The Sound Of Waves

Conch Shell Beach Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Waves” today, I opted for a chance to sketch my favorite shell in the form of a queen conch. If you’ve been reading my posts for awhile now, you’ll already know that I’m fascinated with these seashells. As a kid, I was told that you could hold one up to your ear and hear the sound of the ocean. I was thrilled the first time I tried it and discovered it was true! Well, it’s both true and false, of course, as the sound really does resemble that of ocean waves, but it’s really just an amplification of ambient noise. Being a geeky little kid, I looked this up in my trusty encyclopedia (yeah, no Google back then), and discovered the truth. But, this didn’t stop me from imagining an entire miniature marine world trapped inside each shell. Thankfully, this sense of wonder has followed me into adulthood. Even when I know the “facts” of the matter, I still find facts to be boring at times and prefer to live inside my own imagination instead. Sometimes, knowing the truth about something does little to add excitement, but imagining new possibilities can be quite a thrill. So, my conch shell is filled with a tiny ocean of possibilities, crashing like waves in my childlike mind.

It’s true, I’m married to a PhD scientist named Philippe, and there are often documentaries playing in the background when I sketch. This is often why so many little bits of trivia sneak into these posts. I think it’s wondrous to learn new things and discover bits about our world that we didn’t know. But, what gets me most excited is that even scientists are still learning. In fact, like artists, they’re in a constant state of learning. Each new epiphany, while exciting in the moment, only leads to more questions. I think that when one is truly interesting in learning or looking to be more creative in their life, it’s always good to value questions over answers. I’ve mentioned before that instead of making tons of “To Do” lists, I like to make a “What If” list instead. Those things I want to try next and those little thoughts that I’ve just been dreaming about along the way. Truly, there’s never enough hours in the day to accomplish all of the things I’ve decided I should DO next. But, just like holding a shell up to my ear for a moment to imagine being on a beach, the act of dreaming itself keeps those ideas alive just a little bit longer.

I’m currently a bit behind on every one of my creative projects, but I’ve not given up hope. I know that I’ll manage to make everything happen eventually, and that’s good enough for me. I never put pressure on myself to DO, because my definition of DOing is all about FUN! If something isn’t feeling super fun to me, then I just wait until it becomes fun again. Why? Because I know that, personally, things I produce with that sense of fun are always the best things I can offer up. I want everything I do to be embedded with a sense of joy, because I know it makes the outcome much better. By the way, I always have to share that some artists choose angst, drama and pathos, and that’s totally an option as well. But, for me, it’s all about joy and hope! I’m just wired with an extreme level of optimism and that’s how I’ve always lived my life. Dreams can indeed come true, so many of mine have already, and I hope for many more to see the light of day in the future. I’ve no idea how much time I have left on this little green planet or what I’ll actually be able to accomplish along the way. What I DO know is that I’m going to enjoy every moment of that time, dreaming up crazy new ideas, getting a bit lost in all of the sheer possibility as I listen to the sound of waves.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia 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!
Conch Shell Beach Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
14 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    It looks like you painted the conch shell I have sitting on my cd player shelf. I often think that sometimes half of learning is unlearning what you know that just ain’t so. I’ve found that as I get older this is more and more true. Things that I remember so very well turn out to be very different than I remembered.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕So true! Proof, the more you know you less you actually DO! hehe… and I love that. It’s fun to learn new things each and every day!

  2. memadtwo 1 month ago

    I always love your shells Charlie. I can hear the ocean…(K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Kerfe! 😃💕 Glad you liked this one… I’m now determined to keep revisiting subjects like a proper practice! hehe 😉

  3. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Great conch shell Charlie. No seashells on our beach just seagulls. Day two of vacation, too much food and too much sun. Quieter day planned tomorrow. Dinner with friends. Back home on Wednesday. I did sketch a bit but hope to more tomorrow.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 And Yay! I’m kind of thrilled that I got to be on your vacation with you! hehe… since I can’t get Philippe to plan one yet. lol Sounds like today will be a bit more relaxing and safe travels home my friend!

  4. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    So pretty! Love the colors. I am a split creator. I do better under pressure for work, which is crafting. I like to play when I am doing my own stuff. I never thought about that before. Thanks!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Yeah, the difference between work and play is so interesting. I get so much satisfaction when I play, but I have to push myself to finish all the little projects I start. I’m a great boss! I don’t give myself many deadlines! lol

  5. Lisa 1 month ago

    Is your sister like you? A joy filled optimist who sees the best in the world and whose inner child takes the lead whenever possible? Just curious. My sister, brother, and I were very different, yet we all laughed a lot. Different things set us off, but I can still see us all laughing at holiday meals.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Actually, my sister has a bit more self-doubt than I do, which is totally unwarranted as she’s a master crafter and incredibly creative!! 😃💕So, I think I also rank a touch higher on the optimist scale, but we’re pretty similar there. When we discuss things, the positive always wins out!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    Gorgeous shell! Art and science both depend on creative thought, and both bring new things into the world. I’m fascinated by both.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Me too! I’m so thrilled my life has become equal parts creative thought and science. It’s fun to watch the two dance together! hehe

  7. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Lovely shell, Charlie! I may not accomplish everything on the list but I sure am younger have fun trying. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… SO true! I think it’s just all the trying that keeps us so young. It’s like a fountain of youth!

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