Running Barefoot Through The Sand

Flip Flops Sand Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Barefoot” today, I opted for that moment just before shedding a pair of flip flops and running through the sand. My mind leaps back to moments spent by the ocean and the sounds of waves crashing nearby mixed with that impossible feeling of solitude and warmth. I adore the beach, though I don’t often get to visit one. Perhaps, that’s part of the reason it seems so magical. Like most things in life, it’s the rarest experiences that hold the most allure. I remember enjoying several days in Vieques, an island in Puerto Rico. There were many different beaches and the feeling changed drastically depending on the beach you happened to be enjoying in the moment. That’s the amazing thing about an island, it’s like experiencing an entire continent in a matter of days. And for my part, I snorkeled for time ever, got stung by some disagreeable seaweed and had the time of my life! It was a wonderful experience that I can still remember vividly today. Times like this are rather rare so they carve out a special place in my heart. I certainly vowed at the time to return, but I’ve never done so. Yet, I have to wonder if reliving moments can ever compare to that very first time.

These days, I have a habit of always looking for something new to do. As much as I love to revisit things from my past in my stories, I thrill to new adventures. It’s fun to explore something new and have that singularly awesome experience of enjoying something for the very first time. What strikes me more is that there are so many things I’ll never get to experience in my time on this planet. There are just too many things for one human to ever encounter. Sure, those with lots of fame and money get to experience much more of the world. But, I feel rather happy with what I’ve managed to encounter in this life. There are tons of things I’d love to do on my list of things I’d love doing before I depart. When I launched my Shiny Trio with Da Vinci Paint Co., I talked about my Bucket List, that list you create of things you’d like to do before you die. I said I’d like to publish an illustrated memoir, go on an African safari, and learn how to speak French properly. To my own surprise I did publish an illustrated memoir and therefore got to check one thing off the list! And, I have a vague feeling that an African safari will happen long before I can ever speak French properly.

Dreams like these are amazing. They don’t define us as much as propel us forward. It’s the very idea that something “could” happen that makes living something of value. My actual Bucket List is too long to list, and I’m fully aware that I will accomplish only a fraction of what’s there. But these lists, to me, are not about completion, but more about inspiration. A reminder to myself that I should always aim a bit higher than what I even think is possible. To me, only believing in the easy or possible things feels a bit like giving up. There’s a wild world of possibility out there and the only difference between those who experience it and the rest of us is simply in the DOing! What we actually DO is what makes those incredible journeys possible. And even if we don’t manage to get to that peak of whatever it was we were trying to achieve, we’re far better off for having taken the steps to get there. Making art can often feel like taking just a few steps forward and several hundred backward. But, the reality is quite different. When we make something new, the steps always go forward. Sometimes, they take a very different path than we intended, but it’s still a path forward. A new path, that was just discovered under the glow of a summer sun, as we shed our flip flops and start gleefully running barefoot through the sand.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!
Day 10 - Flip Flops Sand Watercolor Illustration_IG
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
25 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 5 months ago

    Love your flip flops. I have worn out a few dozen pairs of those over the years.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕hehe… and such great stories each pair of flip flops holds I’m sure!

  2. Sandra Strait 5 months ago

    It looks like you’ve captured the sun in your flip-flops! Solar-powered flip-flops? Sounds like a useful idea, though I don’t know what you could do with them. Maybe they’d turn you into a Flash-like character and you could race around fast enough to accomplish all the things on your bucket list.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Was hoping to capture a lot of sun in this one! hehe… and Ohhhhh to have those magical flash-like abilities. I feel like I need them!

  3. Zertab Quaderi 5 months ago

    Very inspiring! Your optimism is contagious 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 What a beautiful thing to hear!

  4. Lisa 5 months ago

    I loved going barefoot until I stepped on a bee in some clover.
    It stung my little toe and hurt like crazy! I was also a big woose about running across hot sand! 😂 I did it, because that was the only way to get to the lovely water, but there was a lot of hot sand dancing and squeeling. These days my feet are always cover with these medical socks I have to wear and I’d give up a lot to run barefoot across the sand!😁

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Sorry to hear that, Lisa! ❤️Yeah, I never liked those moments of rushing across hot sand… hehe… I’m kind of wimp in reality. My mother has never liked to wear shoes and the moment she put them on when we were kids, we always asked her where she was going. 😉

  5. Soulfood 5 months ago

    Wow! This is something where I can imagine myself , in the same circumstances, with the same dreams. It’s beyond beautiful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thank you so much! 😃💕 I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this! And your comment makes my heart smile… I hope to deliver an image that anyone can be a part of!

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 months ago

    “When we make something new, the steps always go forward.” Charlie, thank you for such an encouraging and uplifting thought. I’m in the middle of another edit of the book I think has the best potential of being traditionally published. Every minute I think it’s not half bad, and every other minute I think I can’t write and should give up everything I’ve worked on for the past 19 years. You aren’t writing for me, but I feel as if you are.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      That makes me happy to hear, Sharon! 😃💕 I AM writing for you… I’m telling YOU to never give up… and trust your instincts. This book is exactly what you think it is, so you should pursue it with all the passion you can muster. I’m not just saying that… I can read it in your words. You believe this is the one… so I can tell you that it is. ❤️

  7. Jodi 5 months ago

    Keep dreaming and doing – you inspire so many of us!!! <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks so much, Jodi! 😃💕 That’s so sweet of you to say! You inspire me as well my friend!

  8. LoriCtoo 5 months ago

    New adventures are the best! Even small ones. They make our brains stop and recharge. Your little flippy flops look so inviting!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 And yay to that… those small adventures are actually the best ones of all. They move us forward just enough to see potential.

  9. Mary Roff 5 months ago

    Love the memories of past adventures but it’s those totally unexpected and new adventures that are the best; memories of the future in the making. Love those flip flops!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 And beautifully said! Yeah… memories aren’t the past at all… they’re like a blueprint to a much better future!

  10. Cathy Inzer 5 months ago

    I love the beach and this is a wonderful reminder of my beach days! Charlie, would you tell me how you got the great shadows on the flip flops, and the cast shadow? My shadows tend to look heavy and “stuck” on!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Cathy! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this! As for my shadows… I never let them stick. Turns out watercolor can be reactivated and I push color or of places when it gets too heavy. I just use a bit of clean water and push the color to feather it a bit. And shadows aren’t uniform, so I’ll rewet and grab a paper towel then lighten a bit in the middle. I’m an illustrator, so I take all the liberties I like. Watercolor is awesome because just a bit of water reactivates it, so you can, in theory do whatever you like!

      • Cathy Inzer 5 months ago

        Thank you Charlie!

  11. Robert J. Coleman 5 months ago

    Sun, sand and sandals….and maybe sand dollars and shells too. And also sunburns! Great memories of living in Florida. Finding something new to experience will happen often when we are not looking for an adventure. Just being aware of the moment brings joy. That’s probably why I have resisted writing down a Bucket List: it’s in the back of my mind but a written list might make me miss what is in front of me. Maybe that list is more a collection of dreams of what might be. bob.c

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Thanks, Bob! 😃💕 Yeah, I’d never written down a bucket list until asked to, but it was kind of fun. I think you’re absolutely right… it’s just a collection of dreams… and that’s something definitely worth writing down. I can say that because I think having dreams is the best experience of all. It doesn’t matter if they all come true… it’s just the act of dreaming them in the first place that makes life wonderful!

  12. Eve 5 months ago

    Charlie, we are both Pollyannas! Life is about maying the most of your experiences, and even the bad ones teach us something.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      Yay, Eve! 😃💕 This is exactly why we’re friends, isn’t it? That ridiculous optimism that just can’t believe that anything is less than amazing on its own level. I don’t want a perfect life, I just want one that’s perfectly inspiring!

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