Pumpkins In The Hay

Today’s prompt of “hay” isn’t really a food item unless you’re a horse, but I figured I’d try it with one of my favorite fall items – pumpkins! I fully realize that pumpkin is a prompt later in the month, but one can never have too many pumpkins this time of year. Hay, however, is ridiculously tough to sketch, and I didn’t have much time today, so this is my quickly scribbled and brushed rendition. My favorite part of the year is seeing the little hay bales appear outside all of the grocery stores and Home Depot this time of year. Each, stacked with all different kinds of pumpkins. It’s a sure sign that autumn has officially arrived and Halloween will be heading our way soon. Selecting and carving a pumpkin this early, of course, would result in a ghastly mess by the time the day arrived, but very soon that’s just what we’ll be doing in our house. “We” might be just a bit of a stretch as the dog and I will simply approve the design as Philippe does the actual carving. I’m a bit clumsy and not really good around sharp objects. That’s probably why I never learned to cook properly. But I can eat like a pro, and this is my favorite season to do so!

When I was young, I used to go on hay rides. Those were when you went to some remote farm and hopped on a wooden flatbed structure covered in hay bales and pulled by a tractor. Looking back, the entire idea seems a bit weird, but it was really fun to do it in the evening when just the moonlight was shining. As I got older, the trick in those instances was to sit next to the person you had a crush on as the chill in the air forced the notion of cuddling for extra warmth. I was too painfully shy for that, so I could usually be found shivering alone, just staring at the stars. As much as I longed to be one of those people with a significant other, I felt in that moment, that it was just me and the sky. I can’t really think of anything more significant than that. It was incredible. And the sheer awe of all those stars, miles away from the harsh lights of the city, is still a memory I treasure. It’s was like traveling to another world. I felt so small, yet happy, staring up into a galaxy of mysteries that I never usually got the opportunity to see.

So yeah, maybe I didn’t have that special person cuddling me back then, but I still had an extraordinary time. I grew out of my awkwardness, and went on to become more cuddly in later years.  But, that young boy who didn’t quite fit in is still there with me like an old friend. He’s the constant reminder that, sometimes, it’s okay to simply enjoy the stars alone. No matter how much you want to fit in, there’s always something so wonderfully unique about you, that it’s not quite possible. That’s why I love filling my world with artists. We get that feeling. We know that though we share a common bond, our styles and approaches are vastly different. And it doesn’t matter one bit. We connect on a level that’s not so literal. One that’s much like staring into a field of stars and knowing they’re all part of the same sky. We’re all so unique and beautiful in the midst of a world that can often be common and ordinary. Like stumbling across the wonderfully contrasting beauty that can always be found with pumpkins in the hay.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Red Rose Deep, Terra Cotta, Leaf Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 4 _ Pumpkins In The Hay Watercolor - 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 Doodlewash.com, contact me!

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37 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Love your pumpkins and your hay looks incredibly hay-ey! If only when young, we could have the knowledge that we gain in later years. But then what’s the quote from Rita Mae Brown? Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment’. Without the bad experiences, we’d be less interesting and less unique. Still…

    • Kaye Boggs 2 months ago

      I agree.. I recognized the hay balls right away. I love pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving with real whipped cream on top.

      • Kaye Boggs 2 months ago

        eeek.. where’s the edit button? I meant hail bails. lol

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

        Yeah, hay balls are probably something else entirely! 😊 LOL

      • Elizabeth 2 months ago

        Kay thanks for the laugh!

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

        Anything with whipped cream and I’m there!! YUM!!! 😃💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra!! 😃💕 Hay is crazy tough to sketch! hehe And so true!! That Rita Mae Brown was a smart woman!!

  2. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    Sometimes I ache for Little Charlie and am very glad he grew up happy, loved, and able to pursue his talents. If you ask around, you’ll find most of us were that lonely little kid, aching for a friend to cuddle with.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I think that’s why I’m so incredibly happy today. It’s like building a place where everyone who experienced that can come together, hang out, and say… we’re so fricking cool! You know you want to cuddle us! hehe

  3. Wendy J Nelson 2 months ago

    Hi, Charlie – i can certainly relate to not fitting in as a kid, feeling awkward! Reading your story, it just occurred to me that I too, have created groups and networks / communities in my life. I’m just now realizing and wondering about the time I’ve devoted to creating community – and whether or not that has been in part a compensation for the lonely part of childhood? Having the power to bring people together as an adult? Just a thought…..

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      I think that’s totally the case! And a wonderful cause indeed! Knowing what it’s like to be shunned or pushed to side as not quite fitting in, is a powerful knowledge indeed. My hope is to bring us all together as one undeniable force and say, “We’re awesome! And unique! Screw your rules! We’re going to make the world amazing!”

      • Wendy Nelson 2 months ago

        I love your great spirit! Power to the creatives! 🙂

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

        Yay to that, Wendy!!! 😃

  4. Mickey Spade 2 months ago

    Charlie, your stories always make me smile. I can visualize the hayride, the stars and all the kids on that flatbed full of hay bails. Happy to connect through art. You are providing a special service for artists. Thank you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww, thanks so much Mickey! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you’re a part of the group! It’s a big and crazy world full of things that are nearly impossible to understand. In the end, we have each other. And that makes everything seem pretty perfect.

  5. Meenakshi Goel 2 months ago

    I am becoming a big fan of your writings Charlie. Reading them is like knowing a culture. I get to know the significance of the festivals and the other things the way they are celebrated and done,which surely may differ little in every country. Thank you!! Keep growing, keep inspiring 💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww that’s the sweetest thing to hear, Meenakshi! Thank you so much!! 😃💕 I just write what comes to mind, and I’m so happy you enjoy these posts!!

  6. Sharon Mann 2 months ago

    I’m ready for a hay ride! Beautiful art.

  7. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Thanks for another thought inspiring post. I wonder how many creative people have spent their childhood being shy. And, did their need to create come from the need for expression. Just wondering.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 I think many of us creative folks have experienced that shyness. Mostly because we’re the exception, not the norm. Being different is always tough, especially in childhood. In adulthood, we earn the right to say, “screw it!” This is just what I am… and it’s awesome!

  8. Susan Cuss 2 months ago

    We rode on bales of hay in wooden wagons going around the pumpkin patch to pick out our Great Pumpkin for carving. What fun! I, too, was shy, and there was no cuddling amongst the hay, at least not until I was older, and took my children on their hay ride! Great sketch, and loved your post.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Yeah, it was such a fun experience!! I haven’t tried it again since I was a teenager. I should fix that!

  9. Thomas Blanchard 2 months ago

    Hey … you did a great job on the hay 🙂 Love your story as well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 Hehe… hay is stupidly hard to figure out how to render. Glad you enjoyed the story!!

  10. SnehLata Maheshwari 2 months ago

    Hi lovely story. And pumpkin also.nice
    Charlie.

  11. Sandra Gilbert 2 months ago

    Your hay looks considerably more like hay than mine did, and I love your pumpkins. There is something just so cheery about pumpkins.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 I know, right? Pumpkins always just make me smile!

  12. Elizabeth 2 months ago

    My eyes began to bug out as I read the beginning of your post …”hay” isn’t really a food item unless you’re a horse, but I figured I’d try it…” Hay with pumpkin? Philippe’ recipes sound much better. My imagination ran with this, and I ended up with a case of giggles.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      haha! Yeah, not every post is going to be part of the aforementioned cookbook. It’s more of a little digest. Pun intended. Although, if anyone could make hay taste good, it’s Philippe! lol 😃💕

  13. Elizabeth Metz 2 months ago

    Not gonna lie; this made me tear up a little. In the best possible way.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww, that’s such a wonderful thing to hear. Thanks so much, Elizabeth! 😃💕

  14. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    I love the luminosity in the hay.

  15. smzang 2 months ago

    Splendid in every sense!

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