Squeezed For Time

Lemons And Lemon Squeezer Juicer Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Lemons” today, I was running short on time so a lemon juicer came to mind. I’d love to say my lack of time was from doing many productive things today, but that would be a total fib. In truth, I had the day off work and just relaxed all day and did whatever little fun things came to mind. With no sense of a schedule, I can get derailed pretty quickly. Towards the end of the day, I realized that I hadn’t sketched anything yet. So, this little three color doodle was fast and furious as I tried to catch up, and I rather liked how it turned out. In truth, sketching is definitely one of my “fun things to DO” so it’s always easy to take a little break from even a day of taking a break to make one. But truly, I’m often lacking time, because I notoriously wait until the very last moment to start something. It’s a behavior called “procrastination” by those who insist on labeling things and I am a master in this particular skill. I like to refer to it as a skill, because it’s only a bad thing if I nothing actually gets done. But, the extra little lack of time sort of thrills me, and I often end up making something that surprises me in the process.

What I’ve learned along the way in this crazy journey of life is that when I have a lot of time, I sort of fumble about and am less focused. I dawdle and doubt and end up wasting whatever I thought was extra time in the first place. With a tight deadline and little time to spare, I get suddenly laser focused, which is a very rare thing for me. Since focus only comes in short bursts, procrastination is really the best thing for me. Rather than forcing myself to DO something, I just carve a little bit of time and tell myself, “It’s go time! Let’s DO this now!” I’ve done this all my life and it’s actually quite invigorating. Sometimes, I’ll try to take a bit more time on a drawing, for example, but often, I like the results of my quicker sketches much more. There’s such a fine balance between giving something the proper thinking it deserves and, well, just overthinking it entirely. When my mind has time to consider things, that consideration can often become so daunting and time consuming in itself. So, when I have that glorious feeling of no time at all, my mind jumps into focus and it’s a rather fabulous ride indeed.

Also today, I realized I could start a touch later as Philippe announced that he had a documentary to watch this evening. As many of you who read these posts, his favorite documentary show is one that involves taking a seemingly mundane topic and devoting an entire hour to its exploration. So, I was able to sketch and quickly ramble during the same time it took him to watch a riveting show about sliced white bread. In truth, it took me just a bit longer as it was indeed rather interesting and I kept pausing to see what was happening next. So, I’m finishing the last bit of this post while he’s watching a bonus documentary he didn’t even realize was coming next on various spreads for bread. I asked him if there has ever been a show on lemons as I didn’t remember one. He brightened immediately and said, “yes! That was a good one!” I didn’t want to disturb him during his current show to find out what he had learned about lemons, but it was apparently quite fascinating. And that’s the beauty of life when you love the simple things and just take it as it comes. There’s always something interesting to enjoy, even when you’re squeezed for time.

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Lemons And Lemon Squeezer Juicer Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
40 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 4 weeks ago

    Wonderful juicer Charlie! Makes me want a glass of lemonade. Actually I am about to fix a second cup of tea as it is very cold here and I’m having trouble staying warm.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Hehe… yes, I would definitely recommend hot tea this time of year, but I can’t wait for lemonade season!

  2. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    I could probably give you a run for your money on procrastination, though I try to fight it by setting myself deadlines that are way in advance, and having stuff done a week or too before it absolutely has to. There should be a contest for procrastinators to see who can put something off the longest. I’ll set one up – when I get around to it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Lol! You DO that! Love it! 😃💕 Yeah, I often think my nickname should be Last Minute Charlie! hehe

  3. Purnima Manjunath 4 weeks ago

    Wonderful! Citrus squeezer and the lemons! Great picture.You have painted so beautifully as always!

  4. Claire Randall 4 weeks ago

    What lovely read, it’s true actually sometimes I’m better under a bit of stress. I know what you mean. Love the documentaries 🙂 my son loves docs too. The painting is amazing how do you get such bright colours, so vibrant, bounces off the page.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Claire! 😃💕 Yeah, I truly think I’ve done my best work when I have a little less time. It leaves me zero time to overthink things! hehe 😉

  5. Sharon Nolfi 4 weeks ago

    Gorgeous lemons – so vibrant! Reflections on the juicer are masterful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 You know I’m up to sneak in a shiny thing whenever I get the chance!

  6. Vicki 4 weeks ago

    I once hung one of my drawings alongside those of the children in my class and no one could guess which was mine! However, I can recognise a happy work of art when I see it so thank you for that. In support of your self and other procrastinators, I wrote a post on that very subject even though the plan was to write about my Great Uncle in WW1. PS: Great Uncle did, eventually, get his post!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Vicki! 😃💕 And as for the class art comparison, that just means your inner child is in full force! 😉 And Yay to procrastinators!

  7. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    Squeezed for time! Lol😂😂! I love citrus season. I had two grapefruit due to your reminder a while back, and lemons and oranges thanks to my California friend. Not to mention lemon cake. And the oranges this year are outstanding. Maybe I should put limes on the grocery list and have some frozen Margaritas to round out the citrus taste testing for the year. That would be fun!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe! Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 I approve of that entire shopping list! Yum!!! And thanks for the reminder to see if Philippe will make some lemon cake!

  8. CATHY 4 weeks ago

    J’adore vous lire et voir vos oeuvres que j’aime beaucoup – en effet quel beau jaune – le mot “procrastination” je le trouve assez compliqué à dire et à retenir en français, je suis française – je suis comme vous donc, une proscrinateuse – je ne sais si çà se dit ? dernier fait, dernier exemple vécu, avant ce dimanche, je devais recevoir ma famille pour mon anniversaire, et j’ai tout fait à la dernière minute – et j’ai réussi à tout faire – ce qui m’amuse un peu, mais gentiment, c’est la grande différence qu’il y a entre vous deux, et que vous racontez si bien, Philippe a regarder les pains et vous avec vos dessins – j’adore lire aussi quand vous mettez un peu, ainsi de vos vies, vous devriez être un vrai et grand écrivain – faites le ! Cathy de France

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Merci beaucoup, Cathy! 😃💕 Et
      bon anniversaire! That’s so wonderful you to everything done even at the last minute! And I best it was wonderful as well! And thrilled you enjoy my writing and hearing the personal bits of everyday life. I hope to write a novel one day! 😉

  9. CATHY 4 weeks ago

    étonnant la traduction, çà fait des tas de fautes – vous n’allez rien comprendre – il y a la traduction des pains de Philippe par le mot douleur !! ??

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      ça va! hihi I can read French pretty well, but it would take me hours to reply in French! lol 😊;-)

  10. Jacob and Nathan 4 weeks ago

    Wow, those lemons look delicious!
    I have a question: how do you approach doing the reflections in the metal lemon juicer?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 As for the metal… I just paint the shapes I see and use lots of contrast (super dark next to stark white or light colors). For reflections, I just sort of splashed in yellow to represent the idea of the reflected lemons and then bits of red to suggest a reflected environment. It’s a total illusion and imperfect, but our eyes fill in all the gaps! 😉 hehe

  11. Heidi S. 4 weeks ago

    With me it comes either way: sometimes a quick idea that leads a to quick result that makes me very happy, sometimes procrastination, sometimes ideas that have to ripen…
    Nice reflection of the yellow in the metal!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Heidi! 😃💕 Yeah, often my procrastination is just the doing bit, but my mind has been thinking over the idea for quite awhile!

  12. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    You crack me up! Your view on things runs parallel with my little brain. I also work better on things if I have less time. I don’t like to work that way because it gets stressful. I think, if people like us, think too much about a project we get spinning in too many directions with it. Your lemons are beautiful!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe! Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed this! Yeah, so true! More time to think leaves more time to second guess everything. Just going for it can often yield the coolest results!

  13. shawnthompsonart 4 weeks ago

    Nice watercolour sketch of Lemmons!

  14. tigretora1 . 4 weeks ago

    Pretty impressive for a quick sketch!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 So often the quick ones are somehow cooler! hehe

  15. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 4 weeks ago

    Looks fabulous!!! I have been know to do something right close to deadline and rock it always lol. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 Yay for rockin’ it at the last minute! lol

  16. Priscilla DeConti 4 weeks ago

    Lovely sketch and procrastination is also my middle name…gotten better since retirement as I don’t have many deadlines.As always I love your story and your pictures!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this! Yeah, I’m so last minute on things, but it seems to be working! hehe

  17. Jacob 4 weeks ago

    They’re awesome, yay for citrus season! I’ve probably said it a million times before but I too am a master of procrastination, and pretty much always have been – Sunday nights at 9 were always my homework time, and well, I’m putting proper work off right now typing this! It’s got to the point where I’m having to disconnect the internet for hours at a time. But it always gets done in the end. I also find that the added time pressure gives you a much-needed kick into focus!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕hehe! Yay to my procrastinating brother! We do have so much in common my friend! But, yeah, it certainly doesn’t help the situation when we can always manage to get things done anyway. hehe

  18. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 weeks ago

    I love the flavor of lemon and squeezed one over the shrimp we had for dinner. But I’d have enjoyed fresh lemonade had there been enough lemons. My dad had a citrus squeezer and loved to make a blend of all the citrus he grew in his yard, and that was many kinds – grapefruit, lemons, limes, all kinds of oranges, tangelos, and tangerines. It was always a delicious drink and a different taste from the day before. I’ll have to go find his squeezer and see what tasty drink I can concoct.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Oh wow! That citrus concoction sounds amazing! Fresh and awesome. I bet it was super delicious! 😃💕

  19. smzang 4 weeks ago

    I just love what you do with shiny! And those lemons are refreshing as an ice cold glass of lemonade on a summer’s day.

    So many gems from Charlie’s pen in this article but the best of the best is “that’s the beauty of life when you love the simple things and just take it as it comes. There’s always something interesting to enjoy, even when you’re squeezed for time.”

    Bravo!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this. And yeah, I hadn’t painted a shiny thing in awhile so I had to sneak one in!

  20. Linda Calverley 4 weeks ago

    Lovely lemons and squeezer.

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