Pond Life

Happy Frog Sitting On Lily Pad Pond Flower Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Pond Life” today, I made a little sketch of a frog contemplating life while sitting on a lily pad. It had been awhile since I’d visited a pond, so Philippe and I took a walk through a nearby park this past weekend to enjoy the spring weather. There’s not a lily pond there, but there is a pond filled with koi fish, turtles and ducks. The koi fish were added fairly recently, but have already taken over the pond and so it now glitters with pops of bright orange, which is quite lovely. When I was a kid, any visit to a pond always filled me with wonder and excitement. I would run around trying to spot the frogs, and loved hearing the low bellow of a bullfrog that sounded like someone was tuning a tuba before a concert. Indeed, the symphony of various sounds was always the best part of the experience. It was quite a performance as the jingling tambourine of crickets mixed with the undulating beats from the locusts to create the background music for the melody of the birds. Dreaming of those moments again, reminds me that in all of the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s always good to find an oasis of peace and quiet every so often.

While I’ve been trying to grab some time to relax and do nothing much at all lately, I’ve also been rather busy with work and creative projects. While I enjoy doing both, sometimes there’s more magic to be found in taking a bit of a break. So, I’ve been trying to DO a bit less and breathe a bit more. Painting this frog today made me imagine myself sitting on a lily pad with no real cares in the world. I’m sure if I were actually a frog I’d likely be on the lookout for any food flying by as well. I doubt that I could get Philippe to toss pastries at me while I’m enjoying a moment of zen, but the very idea of it does make the imagined experience seem that much more beautiful. In reality, I have trouble pausing and truly slowing down. It’s why I adore watercolor painting so much. It’s one of the rare times that I seem to focus on one thing and shut the outside world out for a brief moment. Actually, the same thing happens when I’m doodling on my iPad as well. Whenever I’m creating something that’s just for me in my physical or digital sketchbook, then I feel so refreshed and happy. And, if whatever thing I’m making turns into something that I end up sharing with others that makes me happier still!

For example, when Philippe came down the stairs to get ready for dinner, I brandished my sketchbook proudly and shouted gleefully, “Look, I made a frog!” He sort of giggled and said, “That’s very nice” like one might speak to a small child. I didn’t mind the condescending tone one bit, and simply smiled back as though I actually were a small child. This is pretty much how every evening begins in our house. I put away whatever it was that I was feverishly making in that moment, during my little hour after work, and then I join Philippe for some kind of snack before dinner. In truth, we often just move from a snack to a bit of something else and then end with a vegetable or salad, or on special days a tiny taste of something sweet. In this way, dinner lasts for a couple of hours and it’s a wonderful time to catch up on the bits of each other’s lives that we missed during the day. We may not be floating on a lily pond at the time, but we do manage to spend time in the bubble of our own quiet world. I guess, in some ways, you could say that each and every evening, we’re simply pressing pause on everything else to enjoy a bit of pond life.

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Happy Frog Sitting On Lily Pad Pond Flower Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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  1. scrittoralinda 1 year ago

    That is awwwwww-some Charlie! I can just see you lying on a lily pad and Phillippe tossing pastries to you. Ah bliss! Bliss-ings and blessings to you.

  2. Zoie McIntyre 1 year ago

    Oh Charlie – I do so love the way you write and I really think you should put all of your Doodlewash posts into one big book someday. I really do. I would buy it!!! I just love this frog and I agree with you. So important to just breathe. I have really been doing more with watercolor – trying to learn and I did something today all the while thinking of you and how Doodlewash got me started and will keep me going because it really is the very best forum on the internet as far as I am concerned. Everyone here is so supportive. Not so everywhere – that’s for sure. Anyway, I was doing an affirmation drawing and you were the inspiration for it – “Embrace Your Inner Child” was my art aspiration which, came from you. I am not very good at Instagram yet, but I will try to tag you so you can see it. I was working with only two colors – Paynes Grey and Yellow. 🙂 Lots of Hugs.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Oh that’s so awesome on the affirmation drawing! Yay for Embracing your Inner Child! And thrilled you’re enjoying Doodlewash… it is a wonderful and supportive community here. I’m never sure if Instagram is showing me everything anymore… so if you do tag me and I don’t comment, then send me a note! And so happy you enjoy my writing. I did manage to collect several of my stories in my first Sketching Stuff, Stories Sketched From Life book. But I do have enough to publish a sequel or two one day! hehe Hugs to you my friend! 😃💕

  3. Sandra Strait 1 year ago

    I live on the outskirts of a wetland, and in February, it’s mating season for the local frogs. Every night for two – three weeks we get a free chorus of singing frogs and it’s spectacular. Unfortunately, it’s usually too cold to stand and listen for more than a few minutes. One of these days, I’ll think ahead and have my phone ready so I can record it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Oh wow! Yeah, you totally need to record that. That sounds awesome! 😃💕

  4. Mary Roff 1 year ago

    Your frog looks very happy and content!! He’s a beauty!

  5. Gary Middleton 1 year ago

    That frog looks very relaxed. We have a wildlife pond in the garden. I spend hours in the summer on my knees watching the frogs, newts and insects, in and flying over the water.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Aww that sounds like a lovely way to spend the summer. I adore newts…. I think they’re adorable! hehe

  6. Jannette Beatson Berger 1 year ago

    Oh Charlie, your words are so dreamy and comforting. Thank you for a few moments of peaceful thoughts. I appreciate you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Aww thanks so much, Jannette! 😃💕 I’m so happy this provided a moment of peace!

  7. Mugdha 1 year ago

    Hello hello Charlie,

    The first part of your post is the written description of the prelude to ‘Kiss the Girl’ from Disney’s The Little Mermaid! Atleast that’s what started playing in my head as I read it. And I so agree with Zoie about the idea of your posts being compiled into a book. It’ll sell like hot cakes. So pleeeeeease do give it a serious thought. And by the time I see your next post I’ll be back in tigerland. Will send you pics if I manage to see something interesting.


    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 year ago

      Oh wow… now I’m not going to be able to get that song out of my head! lol Love it!! As for my posts, I did publish quite a few of them in my book Sketching Stuff: Stories Sketched From Life and I assumed I’d make a couple sequels, but never got around to it. I always want to write other things. And just get generally distracted by new ideas all of the time. And yes!!! Please do send pics of tigerland. It’s beautiful to see! Much love! 😃💕

  8. shawnthompsonart 12 months ago

    Nice sketch, you really got the expression on the frogs face of him contemplating life!!

  9. Nellie Nellie 12 months ago

    Just caught the Sketchbook Revival segment 🌟 ing YOU! And yes, it was the Charlie (big happy kid) we all know and love to join in with. Hug Philippe and tell him you are really having the time of your life! And all your friends are too! Pond life is good! (Someday I’ll tell you the tadpoles in my mom’s punchbowl story🐸)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Aww thanks so much!! Glad you enjoyed my segment… I’m definitely a big happy kid! hehe 😃💕 And oh my… that sounds like quite a tadpole story indeed!!

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