Taking A Break

Tabby Cat Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Pets” today, I have to admit that I just used it as a great excuse to sketch a cat. I adore cats, but can’t have one as a pet due to allergies, so I create my own virtual pet cat any chance I can get. And cats really know how to relax! They can sleep up to 16 hours a day which is a couple more than even dogs. So that’s both impressive and enviable. I feel rather lucky when I can get around 7 hours sleep, though it’s usually closer to 6 hours. It seems to be enough to keep me running for the day, but I find myself not stopping to rest much once I begin. But my favorite way to relax is to sketch stuff. Though it takes mental energy and indeed a bit of focus, it has a magical quality as well. I sort of take a step out of the real world and enter a world of wonder and imagination. I think that’s why I adore making art each day. We should always take the time to sneak into our own personal world for a moment. For me, it’s a way to recharge my battery a bit before moving on to whatever else the day has to offer.

I’m always asked how I’ve managed to sketch and write each and every day for over 4 years now. And also asked whether or not I’d ever take a break for awhile. My rational mind thinks this makes good sense, but my inner child just giggles and says, “why would you take a break from your break?” That little kid always comes up with the most innocent wisdom. The truth is, if something is indeed that enjoyable, then there’s really no good reason not to build it into one’s day. Though I was thinking a bit today about how I often see people voice their frustrations at something they made that day. This comes with the territory when you’re a creative person as we tend to be perfectionists and want to always improve. I grew up with a mom who loved to do crafts of all sorts. Though she didn’t always like how something turned out, she would simply try again until it turned out like she wanted. She would bend the rules to work with her style and make things that made her happy. She would sit and crochet on the couch, just for the fun of it, and as a way to relax. She became the role model for how I approach my craft today.

I’m not a fine artist, I just like sketching stuff and writing stories. And it’s the DOing that brings me the greatest joy. Though I DO hope people enjoy what I share as well, of course! But when I go into my own little world for a moment and come back with whatever ends up appearing here, that’s the most important part of my day. So, I always make sure there’s time set aside for it to happen. Tonight, friends are coming over and I’ll be heading to the theatre, so I just carved out some time a bit earlier in the day to sketch and write. We’re going to see the Kansas City Symphony in concert, which all sounds very high end, but it’s actually because they’re playing live while we watch Empire Strikes Back. My inner child is currently doing backflips in anticipation. Life can get so busy and there’s always so much that needs to get done in a day. But what really needs to get done depends on the individual. We all have some yearning, some craving that calls to us. Something that warms our heart and clears our mind. For many of us, this comes from our love of arts and crafts, so I hope that each of you are always carving out a bit of time each and every day, and taking a break.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, Opus (Vivid Pink) Terra Cotta, 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!
Tabby Cat Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
19 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    Beautiful cat, Charlie! Enjoy your weekend!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕Hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!

  2. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 weeks ago

    Aweeeeeeeeeee such a beautiful kitty!!! 🙂 Wowza!!! I know you all will enjoy your evening! And a most wonderful weekend to you. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Glad you liked my kitty! Hope have a great weekend as well!

  3. Karen Fortier 2 weeks ago

    I love your virtual kitty Charlie! I hope you are having a wonderful evening out with friends. I am sitting here pondering over a birthday card that I have to get done for our 12 year old grandson. About 3 years ago I started making cards for family for special occasions and can’t stop. Some are easier than others to come up with. With the husband’s help I guess this year it’s a director’s chair with his name on it. He is into creating movies. So that is next on the list for tonight.

    • Zertab Quaderi 2 weeks ago

      That’s a lot of fun, Karen! I used to make cards for everyone in the family when I was little.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Aww… I love that you make cards!! hehe… I worked at Hallmark for almost 8 years! And made movies there, so that’s so cool your grandson loves to make them. Awesome!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 2 weeks ago

    Dog person here. Little Charlie has amazing self-discipline for such a little guy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      hehe… yeah, I’m a dog person as well! 😃💕 Not just because of the allergies. I’ve always loved dogs!

  5. memadtwo 2 weeks ago

    I always love your cats, Charlie (I too am unfortunately allergic). (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 Yeah, I don’t have the same intimate eye for them as someone who can be around them in person, but I hope my long distance love for them comes through in my fantasy sketches!

  6. Loan Anh Pham 2 weeks ago

    To me, mom is always the model role for me learning in life. And I’ve felt you love your mom so much in every word. What’s a beautiful love.
    I’ve wondered why I always have a story with each stuff which I intend to draw. Now I’ve seen that thing already through your sketch stuff. It’s meaningful, Charlie. Lovely cat painting!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕There’s always a story of some kind behind what stuff we choose to sketch. I always share mine and hope to get more people sharing theirs! It’s wonderful to learn the story behind the visual!

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 weeks ago

    What a great idea that the symphony is going to play live during a showing of Empire Strikes Back. I bet you loved it. Your virtual kitty here is waiting patiently for your return. Your mom sounds like a really special person who wasn’t daunted by what didn’t come out as expected nor over impressed with herself over what did.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 It was such a fun evening! I totally enjoyed it! And yes, my mom has such a wonderful outlook on life. We don’t need to be overly impressed with ourselves, we just need to DO the things that make us happy!

  8. Walter F Pierluissi 2 weeks ago

    Charlie you just touch my heart, I am a Cat loving person…. Cats are my favorite pet, I do have 2 female at home… Mmmmmm! Including my wife that makes 3… She is a feline kind of human too. So I like your post….. But at home I am the only male around, always have the final word…”whatever you say honey”,!!!!! Jajajaja

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      haha! That’s wonderful Walter! 😃💕 Yeah, having grown up with a wonderful mom, I divert to a woman’s wisdom most of the time! 😉

  9. smzang 2 weeks ago

    such a pettable kitty cat…I love animals,

    A great ‘Charlie says’ today: “I’m always asked how I’ve managed to sketch and write each and every day for over 4 years now. And also asked whether or not I’d ever take a break for awhile. My rational mind thinks this makes good sense, but my inner child just giggles and says, “why would you take a break from your break?”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed that bit! It’s funny how smart that little kid is sometimes. 😉

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