One Little Flower

Protea Flower Watercolor Painting

Today, for our prompt of “Flowers,” I opted for one that I don’t normally see in my climate in honor of our travel theme. This is a South African flowering plant with a scientific name of Protea, but the plant might also be known as sugarbushes or fynbos. Actually, these plants can be grown in North America, but don’t like humid climates, which happens to be the kind that I inhabit. So, they’re quite alien to me, and rather cool. Seeing a unique flower is one of my favorite bits about traveling to new climates. I always stop and stare in awe as though I’m viewing something miraculous. Though there are certainly many man-made attractions to see while on a trip, the nature-made attractions are always my favorite. It’s proof that the world is wonderfully diverse and full of new and exciting mysteries around every corner. As for actual travel, Philippe and I have yet to commit to a trip and sit down to plan one. While we were thinking about taking a plane somewhere, which is the obvious choice, we’re now even considering taking a train instead. We have so much fun considering what we might do, that actually doing it gets pushed a bit to the background. So, it’s anyone’s guess, including ours, as to where we’ll actually end up visiting next.

While I have many things on my bucket list, that list of all of the things you hope to accomplish before you disappear from this earth, I have so many little things as well. In truth, I’m not sure how to rank all of the things I’d like to do. Depending on the moment and my mood, one little thing can seem like the best thing of all. This has plagued me throughout my life in that I’m woefully inadequate when it comes to prioritizing things. I’ve simply no idea if something huge that I’m considering is the best path to take next, or if the tiny little notion I had is actually the better place to start. I have a penchant for those tiny notions. These are the ideas that seem ridiculously simple or easy. At least, they represent a much simpler path to take. Sometimes, it’s a path that seems a bit too dull or uneventful, but I’ve learned that any path can be exciting if you approach it with an open mind. So, I’ve learned to entertain just about any idea that comes to mind for a moment. It’s fun to consider any little thought and imagine where it might lead me next.

For me, creativity isn’t about some instant moment where a huge epiphany hits. It’s about all of the little moments where bits of ideas come together and point me in a new direction. It’s more of a leisurely train ride, than jetting across the sky. Big ideas are rare, but little ideas are abundant and we have them all day long. I believe that the best creative moments come from knitting all of those little notions together into something greater than the sum of the parts. When viewed together, those little ideas create a roadmap of infinite wonder that can lead just about anywhere. I love these ideas, and use them as signposts, like I’m hiking up a mountain and just need the next little clue to find my way. What I love about this mindset is that it works for everyone. Sure, there are some people who just seem to have amazing ideas that pop up from nowhere, but for the rest of us, it can take a few steps to get there. I’m personally not blessed with any heroic ability to predict the future or come up with the next viral idea out of thin air. I just take things one idea at a time and figure things out while actually DOing them. It’s something everyone can DO, and it all starts with one little flower.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Blue. 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!
Protea Flower Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

 

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22 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Protea are one of my favorite flowers! Lovely use of colors in flower, glass and water.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, I love these flowers! I wish they could grow here!

  2. Karen Fortier 3 months ago

    I love how you paint glass and thanks for sharing this flower Charlie. Keeping a nature journal has been a big part of my getting reacquainted with the artist that is in me. It has helped me to connect to the world around me. I recently started painting on watercolor paper in addition to my sketchbooks. This journey is taking a much different turn than I had envisioned as today I sold a painting, my second this week. We shall see where this goes.
    Keep planning that trip. A train sounds great.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕And YAY to selling paintings…. that’s fantastic!! Congratulations! I think this journey we are on is the best one ever, there’s always new things to come and so exciting!

  3. Jerson Antao 3 months ago

    Nice flower dipped in the glass. Well played with the colors.

  4. Stephie 3 months ago

    Love the way you painted the water in the glass

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Stephie! 😃💕 Painting water and glass is one of my favorite things!

  5. Lisa 3 months ago

    I have a friend who just disembarked from a train today in Vancouver, WA. Her daughter lives there so they take the train out maybe once a year. The photos from the train windows are always wonderful. I think it would be a wonderful way to travel out west. I get the feeling of old western movies when I see her photos. You should check into Amtrak and see if they have service where you want to go. I think if you take a train, that becomes a big part of the vacation. Flying just doesn’t have the same cachet.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Yes! Amtrak is right down the street as we live only a block away from Union Station. 😃💕 That’s why we were thinking about a train trip. It’s pretty easy! But the European trains are still far superior in speed… hehe… here, you have to set aside a day for somewhere you could get in just a few hours by plane. 😉

  6. Robert J. Coleman 3 months ago

    Your thoughts on traveling to new places light a fire in many of us, to find new vistas and see new stuff. Lisa just touched on a travel idea which is being advertised a lot here in New England, the TransCanada or Rocky Mountain Express. Another possibility would be an autumn foliage trip up here in the northeast, thru Vermont or Maine.
    In fact, the smaller trips, with those little spots you can stop and really take in, can provide one with more memories than a rushed trip across the continent. My wife and I will often just take a state-numbered highway or road from one end to the other, thru the countryside. Fortunately, in Mass., the roads aren’t that long! (It’s not like taking U.S. Route 1 from Maine to Key West!) You might find a few doodle subjects on the smaller trips…..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      I would love to go to Maine or Vermont as I’ve never been there! 😃💕 Yeah, I love smaller trips. There’s more time for contemplation and, of course, sketching! hehe… when we travel to visit family in Paris, I can only sketch in the wee hours. It would be lovely to take a train and just relax and create!

  7. LoriCtoo 3 months ago

    Ahhh, another glass. :p I love how you sketched the stem split like it actually looks when you see it. Never heard of this flower, but it looks interesting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I actually don’t see these flowers here, but many in our community have sketched them so I figured I’ve give one a go!

  8. Jodi 3 months ago

    lovely

  9. smzang 3 months ago

    Charlie says “Big ideas are rare, but little ideas are abundant and we have them all day long. I believe that the best creative moments come from knitting all of those little notions together into something greater than the sum of the parts.”

    Ever so true!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww yay! Glad you liked that bit, Sarah! 😃💕 I truly believe that! No need waiting for the BIG idea to hit… just cultivate those little ones and something wonderful will always happen!

  10. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Love the flower!! Now I want to jump on a plane or two and explore the flora and fauna of the world. Any excuse to travel works for me! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕hehe! Yay! I say jump on that plane my friend!

  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    This lovely little painting brought to us by Charlie’s lovely little protea! A very special moment indeed.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕So happy you liked this! I don’t see these flowers here, but many in the community sketch them, so I wanted to as well!

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