For our prompt of “Happy” today, I went to where I often go when I’m trying to think of something happy. Straight to the beach! Well, at least an imagined one that I’m sitting on as I’m nowhere near an actual beach, but have the fondest of memories of my visits there. However, a bit of just sitting and relaxing in any beautiful and safe place is equally nice as well. Today, I remembered a time when I was on the southern coast of Spain. I spent hours reading a book on the beach and it was the most relaxing time. It was one of those “beach reads” that contains just enough plot to keep things interesting, but no enough complexity to require much thinking. Beyond a particular location, happy is really just a state of mind as well. Often when I’m most stressed, I imagine being somewhere calm and enjoyable. Sometimes, of course, the effect is not so immediate depending on what I’m dealing with at the moment. But, eventually I arrive there, and return filled with a calm hope for the future.

Truly, the last couple of days have been super stressful with work issues from my day job, so I’ve been trying to focus on lots of happy things. Indeed, sometimes during these times it’s easy to focus on physical health, but mental health is an extremely important thing as well. Something that these particular times can wreak havoc with in moments. Just when I think I’ll rolling with this “new normal” something will crop up that reminds me this is a dangerous and stressful time that not everyone sees in the same way. I’m not living in a bubble, just being appropriately cautious. Being forced out of that bubble causes me tons of anxiety. I’ve never known myself to suffer from a high level of anxiety until this very moment we’re all living through. It’s interesting what a pandemic can teach us about ourselves and our view of the world. And also quite interesting what it teaches us about how others view the world as well.

What strikes me in all of this is that nothing at all has really changed since that moment we all must remember when we first went into lockdown. We truly didn’t think it would happen, but suddenly it did and the world was turned upside down. Yet, things have started again to varying success and some want this time to go away so badly they’re willing to believe it’s no big deal in the first place. They’re willing to risk everything to have everything back to the way it was. I’m a total optimistic and always listening to my child inside, but this is quite ridiculous. So, this made me realize that even with my cheery upbeat approach to the world, I don’t believe in blind optimism. I always believe in using our eyes and brains. I don’t believe that everything should be possible. Some ideas are quite ridiculous and it’s our gift as creative people to know the dumb ones from the dazzling. Whenever I have a particularly wonderful idea that makes my heart sing, I always know that I’ve found that happy place.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!
Happy Corgi Dog On Beach Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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37 thoughts on “That Happy Place

  1. The Oregon Coast is often cold and rainy, so not great for sitting and reading. One of our favorite things to do on those days, is to get a book on CD and listen to it while driving along highway 101. One of the ways, I’ve been dealing with the stress lately is reading. I have to be careful, though. It’s too easy to get lost in the pages and then I get no artwork done!

  2. Haha, well you certainly nailed the expression. This dog is in a happy place, that’s for sure! It has been a stressful working week for me too, and I’ve been brilliantly productive… at procrastinating. Ugh, so much to do! Like yesterday, I tend to listen to music (obligatory Carpenters namecheck!) or play games when stressed. If you pick the right game, like something from the fighting or action genre, it can be quite a powerful release. 😉

  3. So true, Charlie. I don’t understand the people who deny that the virus is real. They call it a hoax or, worse, they think that if they convince themselves that everything is okay, they have no need to follow the rules and wear a mask. I live in a bubble, too, Charlie. We don’t go anywhere! Trips to the market are stressful. It’s not a lack of faith in the Lord to be cautious or even scared. It’s human!
    For me, I do my rubber stamping or work on my plants or just surf the web and I am content. Content because I am safe. Nothing wrong with that.
    Cute Corgi! He looks content and being content is faith! 😊

    1. Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 I think the virus teaches us who is on our side and who isn’t, even if we’d rather not find that out. Indeed, any time spent out in the world is now stressful, but yay for positive safe distractions and art!

  4. Charlie enjoy the peace and quiet. It will likely never happen again in our lifetime. Time for family togetherness and creative outpouring and getting to know yourself better. I find myself getting closer to God since he is always around even in this dead time. Be like Phineas. Soak in the love and the food and just enjoy your life.

  5. Still home here. I don’t understand those who think it’s a hoax or plot. If you believe it and choose to do unsafe things anyway that’s one thing, but to deny, that’s crazy town. Science!

  6. Charlie, your cute, happy wee dog looks like our childhood corgi named Bonzo 😃
    I too hope the stress from your work eases. Unchartered waters for us all around the globe and very trying😢
    Meditation videos by Jason Stephenson, on youtube are my go to for stress relief in the evenings. I have the ocean at the end of my street (I love being able to say that😉) and capturing its moodiness with my camera & printing the images is my kind of daytime relaxing. I also photograph the beautiful native birds that come to my trees.

    I intended to begin learnIng to sketch via the art classes that were put on TV for students being homeschooled during lockdown, but ended up being ill for the 6 week duration.

    But I was able to find on the net Covid-19 Time Capsule Journals, which I had sent to my two Australian Grandchildren – homeschooling was not going well😂 The Journals were full of creative ideas and art projects which they absolutely love. Kids & parents alike, claim it was the best present ever😃

  7. Beautiful sketch! Yes it is very hard to stay happy all the time during these hard times. That being said, I think about all the people who have lost their homes here in the past week. I am quickly reminded that I have nothing to fret about. Nothing! My home has become my happy place(instead of DL) and I am thankful every day.
    We have been served another layer to the lock down life. Our air quality has been at the worst and we are told not to go outside for over a week now. Nor are our pets supposed to be out for long. COVID masks do not work with the smoke. We can’t even drive out of town, anywhere to get relief, it has impacted the entire state of Oregon. At least with COVID, we could go for walks and work in our yards. This is so much worse. The rain that was suppose to come on Monday, is now coming in late tonight, hopefully. It won’t help much with the smoke, but it will help with the fires. We will get through this, we have no choice. It is bringing people together and that is what we need right now.

    1. Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Indeed! Home is the happiest place! And those who can stay safely there are so lucky! My heart goes out you… as if this pandemic wasn’t enough. And so true… climate change might just be the worst thing we’ve done to ourselves. But YES! We WILL get through this because we’re us… we’re creative and resilient and even when the world seems almost unimaginably crazy and wrong, we’ll just imagine and create that amazing path to a better one!

  8. Lovely Charlie, thanks for sharing your restful doggie! I miss sitting on our beach in Chicago and sketching—though our walks and bike rides there have provided much solace. I also miss plain air painting with my students. I see them online now for classes and plein air paint in my garden, a sanctuary of nature. Be well, let nature wash away some of your worries, and thanks for all!

  9. I used to draw things when I was younger but over time, I convinced myself that my drawings were not good enough. I didn’t think I would improve over the years. But now seeing your blog makes me think If I did it often I would have improved.

    1. You just made my day! 😃💕 Seriously… that’s the entire hope of my blog. Let me go ahead and tell you that YES! Your drawing are good enough… indeed… they’re likely much better than that. YES! You can improve by simply making a little something every day. And I sincerely, that you DO that! Join us! Make a little something each day and watch that amazing thing happen!! It’s so cool!

  10. Hello Charlie,

    Thank you for making such a relaxing Doodlewash. 🙂 I’ve been having a weird time too and it’s escalated so that for the past 2 days I’ve been dealing with a migraine. But your sketch made me feel a bit better. 🙂 And yes, I agree nothing has changed really since March so it’s scary when people suddenly start taking things so lightly. But please continue to be your cheerful self… when you’re happy, so are your sketches and it creates a ripple effect.


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this! Honestly, if I helped a migraine, that’s the best thing ever! Ugh… sending you much love! Yeah, people don’t seem to realize that things haven’t changed, and sometimes you find yourself stuck in a position where you have to confront that ignorance. Thank goodness for art! Sometimes, I think it’s impossible to understand what’s happening, but we can at least paint and explore the feelings that is creates and learn something more!

  11. Wow your pup looks content and smirking about it as well😂.Yes we are living in strange times and I still take precautions. I do believe that things will get better but different…and that it is a one day at a time process..hang in my friend..hopefully you can have a peaceful quiet weekend and take time to rejuvenate and relax…Hugs

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