It’s the beginning of the month and that means a brand new Doodlewash art challenge! For our first prompt of “Pinecone,” I sketched a couple of them and added a cardinal for some festive color. Many of you know that I adore this time of year and that my inner child starts doing backflips the moment this month begins. And, these childish acrobatics don’t stop until the New Year begins! Though I always approach life with my inner child by my side, this month, he is totally in charge. Despite wanting to just go ahead and be a kid again, this month is actually one of the busiest of the year. There’s travel and last minute details to attend to at work, before I can relax into the month properly. Yet, making a moment to sketch something is always on the list! I was once asked if I would miss sketching stuff if I ever took a day off. The answer, of course, was a resounding yes! So, no matter how busy the month gets, I always carve out a little bit of time to make something appear on paper. It’s a magical thing indeed, and there’s nothing more fitting during a month like this one. So I hope you’ll sketch and paint along with me as much as you can this month!

Each year, Philippe and I have a tradition that involves our own Lego Advent Calendar as well as one filled with treats. Yes, we have two advent calendars, because, why not? That’s the fun of being an adult without little ones in the house. You don’t have to demonstrate the good value of showing restraint. It’s equally why Philippe and I can both get a bit out of control this month. When both of you turn into children, there’s no adult to balance things out. But, that’s precisely why I adore this month most of all! If you haven’t guessed by now, Philippe is normally the adult in our relationship. The one who tries to keep things in check and not let everything devolve into reckless abandon. It’s quite a skill when living with someone like me. I’m so prone to bounce around between ideas as well as passions and there’s always something new and shiny that catches my eye. I approach everything new that excites with zealous enthusiasm. It’s equally why my art can sometimes bounce around in different directions, but I hope it all looks rather like something I’d make.

The upcoming week is a bit crazy. We are heading to Texas on Thursday and then instead of returning home with Philippe next Monday evening, I’m now heading to a brief stop in Charlotte, North Carolina for a work presentation. This bit of the trip takes place in less than 24 hours and then I’m back home again the following afternoon. I’m already exhausted thinking about it, and no idea when I’ll sneak time in to sketch, but that’s never stopped me before! Once home, thankfully, I’ve only five business days before I’m off work for the remainder of the year! So, I’m excited for that time as things slow down a bit once more. While I should have lots of things planned for my time off, I’ve instead planned nothing at all. Outside of Christmas and New Year’s Day, I’m just taking every moment as it comes. They’ll be sketching and writing, to be sure, but outside of that, I’m going to relax and enjoy a little break. This will indeed involve lots of things to amuse my inner child as I experience the glittering world of pure love. Love for all of the beautiful things in life that matter most, enjoying my favorite time of the year once again as the season begins.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!
Cardinal Pine Cones Branch Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

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34 thoughts on “The Season Begins

  1. Wouldn’t it be great if all this fun stuff could be spread out a bit? We are having company leave tomorrow, and more come to visit on Friday! I’ll hardly have time to clean the house between them. Good thing no one ever visits to check on my house keeping skills! Lovely painting today!

  2. I love your cardinal, Charlie. It is perhaps my favorite winter bird, because even in the darkest, most dreary winter days it provides a spot of bright color. I love that you have no plans for your free time later this month. I just got back from a three week stay in Paris. I had no real plans beyond my flights and Airbnb apartment. I brought along two guidebooks but never opened them. I did a lot of walking and went on a couple of sketching tours–it was great. Your postings like this one are a welcome reassurance that it is more than ok to live my life like that. Thanks, Charlie.

    1. Thanks, Mike! 😃💕 SO true! That spot of color is so needed this time of year. And that’s so awesome you were in Paris for three weeks! I would love that! When we visit family we can never manage more than two. And sketching tours? What’s not to love about that? Sounds to me as if you’re living your life exactly as it should be lived! 😉

  3. Charlie says, “We are heading to Texas on Thursday and then instead of returning home with Philippe next Monday evening, I’m now heading to a brief stop in Charlotte, North Carolina for a work presentation.”

    I can imagine that Little Charlie is chafing at the bit to be done with schedules, anxious to be where he’s going (well, maybe not so much the business part, but knowing that young fellow as I feel I do, I’m pretty sure that he will turn even the business trip into an adventure that inspires.) Your words remind me of Frost’s “miles to go before I sleep”. Your cardinal looks so beautifully comfortable on that pine branch. Bright eyed, he looks as if he, too, might be thinking of Christmas.

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