The Joy Of Everyday Things

Light Bulb Watercolor Illustration

Our September Art Challenge has begun, and I hope you’ll jump in and join me when you can! This month is a wonderful opportunity to practice drawing and painting all of the common things that we see around us each and every day. I’ve been sketching stuff like this for quite some time now, and each time I sketch something, I learn new things. And, I get a bit quicker in the process, which makes daily sketching much more possible. Today, my mom and sister were in town, and heading our way for lunch and to spend the afternoon with us, so I had to quickly create something before they arrived. I adore my family, and though I don’t get to see them often, it’s always a wonderful treat to spend time together. My mother doesn’t have Internet access, so it’s also a chance to show her some of my recent sketches. It made me so happy to show her the ’57 Chevy I sketched recently and hear her proclaim, “That’s my car!” In truth, she couldn’t afford to buy a new one when she graduated, and later, wasn’t able to get a used one, so by the time she truly considered it, it was already a collector’s item. She never got that car, so I simply signed the sketch in my sketchbook and then cut it out of the book and gave it to her. It’s not every day you can give your mother her dream car, so it was a beautiful day indeed.

As for a light bulb, well, it’s the quintessential representation of an idea. As an object, it provides much needed light, but as a metaphor, it’s about lighting up your creativity. After lunch with my mom and sister, we came back to our house to have dessert. This consisted of my own homemade ice cream, the only thing I know how to “cook,” along with Philippe’s homemade mini waffles cones. My mom and sister loved it, which made me happy since I altered the family recipe just a bit by reducing the sugar and adding a pinch more salt. My mom didn’t mind at all that I changed the recipe, and in fact applauded me for having the idea. Once again, I was reminded of her amazing knack for always supporting my creative endeavors. I asked her about my Christmas present, which is a request for a Paddington Bear that looks like the newer movie version. She told me she’s working on it, but asked if I wanted the head to be jointed as well, because she didn’t know how to do that. I told you, “of course, that’s what I want!” I then hopped online and we watched a video together on exactly how to perform such a feat. I was still totally confused by the end, but my mother simply smiled and said, “Oh yes! I can do that!”

This was the same thing we did together when I was a kid. I had some wild new idea of something I wanted to create, and together we would always figure out how to DO it! In truth, I can’t even remember all of things we created together, as the things themselves ceased to matter as much. It was more about the act of figuring everything out. We both loved the idea of a challenge and would set about trying to figure out how to solve the mystery that any problem posed. I realize now, this is the most important trait to have in any form of arts or crafts. It’s a basic feeling that any is possible. That with a bit of ingenuity and creativity, one can create anything they imagine in life. As I listened to my sister talk about her craft business and success at a recent Comic-Con convention, I was reminded that arts & crafts run deep in my family. Moreover, that insatiable sense of curiosity and a need to make things that make people smile. This isn’t quite the lofty ideal of a fine artist, but instead, simply the folksy heart of a person who simply loves to create. I feel so lucky to have been born into a family of makers who are constantly looking for new stuff to make next. And indeed, throughout the process, rediscovering the important bits of life, while always finding the joy of everyday things.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermilion, and Cobalt Turquoise. 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 Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Illustration


Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Prior... 3 years ago

    Your mom sounds awesome and loved this: “folksy heart of a person who simply loves to create”–it is nice that it runs in the family
    And your lightbulb here has that old school feel

  2. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    I love your lightbulb Charlie! So nice that you could spend time with your mom and sister. How sweet that you could give your mom the page from your sketchbook.
    I also spent time today with my mom and sister. My mon wanted one of my watercolor paintings to put above her mantel so I brought up several so that she could choose one. I will periodically bring her others so that she can have a revolving display. It is nice to have the chance to make our moms happy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 That’s awesome your mom has a revolving display! Yeah, I think making moms happy is still the best thing about art, just like when we were kids! Yay!

  3. Claire McArthur 3 years ago

    What a great Mum & what a great son – the light bulb is pretty good too!

  4. Lisa 3 years ago

    My mother painted, my dad did woodworking, my grandparents did lots of stuff including pine needle baskets, and my other side grandma quilted, sewed, and crocheted. I come from a long double line of makers. Maybe that’s why I’m not afraid to try stuff. Even if I hate doing the craft in the end, at least I know how!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      That’s so awesome, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, I sometimes have to remind myself how lucky I am to come from makers. It makes you rather fearless about trying new stuff!

  5. Robert J. Coleman 3 years ago

    It’s wonderful to share pursuits and interests with our parents and loved ones.My mum was a voracious reader and my dad loved to repair anything, and these traits passed down to all seven of us siblings! The sharing of our interests keeps us connected in those everyday ways that make life so much happier, even as the family grows smaller as the years go by.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      That’s so awesome those traits passed on to all siblings! It’s a wonderful trait to have. And, it’s wonderful when you have something that someone made. It’s like a part of them lasts forever. 😃💕

  6. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    So glad you were able to spend time with your mom. How fun that you were able to give her the car of her dreams…she’s going to cherish that painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, it was totally fun after all of these years to finally get her that car! Well… sort of anyway.

  7. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    Oh oh oh! I used to make mohair bears, bfb (before baby 20 yrs ago!) If I recall, you just use one of the arm/leg joints. More memories! I attempted to make applesauce yesterday and it actually turned out great. Lol! And I am already behind right out of the gate for September Doodlewash, however I worked on a lot of other sketching stuff yesterday. Such a good feeling! I wish I could do that much every day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yes! It’s another joint, but does require attention to placement or the bear is always staring down or up! hehe 😉 Awesome that you made them! And yay to sketching stuff whenever we can! Regular month challenges are just pop in when you like, so join any time!

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 years ago

    It looks like there’s a constellation inside the light bulb – I really like this effect. And you do capture glass very well. How sweet that you gave your mom her dream car – bet it’s hanging in her home and that she loves seeing it every day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! Yes, I adore sketching glass! And yeah, it was a fun moment when my mom grabbed her car and transported it into her purse immediately.

  9. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    As always I am wowed by your glass. You are “fantabulous” at it. It made me smile to read about Paddington my fav things to have are dragons of course lol and troll dolls (omg loved the trolls movie) . I find some even in quarter machines that a tiny lol. 🙂

  10. smzang 3 years ago

    What a joy for you to have time with your Mom and Sister. There is so much love in this article. I feel blessed to have read it. Thank you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕Yeah, we only get to see my mom and sister a couple of times a year, but it’s always a wonderful event!

  11. The Rambling Writer 3 years ago

    Hey Charlie! You are so talented.

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