One Giant Leap

Day 17 - Neil Armstrong Astronaut Illustration - Doodlewash

Just a couple of years before I was born, Neil Armstrong took a step on the surface of the moon. Back on earth people were amazed and in awe of such a fabulous achievement. They were certain that it would just be a matter of years before space travel would be something common. In truth, we’re living in the times they dreamed about back then, but I’m still waiting for my spaceship. That historic walk on the moon prompted a famous line that was misheard on earth to be, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This, of course, doesn’t make any sense at all because “man” and “mankind” are essentially the same thing. Instead, Armstrong actually said, “that’s one small step for a man,” which adds all of the meaning to the phrase. The idea that one person could do something that has an effect on the world as a whole. This, of course, made me go through a phase when I was a little kid of wanting to be an astronaut. Not just to fly around in space, which would be cool, but to make some sort of impact on the world. Of course, I never became an astronaut and now have a fear of heights so that’s probably never likely to happen. But I still remember the dream.

One of my favorite cartoons to watch as a kid was The Jetsons. This was a fun show about a family living in a utopian future where houses were in the sky, along with the cars, and nearly anything was possible. I loved Rosie the Robot Maid most and thought she was really cool. That, and all of the various contraptions and machines on the show. It was filled with pure imagination and a view of the future that was really quite creative and amazing. And it was also the first series to be broadcast in color on ABC, which makes it rather revolutionary. Of course, many viewers were still only able to watch it in black and white as color televisions were still a rather expensive novelty. And this all happened in 1962, seven years before a man would take his first steps on the moon. The following decade, yours truly entered a world that was still quite fascinated with outer space. But, many of the stories had started to change a bit and the utopian societies turned into dystopian ones fighting for survival. But, thankfully I still have my Jetsons to enjoy and later would become a huge fan of Mork & Mindy. The latter was about an alien attempting to navigate earth and probably reveals even more about just how weird and wonderful life really is on this little green planet.

In truth, we’ve passed all of the galactic milestones that the 60’s and 70’s had envisioned for us. From the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, out just a year before the moon landing, to the 70’s oneupmanship of the show Space: 1999, many years have gone by. We apparently should have been in space by now, with robot helpers, but instead we’ve stayed terrestrial, gotten distracted with smart phones while trying to get audio virtual assistants to understand what the hell we’re actually trying to say. But even if the dreams of everyday space travel failed to happen in the time of those stories, it’s the stories themselves that made an impact. It was exciting to imagine what would happen next, and wonderful to think it would indeed be some kind of utopia. That’s where my insatiable optimism got its roots. I was born in a time when man (and woman, of course!), could do anything that could be imagined. After all, if we could put a man on the moon, then anything is possible, right? And each person has the ability to make a positive difference in the world. Sometimes, the smallest of actions can be the most amazing first step that will ultimately help the world once again experience one giant leap.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. (My “Shiny” Trio! Click Here To Purchase It!) + Quinacridone Red. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!
Neil Armstrong Astronaut Illustration - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    I’ve come round to the belief that when space travel becomes a common thing, we won’t be using ships. I suspect it will be something quantum (you know I have great faith in quantum reality, lol). Probably something in our DNA that we’re already capable of, if only we knew it. We’ll discover it, and enter the next phase of our existence. I don’t really know that this is true, but it’s the way I dream it will be.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Oh wow! I adore the way you think, Sandra! 😃💕 It’s literally no surprise why we’re such good friends! hehe Yessss! That’s totally going to be how the future happens when it finally decides to happen!

  2. memadtwo 3 months ago

    What a great painting of Neil Armstrong! I’m in awe.
    Anything that has to do with the moon is a good thing I think. Yes, and reach for the stars! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! (I can paint people as long as there’s no face to bother with… hehe). And yes! Anything with the moon is an inspiring thing indeed!

  3. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    A wonderful painting and a great reminder of such a special time in history. Who knows, maybe one day we will get there. Hopefully, without having to wear those space suits!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Yeah, right? those space suits made everyone look a bit short and squat… hehe… I want to visit space in something more slimming. 😉

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Wonderful sketch of the moon walker, especially the reflections in the helmet. Let’s not forget David Bowie’s genius masterpiece “Starman” in any discussion of the early 70’s. The song debuted in 1972, the year you turned 1, and I graduated college at age 21. I still get goosebumps from that song.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Aww yes! I didn’t even go to music… and though I was 1 at the time I did hear it later. It’s a wonderful song!

  5. Jill Kuhn 3 months ago

    The Jetsons brought back the memory of the dog, Elroy! haha 😃 Your art is spectacular, Charlie! It always amazes me how you bring back these memories like walking on the moon! 🌙 Cheers!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Jill! 😃💕hehe… Elroy!! Man I loved that show! I grew up thinking life would actually turn out like that, so I’ve lived as if it did. 😉

  6. Lisa 3 months ago

    Thanks! Now I have the Jetsons’ theme song stuck in my brain! This morning I woke with Help by the Beatles in my head! I was in my forties when I first learned the term earworm. Nailed it with that one.

    Space, the final frontier. I never had a thing for space, or submarine living. It always seemed to me that if I lived somewhere where I couldn’t go outside the sub or spaceship without dying from lack of oxygen, this was not the place I wanted to be!! When I see those movies where inevitably a line breaks and someone goes floating off into the vastness of space, I almost hyperventilate myself. I think I’ll just stay here thank you very much!

    Oh, let us not forget, they have now taken a picture of a black hole. Another thing to consider about when talking space travel!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      haha! Yeah, me too! That theme song was the biggest earworm ever!! 😃💕 And yes! We now have a black hole photo, but it’s probably just confirming everything else you mentioned. Space has yet to be made to seem inviting, outside of The Jetsons, of course. hehe 😉

  7. Lori Carscallen 3 months ago

    Your astronaut is spot on! So cool! I get nervous flying in an airplane, I can’t imagine going up in a rocket! Loved the Jetsons! I remember way back, people talking about visual telephoning and look where we are today…..I’m not that old either! Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, we had just grand dreams and yet not many of them happened. If space travel ever happens, though, it better resemble The Jetsons or I’ll just be freaked out! lol

  8. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Fabulous astronaut! Maybe we aren’t living on the moon..yet, but, there are a lot of technological advances we can attribute to the space program. Someone I spoke with recently said the program had been a waste of money…I think not.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 It’s never a waste of money to explore new things. We spend so much of it on trying to hold on to the old things. I love our explorers and astronauts!

  9. Jodi 3 months ago

    great doodlewash – I loved the Jetsons – and now I am singing the song!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      haha! You’re welcome! It will now be in your head for days!! 😃💕 That Jetsons song was soooooooo catchy! lol

  10. smzang 3 months ago

    Charlie says, ” I was born in a time when man (and woman, of course!), could do anything that could be imagined”

    and then he followed that up with ” the smallest of actions can be the most amazing first step that will ultimately help the world once again experience one giant leap.” and there you have an understanding of how Doodlewash came to be.

    You always give us the best of the best, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      And you always give me the best motivation and love for what I DO each day. Seriously… thank you, Sarah. ❤️ It means the world to me that you find love and truth in my words. I type them as I feel and think them so I never feel they’re truly prose and then you elevate them and make me feel like I’m a writer. That’s the best gift anyone could hope to receive!

  11. lulu 3 months ago

    I remember the event as it it were yesterday, and when I think about the changes since them i am overwhelmed.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Yeah, we been through a crazy amount of change since then. It seems there’s something new to figure out each every day. Yet without the cool flying cars, much of it just seems like noise. 😉 hehe

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