One Little Toy

Vintage Teddy Bear Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Toys” today, so many options ran through my mind, but I decided to take the opportunity to sketch the little teddy bear that my sister gave me earlier this week. It was tiny and adorable and, when she first showed me, she just said that she got if for 75 cents at a garage sale. As she was purchasing it, the man realized it was actually a collector’s bear, but the deal had already been made. Apparently it’s a Boyds Bear and from the The Mohair Bear Collection. This is all still a mystery to me as I just adore it because it was a lovely little gift from my sister as I had to say goodbye once again. Thankfully it won’t be a full year before I see her again, as she’ll be heading my way in the spring. But, it’s always bittersweet to say goodbye to the people you love and wonderful to have a little token to remember them by. I had this bear in my bag that I brought, which is also the bag I carry to work. It was still there today, since I just wanted to keep it with me. On a work break, I had time to sketch and noticed this little bear staring back at me from my bag on the floor. It made me smile and remember all of the fun I had with my family. And quite suddenly a little pocket-sized bear became the most beautiful thing in the world to me.

I’m so thrilled to be home again, but I already miss my family. And this was my first gift of the season, which makes it extra special. I also received a tiny Paddington Bear from my mother with crocheted clothes, but I had already removed that one from my work bag. It’s currently on a shelf sitting next to the larger Paddington that my mother made for me last year. This is the point in the story where one might ask, just how many teddy bears does a man in his 40’s need? But, that’s simply not a question to me at all. What I know is that I still love teddy bears and toys. I always see advertisements for toys for grown-up men and they all seem to be power saws and tools of some kind. I still just want the toys I had as a kid. There was never a point in my life when I stopped loving those toys or felt the need to grow up. What I feel today isn’t quite nostalgia as that implies that one is looking backward at things they used to enjoy. My childlike heart has never faltered. And that’s why when it comes to Christmas, there are only toys that a child could enjoy as well on my list. This includes the art supplies, of course.

Philippe is just a touch more grown up in that he wants a couple cooking items that he wouldn’t have requested as a kid. But, the rest of his list is very much like mine. It strikes me that by pursuing a fully creative career, I was never required to grow up. In fact, doing so would have hurt my career. No longer would I be able to make those imaginative leaps that can make a grandparent stare in awe and wonder at their grandchildren. I wouldn’t be able to DO things that are just a bit different than the norm and create this rather unique website that you’re visiting at this very moment. My adult brain would just mimic what everyone else is doing, but the little kid just rushes forward to grab whatever toy seems shiniest in the moment. And, I’ve no idea if I’m on the right path, or if I’m doing things correctly, or indeed where I’ll go next. What I DO know is that I’m enjoying the path I’m on. And that’s really the best thing anyone can ever hope to achieve. And sure, there are bigger and better things to accomplish in this world. But, for a little kid like me, I’ll always just find myself once again mesmerized by one little toy.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!
Vintage Teddy Bear Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
28 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 11 months ago

    Sweet little bear and wonderful memories to go with it!

  2. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 11 months ago

    So precious!!! Your bear is very special!!! 🙂

  3. Starr Da Mauer 11 months ago

    What a great post! Your childlike joy just shines through in your work, and I think many of us
    who like to create art try to hang onto that joy, as well–especially folks like me, who
    enjoy drawing cartoons! 🙂 Keep on shining and producing such wonderful art!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks so much, Starr! 😃💕 Yeah, I think holding onto that childlike joy makes us better artists!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 11 months ago

    A sweet gift and a wonderful sketch! Enjoy him.

  5. Sandra Strait 11 months ago

    When I left after my last visit with my brother, he gave me some clotted cream that he bought while in England. Earlier this week, I received a gift of more clotted cream with some homemade crumpets. This was all the more marvelous to me because it was linked to that last good-bye. I loved clotted cream before, but now it’s even more special!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Aww that’s wonderful, Sandra! 😃💕 That’s definitely extra special clotted cream indeed! And yum, by the way… I’ll be over shortly to enjoy it with you! 😉

  6. Mireya 11 months ago

    cute bear and once again I admire your painting skills. Hapy Holidays!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mireya! 😃💕 Hope your holidays are happy as well!

  7. Karen Fortier 11 months ago

    What a well dressed bear that is very special Charlie! Don’t loose that inner child as it is very difficult to find it again! I lost mine for a very long time. We are starting to reconnect. I think Doing has helped. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 And yay to reconnecting with your inner child. DOing definitely is a cure for that. hehe… and it’s the best way to make art!

  8. Gary Middleton 11 months ago

    Brilliant painting. My grandson would love this.

  9. Lisa 11 months ago

    Known as Elfwood Bearington, he was released in 1999. I have something in the neighborhood of 15 Hallmark Xmas musical snowmen. My Aunt Becki has been giving them to me for years. We have a good laugh every time one comes in the mail. Good thing we have a big house with a basement because these guys take up space! When Joe’s sisters were here last week, I implied that he kept a lot of stuff, which he does, but I have my fair share too. Books are the first thing to come to mind. And I try to keep them weeded. Just not too well. 😁

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Oh wow! I love that name for the bear! Cool! 😃💕 And hehe… yay to all the Hallmark snowmen, that’s awesome! What fun! Yeah, I used to work for Hallmark so got a discount for awhile. Our tree has more than it’s fair share of Keepsake Ornaments that light and/or play sound! hehe

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 11 months ago

    A pocket bear – I’d love one of these. Especially in his festive costume.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Yeah, I love this little bear! 😃💕 He’s a lovely companion to have indeed.

  11. Lori C 11 months ago

    He is ridiculously cute! I am in good company here, once again! You would have had a hay day at the estate sale I went to the past two days. Bears, dolls and toys galore! However after 2 hours there, it became too much. I did find a few little bears and some things to make me as excited as a kid on Christmas. I did see a few Paddington’s and thought of you. 😉 Good thing I don’t have your address! Tee hee

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 11 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Actually, bummer you didn’t have my address!! LOL That’s awesome… I think I would have gone nuts at a sale like that one. Philippe would have to drag me away. hehe

  12. Laura Kate 11 months ago

    Very ;nice colors on your bear.

  13. Linda Calverley 11 months ago

    Love this little teddy , he’s adorable.

  14. shawnthompsonart 11 months ago

    Nice toy, it really looks good with the sap green, and red.

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