The End Of The Journey

Little Boy Suitcase Travel Watercolor Illustration

Today is the last day of our August “Travel Fun!” art challenge, and I hope everyone who joined me this month had a wonderful trip! As always on Doodlewash, the end is merely the beginning as our “Everyday Things” art challenge is already here and happening throughout the month of September! Just add the hashtag #doodlewashSeptember2019 during the month to join us! As many of you already now, my secret weapon to successfully sketching every single day now for over four years is to take things one month at a time. It’s the idea I had for myself when I first started my blog, and once I realized how effective this approach can be, I invited the rest of the world to join me! As a kid, I loved the start of a fresh new month as it meant lots of new projects to try and fun things to explore. So, my inner child is totally excited for the month ahead! But the end of a journey is also a bit bittersweet as well. Many of you may be leaving my side to try another of the endless art challenges now cropping up, but I truly hope you’ll stay sketching and coloring with me and the others in our community you’ve met along the way. It’s fun to travel to new places and explore ideas together through art, and so I’m excited to see what this next adventure brings.

In my doodlewash for today, I decided to include Little Charlie, as it’s been awhile since he made a visual appearance. This sketch is a bit reminiscent of the one I made last year during August that’s currently on the cover of my illustrated memoir I published. That sketch illustrated the beginning of the journey, so I figured there should be one showing the return, which is indeed a bit less dramatic. Yet, even as a kid, though going on adventures was amazing, it always felt good to be back home again. And better yet, nearly anything at all qualified as an adventure. Back then, there were so many things I hadn’t tried yet that everything glowed with possibility. Today, it’s more of a challenge. I’ve developed a vast memory bank of experiences and so things can often feel a bit similar to something I’ve done before rather than something entirely new. But, I’ve learned that’s actually a wonderful thing indeed, especially when it comes to creative projects. The truth, of course, is that each thing is actually still quite different from the next, but the similarities are there because of our own unique style. I’m said this often, but it always bears repeating, your personal style isn’t something you have to find, it’s already found you.

What I love today is that I’m building a visual memory bank of daily sketches that I can cross-reference and revisit any time I choose. I can see improvements and be reminded of successful little tricks and techniques that I somehow stopped using, and so I make a mental note to try them again. I love this little bag of tricks that I’m building and it’s what I intend to share via my Activity Book series. I’ve been asked to provide a step-by-step approach, but I don’t work in precise steps, so this isn’t possible for me. I just grab from my bag of tricks and then gleefully approach things in whatever order I feel like DOing them in that day. To an adult, this can sound like the method of a crazy person. But, to a child it’s perfectly natural and indeed preferred. It’s the same way travel felt for me as a kid. Even if my parents had already decided what might happen next, I personally didn’t have an agenda. Each day was simply another beautiful chance to try whatever my heart felt it must DO next! I guess that’s why when it comes to art, I will pack all I can into my mental suitcase, but I choose to wear only whatever fits me most that day. And why I’m never more excited than in that moment of pure beginning that always comes at the end of the journey.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). 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!
Little Boy Suitcase Travel Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    It’s good to see little Charlie! It’s been a fun month and I am about to decide which sketchbook to use the September. On dear, that song “See you in September” just popped in my head. Sorry, I had to share. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 And yay!! See you in September!! So thrilled you’re joining!

  2. Stephanie Louise 3 years ago

    Travelling is fun. Lovely painting by the way.

  3. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    He’s so cute. It’s a reminder that soon another summer will be gone. Where did it go?? I am looking forward to the colors of Fall!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕I know! I honestly like fall most, but I feel like the summer just zoomed by! I’m SO ready for cooler temperatures and lots of color though! hehe

  4. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    Aweeeeeeee sweet!!! Love the little Charlie image. Here is too a most creatively eventful September!! Its gonna be a busy one but its all good. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕And yay for September! Yeah, truly, I think it’s the busiest month of the year as it’s the one with the least participation. But we can DO this!!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Your sketches and word descriptions of Little Charlie really bring him to life!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, Little Charlie is that sidekick I rely on. I couldn’t do what I do without him!

  6. Lisa Cihlar 3 years ago

    Goodness this summer went by too fast! I have a list at the beginning of summer of things that I would like to get done, and here at the end of summer zip! Well, maybe one, but I lost the list. Lol!

    We never traveled much when I was a kid. I’m quite sure we never left the state except once to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Family vacations involved camping “up north” beside some lake good for fishing and swimming. I’m not sure why we even bothered. Up to the age of 10 we lived in a bluff overlooking Green Lake, and after that we lived a few miles from Lake Michigan. My mother liked to go camping, so I suppose that was why we went. Her parents were big camping enthusiasts. My dad’s were not. He always said he never wanted to travel so far that he couldn’t sleep in his own bed that night. Lol

    I got my first suitcases when I left for college. I still have them as a matter of fact. I took a backpack to Europe, but that is gone now. It saw a lot of camping trips with girl friends and trips with hubs out west a few times. If it was still around, I’m sure it would hold a little sprinkle of bathing suit sand from trips to Lake Superior.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yes! Summer just sort of zoomed past this year… I didn’t get even a fraction of what I wanted to accomplish completed. hehe 😊And we managed to leave the state when I was a kid, but never by plane. Travel was definitely something I enjoyed more as an adult. But oh those bits of luggage and bags… I loved finding that sprinkle of sand inside. Brought back so many good memories!

  7. Walt. F Pierluissi 3 years ago

    Charlie, this is what I could call a sweet sketch… I really like it.

  8. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Wonderful little Charlie sketch!! Thanks for a fun travel month; brought back lots of good memories!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed the month! Always so fun to revisit memories!

  9. Jerson Antao 3 years ago

    Nice lovely colors Charlie!… Painting looks beautiful😊

  10. Annir 3 years ago

    Great memories

  11. smzang 3 years ago

    Charlie says, “Each day was (is) simply another beautiful chance to try whatever my heart felt it must DO next!”

    May that never change!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yay to that! 😃💕 I am still doing whatever my heart tells me after all of these years, and though sometimes perfectly illogical, it’s always a wonderful outcome!

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