Riding On A Broom

Day 24 - Riding On A Broomstick Halloween - Doodlewash

While I think I’ve mentioned several times in my posts that I’ve always wanted the ability to fly, I hadn’t ever seriously considered the idea of a broomstick for travel. Though certainly a flying machine made for witches during Halloween month, they’re also used by the characters in Harry Potter to play a game of Quidditch. This is a fictional sport, which is really the only kind I could ever imagine myself being good at. But the whole broomstick ride doesn’t seem like a particularly comfortable way to travel. It’s just a stick really, with a bit of straw at the end. Though my butt is not particularly large, it’s still a fair bit bigger than a stick. So, true to form, I got a bit lost for a moment in a rabbit trail of online videos of people flying on a broom. These were all from movies, of course, as any other form of this sort of travel has apparently not yet been caught on video. As far as I could make out from my brief “research,” the broom seemed like merely a prop. Take it away and it felt like the person could still, somehow, be magically flying. But, I guess it’s a good thing as a squatting stance while flying would look perfectly ridiculous without something there to justify it.

My flying dreams are ludicrous as an adult since I have a fear of heights. But those fears are only experienced when being on the roof of a very tall building. It’s really the fear of falling off, since I don’t actually possess the ability to fly. Were I able to soar through the clouds on my own, perhaps those fears wouldn’t be there at all. It strikes me that this is very similar to any fear I might have of failure. If I’m not certain I can do something properly, there’s always a chance that I might mess things up. This is likely why I’ve never enjoyed sports, Quidditch aside, of course. For example, I don’t have a fear of walking because I’m rather practiced at doing so, and only very occasionally find myself doing it wrong. This happened much more in my youth, when my happy hours weren’t reserved for painting. But as I’m painting each day, I’m wondering whether or not the result will be something remotely interesting to anyone. Will I soar or will I fall? If my painting fails to intrigue or interest people, they’re far less likely to even read the ramble that’s happening here now.

And yet, I totally enjoy the devil-may-care attitude that comes with social media and daily sharing. The daily stuff is not a gallery show where you obsess over every little piece you’ve made recently and worry whether or not you’re selecting the best ones. It’s a flick of the mouse or a touch of the phone, excitedly sharing whatever just happened, because it’s simply time to post and, well, that’s just what came out. This, to me, is freeing. It’s a world where the only real failure comes from failing to show up at all. And as artists, daily practice is the absolute key to improving our skills and turning our flying dreams into a reality. Each time we sketch or paint something, we learn so much about light, shadow, and our own visual perceptions. Each time we post something we learn a bit about the visual perceptions of others. This is the sheer thrill and joy that keeps me coming back each and every day. A feat, that when combined with a busy life, can often feel impossible. Yet, finding a way to actually DO so, makes me feel like I’m doing the impossible and finally getting that mind-boggling experience of riding on a broom!

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!
Day 24 - Riding On A Broomstick Halloween_IG
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

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!

24 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 4 weeks ago

    As a child I spent many hours pretending to fly on my mother’s broom! It was great fun and never seemed awkward at all. I’m struck by the beauty of the colors mingling in the dust you’ve painted.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww that’s so cool! I love that, Sharon! 😃💕And thanks! Glad you liked that bit of the painting!

  2. mlaiuppa 4 weeks ago

    I always thought that side saddle would be the most practical way to ride a broom. Rather like sitting on a rail fence. I’ve seen vintage Halloween postcards with witches in full skirts sitting side saddle on a broom.

    When I was a child we used to have a witches broom. It was for sweeping out the fireplace. It was round, not flat and the broom was made of something more like thin twigs or reeds rather than straw but not as rough or crude as in The Wizard of Oz. It was more of a burnt sienna color than the gold of straw and very long. The straw end least a foot, bound in a circle around a handle turned on a lathe and sewn around with some sort of cord. the handle wasn’t long enough for sitting so no props for Halloween. It was really nicely made. My Mom used it to sweep out the fireplace until it was just worn out. Pity.

    I never really had flying dreams. The ones I had were more like swimming through the air, so never very high or very fast and floating slowly to the ground like through water.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe! Side saddle seems very elegant, but even scarier as there’s an even greater chance of falling out! lol 😉 And your childhood broom sounds wonderful… what a great memory! 😃💕

  3. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    Your broom looks to pretty to be used for sweeping, so it must be for flying with. I’m sure there’s a turbo-jet hidden somewhere in those bristle!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      oooohhh!! A turbo jet would be SO cool…and even more terrifying! lol Yikes! Yet, fun! 😃💕

  4. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    As a kid, I used to dream I could fly. Really more of a levitation. Floating above my siblings in a high staircase. I have a vague memory of seeing witches riding vacuums in some show. Makes for a much more comfortable ride I would think.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yeah, I had those dreams of levitation as well. hehe And yep… the vacuum seems a bit sturdier… as least there’s a place to put your feet. 😉

  5. SnehLata Maheshwari 4 weeks ago

    As saying good ,cant understand the post.
    Thanks

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Snehlata! 😃💕 Some of my posts are probably too American. 😉

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 weeks ago

    Charlie, you managed to create a lovely artwork out of a common and rather dumpy household tool. How could anyone paint a broom so attractively? Well, you did it. Looks a bit as if you captured a lion’s mane.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 That’s such a great compliment. I always worry about things this common and everyday… they are a bit dumpy and tough to bring life to. Glad you liked it!

  7. smzang 4 weeks ago

    You always soar, Charlie, and because you do,
    you teach others to soar too…not on a broom,
    mind you, but on wings with wind beneath them.

  8. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    Nice broom, Charlie! My first and last attempt at flying, sans aircraft, was at age 5 and ended with a concussion. If Superman could fly why couldn’t I fly..right? What do you know at 5? I sometimes think I still remember that moment of becoming airborne from the top of the stairway but in reality it’s probably memories of Mom retelling the story.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Oh wow! Yeah, as kids we think we’re invincible! Glad you made it through the experienced unharmed. I think my memories are similar… bits of stories retold mixed with traces of things I can actually remember myself from back then!

  9. Jodi 4 weeks ago

    I don’t always say it daily, but I LOVE you daily paintings and “rambling” words 🙂 <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww thank you Jodi! 😃💕 I really appreciate that! I’m so happy you do!!

  10. The broom reminds me of a recent post I saw somewhere, don’t know if it was here or twitter or fb. It was a stack of brooms against a wall and the caption read: See, women can** park!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Is that really only a women thing? hehe… seems likely almost nobody knows how to park correctly these days! lol ;- )

  11. Anita Sinha 4 weeks ago

    Loved your doodlewash of broomstick with your “vintage trio” and also your little research.True, daily sketching does give you a high !

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 Yeah, there’s nothing like the high of daily sketching and painting! 😉

  12. June Hadaway 4 weeks ago

    I really like your broom…well used and still able to sweep up the dust. It’s hard to get rid of a well-used broom. I have had mine for years…one similar to this. I agree. A broom doesn’t seem like the most comfortable of rides.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 Yeah, brooms are rather cool objects, but I think I’ll continue to admire them visually and skip that bumpy ride! hehe

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