Trying To Surf

Raccoon Riding Surfboard Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Outdoor Fun” today, I thought of outdoor things I’ve never tried. Though I’ve tried body boarding before while frolicking in the ocean, I’ve never actually surfed standing on a surfboard. I’ve watched people surfing and it looks so cool, but at the same time rather terrifying. Also, the people who do such things often have such an incredible physique, so I know it must be good exercise. Though I would never look like them if I did, so it could just be that those born with such incredible genes are simply predestined to act accordingly. But I live nowhere near an ocean so I really can’t exactly practice. And it strikes me that I also wouldn’t quite be a natural at such a thing. While I’ve had moments in my life where I really focused on physical fitness, it never actually became my hobby. It takes a lot of time to look that good, and I’d rather just be healthy and enjoy the things that I actually love! But if a genie were able to grant a wish, I might just wish for the chance to surf a large wave and look like I belonged there, just one!

I’ve learned that sometimes in life there are things that you just can’t DO as well as others. These could be things that involve physical skill or mental skill. We’re all so different and unique that it’s impossible to treat each person the same. Though certainly many try as that’s far easier. No matter what, when you stop to look around, there’s always someone else out there who can do something better than you. Whether it’s creating art or just living life in general in a way that seems exceptionally brilliant. There are some people who seem to just have it all figured out. At least on the surface. The reality is that we all struggle with figuring things out from time to time. Indeed, there are those big things that we might never figure out. But sometimes, even the littlest things can pose a bit of a problem. For me, the trick is just focusing on the things are actually important in the first place.

And, of course, that always starts with family and friends. I’ve been enjoying time with my little family lately as we watch silly little things on television. I’m trying to get Philippe to watch spooky things with me since we are nearing October and Halloween. He doesn’t like anything that’s remotely scary at all, but can handle a bit of spooky. As long as the spooky show was originally meant for kids or tweens. My inner child doesn’t mind at all, of course, since I love kids’ shows. But many tend to talk down to the audience, making them impossible for adults to watch without cringing. All of my favorite childhood writers, besides being British, created stories that were a touch elevated and sometimes didn’t seem like they were written for children after all. Indeed, they’ve all become classics. I love stories like this most as they’re the most universal. The stories we’ve all shared at some point in life. There are epic and unusual stories to be told to be sure, but the ones that define us are always the simplest of stories that happened that one day, when we were all just trying to surf.

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Raccoon Riding Surfboard Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
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34 Comments
  1. Nellie Nellie 4 weeks ago

    OMGOSH, just posted on this on Instagram! Mr. Nellie loved this intrepid little surfing raccoon, as he also enjoys a nice tube too! I loved his expression at finding himself so deep in “the green room”🤙🏼😁

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Aww so thrilled you and Mr. Nellie enjoyed this! Thanks so much! 😃💕

  2. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    I don’t mind scary so much (in small doses), but I don’t like the gore that comes with so much of it these days. I do think that watching too much of that kind of thing increases your anxiety level, even if you enjoy it at the time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yeah, I prefer spooky fun or a mystery any day! Not a fun of gore either, unless it’s ridiculously unrealistic and for effect like in a comedy zombie movie. hehe 😉

  3. Marisela Delgado 4 weeks ago

    So cute! Those swim trunks are to die for! 😂 When I was a kid, I loved scary movies eventhough they scared the crap out of me. I don’t watch them anymore. No interest, but, even if I did, the new scary movies are cheesy. Salem’s Lot, The Shining, The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror Story– now those were scary. The Shining may be the one to try. A lot of cult references. Poor Philippe, we’re trying to scare him. BTW, do they have scary French movies? Or is that an American thing?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, those movies were great. I like the slow tremor of the unknown in those. It’s way scarier than anything gory or shocking! Oh there are scary French movies… more like the older ones you’ve described. He won’t have any of it! hehe

  4. Gary Middleton 4 weeks ago

    Ha ha great fun, Charlie.

  5. Mugdha 4 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    I love the raccoon surfing but I love the wave even more. And his expression is priceless! For me it looks like he has realized the sheer power of nature. And it looks like after so many tiny things we have in common, I’ve got one thing common with Phillipe too. I don’t like scary or spooky either. 🙁 So for me the only bit of Halloween I liked was Trick or Treating… and perhaps some witch stories like There’s No Such Thing as a Witch (coz it’s more about chocolate fudge). 😉

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Oh wow! Yeah, we ended watching The Worst Witch… hehe… that was all I could get him to watch. It was fun, but I can take a bit more spooky! hehe

  6. Bird 4 weeks ago

    Slightly worried there Mr.raccoon… so cute!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… this is me if I ever attempted such a thing I think!

  7. Nellie Nellie 4 weeks ago

    Ps: The scariest thing I’ve seen lately is the news, so Phillipe and you can check out my favorite scaredy cat scary movies: Frankenweenie (Phineas may or may not be into it); Curse of the WereRabbit (Ardman); Boxtrolls; and my all time favorite, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Also not scary but gorgeous: Song of the Sea. I also have seasons for certain movies, and these signal the beginning of the long dark nights. The last two are so beautiful artistically, I sometimes need to just watch them for inspiration!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      So true! The news is scarier than anything. And that’s a fabulous list of movies! Philippe and I did watch Frankenweenie, and it was enjoyable. Haven’t tried Boxtrolls yet… so we’ll have to check it out! 😃

  8. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    Because I lived a couple of miles from Lake Michigan we spent a lot of time on the water. One of my favorite things was body surfing. Late summer there was always a day or two when it was very hot and humid and the lake would turn over, sending giant roller waves into the shore. We’d go out in the water as far as possible then wait for a giant roller wave, we’d push off on top of it and ride it all the way to shore. The only thing you had to be careful about was getting rolled into the sand and stones near shore because that hurt like crazy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      I know!! It was so painful when that happened. Didn’t stop me from running back out again. It’s so much fun! 😃💕

  9. Fatima Chamkha 4 weeks ago

    Gorgeous surfing raccoon!

  10. Karen Fortier 4 weeks ago

    Wonderful Charlie! I’m with you and have never stood on a surfboard. As a rule the coast of Maine doesn’t have that kind of surf although surfers can be seen in a few locations if conditions are just right. Body surfing in the ocean or being dragged on a board or tube behind a boat on a pond was more in line with what we did as kids in the summer.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, that’s pretty much all I tried as a kid as well! Still fun though!

  11. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    A raccoonn called Intrepid and he’s adorable, Charlie! Surfing would require a level of fearlessness way beyond my comprehension. I admire the athleticism and total grace of surfers but I think I’ll be content to be an observer.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, I can’t even imagine that level of fearlessness! hehe

  12. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    He looks terrified! Pretty much what I would look like if I were ever to do such thing. Great job on getting his expression! Funny you sketch a raccoon, we’ve been having raccoon problems lately. Momma and at least 5 kiddos have been going through our yard every night. I swear they get in a circle and poop altogether. Guess who gets to clean it up each day?(One reason we don’t have a dog.) Oh well, another rain storm is coming today!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Hehe! Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I was trying to give him my expression should I ever try surfing. Yeah, they do love to poop! lol We haven’t had our little raccoon problem back for awhile now. Yay for another rain storm!

  13. jkpringle21 4 weeks ago

    So Adorable surfer, great way to start my day, on a up beat note..thanks Charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! Thrilled this was a happy start to you day! 😃💕

  14. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto

  15. Jacob 4 weeks ago

    Awesome! I genuinely think a raccoon in shorts would have a better chance of mastering this than I would.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Indeed! 😃💕 That’s where this idea originated and what I was thinking the entire time!! LOL

  16. Priscilla DeConti 4 weeks ago

    That raccoon is fabulous! I’m not much of a scary fan either…Was much more courageous in my younger years lol
    I guess now I am being courageous in other areas that sometimes can be just as scary as the horror movies…but I persevere and keep showing up for my art and it will continue to improve…thanks for a lovely painting!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 hehe.. you and me both! I watched crazy scary movies as a kid, but not so much as an adult. I guess we all find out real life can be even scarier at some point. But that’s where art and imagination comes in to save us from it all! Adore that!

  17. shawnthompsonart 4 weeks ago

    Nice surfing painting, I really like how you captured the water.

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