Trapped In An Ice Storm

Day 29 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Winter Icicles Hanging on Branch #doodlewash

One of the prettier sites during the winter months can be found in the glistening icicles that appear. I particularly love the many icicles that form on the branches of trees, transforming a sad leafless tree into a shimmering masterpiece of glassy wonder. Here in the Midwest, it sometimes decides to warm up just enough to avoid snow, and instead we get freezing rain. When I was growing up, I remember being trapped indoors during these ice storms. Looking out the window, you could see that every single thing was entombed in a thin layer of ice. It was a magical sight at the time, and school was usually cancelled, so it had the same wonderful outcome as getting several inches of snow. The power would go out as well, turning our home into a giant tent and the evenings into a night of camping by the fireplace. This was something my father referred to as a “pain in the ass,” but I was overjoyed to be trapped inside my very own ice castle.

As an adult, I understand what my dad meant, as being trapped in an ice storm and a house without power isn’t particularly convenient. But, on the other hand, it’s also a unique experience to suddenly find yourself without access to all of the various electronic devices that dominate our lives today. Suddenly, you feel like time stands still and you can do things that you never felt you had the time to do. With just a little spark from a kerosene lamp or candle, you can still write, paint, knit or do whatever creative endeavour your heart desires. That’s the beauty of our creative pursuits. They just require a few cordless tools and a bit of imagination. When I think about it like this, I realize that there’s truly nothing to stop me from painting each day, except some reason I’ve simply made up. There’s always that tiny bit of time waiting there for me to make something new.

So as the weather turns colder and threat of snow and ice lurks around each corner, I’m content. As long as I have my paints and trusty fountain pens, I know that I’ll always have more than enough to keep me entertained should I ever find myself stranded at home. Staring out my window, I could study each little icicle as it forms on the branches of the trees. I could grab a couple of colors of paint like I’ve done here and pull those icicles onto a piece of paper. A simple memory, frozen onto the pages of my little red sketchbook. Each day, another little memory added until the book is full and it’s time to begin another one. And on those days when finding time to sketch and paint seems like an impossible feat, I realize all I have to do is stop what I’m doing for just a little moment, and pretend I’m trapped in an ice storm.

Join us for the January Doodlewash Adventure: Winter Wonderland,
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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Olive Green and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
Day 29 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Winter Icicles Hanging on Branch #doodlewash

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
  1. jmnowak 6 years ago

    Delightful picture Charlie, in both senses of the word. It’s not in my experience yet sounds magical and inviting. ✨

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Janina! 😃💕 It’s definitely a unique and magical experience! (but super cold, of course! hehe)

      • jmnowak 6 years ago

        Glad I’m not there, then! 🙂
        Happy New Year to you and Philippe. Plenty of champagne or egg nog!

  2. Carol 6 years ago

    Charlie, this is breathtakingly beautiful! Wow!

  3. garammirch 6 years ago

    Charlie, I like all your work and this one is one of my favorite. Reminds me of the time when i visited the Himalayas!

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 years ago

    Aw, that little green twig caught in its icy coat – preserved by glistening frozen water. Very pretty, a natural winter decoration.

    One year when I lived in New Jersey, (I was maybe 8) I walked home every day past a tiny frozen pond. It was really just a large puddle that had frozen solid but I was so small, I could slide across it in my boots every afternoon. Until the day I fell in. The puddle wasn’t very deep but I was pretty small – and cold and wet.

    The ice had softened enough that it wouldn’t hold my weight and I was so terrified of nearly drowning and then of worrying about what my mom would say, that I ran in the house, tore off all my wet winter clothing and changed into dry clothes. Then sat and shivered for about an hour.

    There is always a gap between the romance of winter weather and the reality that it is cold and can be dangerous. Your twig is safe in its ice cast – for now.

    • Author

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 What a wonderful story! I love that… I can picture it perfectly! So fun though… when it worked out! hehe… you’re right, there’s so beauty in the danger of winter.

  5. Ellie 6 years ago

    What a beautiful ice-laden branch! (And in case you wondered, some of us do pay attention. Probably not Opera Rose and Cobalt Turquoise. hehehe)

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Ellie! 😃💕 And YAY! Thanks for paying closer attention than I do! Lol Yep… just fixed it… let’s go with Olive Green and Payne’s Grey instead! 😊

      • Ellie 6 years ago

        I did consider for a while that you might have a secret of combining rose and turquoise to get green. ( :

  6. Jacob 6 years ago

    This is absolutely gorgeous, so strong and yet fragile, and totally epitomises ‘winter wonderland’ for me! I LOVE the idea of an ice castle (presumably with the obligatory ice zonkey outside?). I don’t think we’ve ever had wintry icicles quite so impressive here, and I’m not sure we will again, as winter now seems milder than summer much of the time. I could definitely take to being snowed in for a few days!

    I’ve been in the wilderness for a little bit, as far as blogging goes – I hope you had a lovely Christmas! <3

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕 Hope you had a fabulous Christmas as well!! An ice zonkey would be amazing… if I ever throw a large party, I will have one comissioned for sure! Lol Actually, this isn’t from life as it’s warmer here too this week. But looks like cold and snow are back just after the New Year!

  7. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    I’ve never experienced an ice storm, but your icicles look lovely!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃 Yeah, it’s been years since we had one here… climate is changing much!

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