enjoyed the painting!

  13. Anita Sinha 3 weeks ago

    Loved the details about the monarch butterfly and the caterpillar..! Your story reminded me of my dad who introduced my sister and me to the world of drawing and painting through those second hand Walter Foster books he got for us from the sunday flea market…My dad had all the time in the world to listen to our stories..I miss him..He passed away 7 years back…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 And what lovely memories of your dad. That’s such a wonderful gift he gave to you!

Leave Me A Comment!


Want to say hi and connect? Do you make lovely things with watercolor and want to be featured in the next Guest Artist post?! Great! Not sure, just feel the need to say something? Awesome! Just fill out the form below!


©2015-2018 Doodlewash® | Privacy & Cookie Policy | Disclosure | Site Powered By

- Enter Your Location -
- or -

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account

%d bloggers like this: