Jumping back in for our prompt of “Bulbs” today with a little doodlewash of a mouse admiring a lightbulb. I’ve been on an extended break while working on my next book, but I’m thrilled to say that it’s finally complete! I’m just checking over the proofs next and then it will be published during the first part of April! As it turns out, April is my birthday month and I made a little pact with myself that I would write and illustrate a picture book before I turned 50. My birthday is on the 13th, so I’ll just make it before my made-up deadline. I often make goals like this in my mind, and even if they don’t always happen, it’s just fun to be working on a new idea. My head is always spinning with new ideas and so I’m excited to share this latest one in the next couple of weeks. Thanks SO much to all of you out there who have cheered me on along the way as it means the world to me!

To date, all of my recent books, and indeed my podcast, have been made from content that has already appeared on my blog. Things that were properly vetted combining images and stories that I knew people had enjoyed. So, I’m also a wee bit nervous to unveil an entire book full of never-before-seen illustrations and an entirely new narrative soon. Though, Philippe has helped me with art direction and he’s not at all shy about saying when something looks bad, weird or needs to be fixed. I tried to show Phineas, but he just sniffed at the pages and looked at me sadly. I don’t think this was meant as a critique of the illustrations, but simply a way of reminding me that I’d failed to make the book edible, which was certainly some sort of missed opportunity in the concept. I’m simply hoping folks enjoy this new idea as it’s a full series of books and I’m already writing the next one. And no, Phineas, the next one won’t be edible either.

The weather has been lovely here this weekend and so the three of us have taken long walks together. It’s been great to enjoy a bit more time outdoors. Though Phineas often perfectly contains any overt display of enthusiasm, I could tell that even he was quite thrilled for the change in season and ready to explore the world. Or, as Philippe and I like to say when we talk for him, to explore “his” world as he tends the think the world revolves around him. I sometimes wish I had more of his confidence. For my part, I’m just happy to continue to find the courage to try new things. I’m not confident that they’ll all work out, but that never stops me from going ahead and DOing them anyway. Life would be a bore if we always knew what was coming next. And, as I near my next milestone birthday, I’m happy that as I grow old, I’ve never managed to grow up. I still see magic in the world and still believe that all dreams are somehow possible. I’m doing all I can to make mine come true and I hope the same for you as well! Never give up, and always push forward. No matter what happens in this crazy world, we’re always just a few hopeful heartbeats away from that next bright idea.

Want To Sketch Stuff With Me? Check Out My Activity Book!

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Phthalo Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. 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!
Light Bulb And Mouse Watercolor Illustration_IG

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31 thoughts on “That Next Bright Idea

  1. Hi Charlie, have been following your website for about a year and have thoroughly enjoyed your creativity with your watercolors and writing humor! Will so enjoy your books to read and then have on hand for my eight grandchildren and 3 great grands. Thank you for your work and keep it up forever! You are very very good at it.
    an Appreciator of Your Creativity.

    1. Awww I’m so thrilled to hear you’re enjoying Doodlewash, Donna! And yay! I hope you enjoy the new book along with your grandchildren… that’s my hope for this one…I hope it’s really something fun that you can DO together! 😃💕

  2. Just yesterday I was thinking how nice it would be to see a post from you and VOILA! How exciting that your book is complete and I am certain it will be wonderful even if it isn’t edible. ( Sorry Phineas) Can’t wait to see it in print! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Charlie!!

    1. Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 At this point, it will start as Print versions only, since it’s interactive and people can add their own drawings. But I’ll probably make it an ebook as well soon after! 😉

  3. Gotta love that little mouse – does the light bulb mean he has a huge idea?? We are all anticipating the new book with our grandchildren in mind, I know my granddaughter’s twins will love it! And Happy Upcoming Birthday! Is that 13th in April or May?

    1. Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 Well… I always think I have a big idea in mind, but I’ll leave that up to all of you to decide. Hehe… I always make books with a bit of a concept, so I hope people will enjoy this next one! And it’s definitely designed to be enjoyed with grandparents and grandchildren together! I’m very excited about it!

  4. Congratulations on finishing your book, can’t wait to see it! Your art, wisdom and playful outlook are so inspiring! I was so happy to see a post from you today 😀. Please tell Phinneas that our new 12 week old puppy is in his camp—if you can’t put it in your mouth, what good is it??!! 🤣🤣. Happy Upcoming milestone birthday also birthday 🥳 🎂 🎈 🌈🦋🐰🌷🌼🐾🐾

    1. Thanks so much, Mari! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoy seeing my posts… they’ve been far and few between lately as I finished up this book. And Phineas would totally approve of your puppy’s approach to life! lol And I think I have to agree as well! 😉

  5. Yayyyyy, Charlie! Welcome to the 50’s! It’s not so bad! 💜 As you said, many people have encouraged you on this book journey, which means that we are with you! We’re your cheering squad! We all believe in you and your wonderful talent, my friend. 😀

    1. hehe! Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Welcome to the 50’s makes it seem like I’m going back in time, which I appreciate! lol Thanks for cheering me on! It’s always tough to put myself out there, and my ideas are never a perfect replica of what’s already happened. So I’ve no idea if this one will be considered a good one, but I’m rather excited to share it anyway! 😉

  6. Oh Charlie, congrats you deserve this!(x) a zillion! 😁😄🤗🤩🎉🥇 I can hardly wait! You will tell us, your adoring public, how to get first edition, signed! Hug your loved ones, do the happy dance, and pat yourself on the back!

    1. Aww thanks so much!! 😃💕 Oh my… I’ve not even figured out signed versions… hehe… it’s always a lot to just get these books in print! lol I truly hope everyone will enjoy what I’ve come up with next!

  7. Can’t image anyone doesn’t like your illustrations. They always bring a smile to my face. What a great way to celebrate your birthday. Just waiting for the release date. thanks as always for sharing.

  8. Hello hello Charlie!!!

    It’s wonderful to hear from you and even more thrilling to know that your book is complete. It’s always magical to see someone’s dream come true. 🙂 And thank you for wishing the same for us! Im still waiting for my path to appear but I absolutely refuse to lose hope and your post today feels like a sign from the angels. 🙂 🙂 Eagerly waiting to see a picture of you holding your book.

    Loads of love,

    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Trust me… your path is either right around the corner or right in front of you, just waiting for you to embrace it! That’s something I’ve definitely learned along the way. I’m thrilled that I completed my book and while I hope people enjoy it as much as I did making it… I feel great just DOing it! I think when we make our own dreams come true, we add a little spark of hope into the universe that makes other people’s dreams more possible. So we should always chase and fulfill those dreams no matter what. It makes the world a more beautiful and magical place!

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