Walking On The Beach

Day 4 - Heron Beach Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash

The very idea of walking on the beach, our prompt for today, is quite a dream indeed. As it turns out, the temperatures here are still ridiculously cold right now and won’t be warming up until the weekend. That doesn’t mean it will actually be warm, per se, but it will have finally creeped above freezing so I’m sure I’ll see people running around in shorts and flip flops to celebrate the occasion. And Philippe the Parisian will make me giggle once more as he remarks on how such clothing should only ever be worn to the beach. I’ll just tell him, as I always do, when you live this far from a beach, you just have to take what you can get. So, at the first sign of warm weather, I’ll happily be like this heron I sketched today and strutting around enjoying myself. With a bit more clothing, to be sure. And it’s quite fun to at least imagine a bright and beachy scene in the pages of my little sketchbook. I can imagine back to years ago when I went snorkeling for the first time. Sure, I ended up with a rash of some sort due to brushing up against a bit of nefarious seaweed, but it was totally worth it to get an up-close look at life under the water. So I only have the fondest memories of beaches.

It occurred to me that this is how I live my life all of the time. Omitting the little bits that aren’t so favorable and focusing on the awesome and wonderful bits instead. That’s the fabulous part about memories. They can often scrub away all of the questionable bits to leave only a beautiful sheen of impossibly happy times. So, each time I sketch something related to a beach, I’m always put in an instantly happy mood. I hear the sound of those waves and remember just how lost I can become in them. For what always feels like the first time in my life, I pause and do nothing at all. I just let the music of those waves surround me and let my mind drift into a bit of nothingness. The only other time I experience something like this is when I’m sitting down to color a bit each evening in my sketchbook. I get so lost at times that if Philippe says something to me, I often have to ask him to repeat it. Thankfully, he’s painted as well, so he knows exactly what’s happening and doesn’t get irritated. This “zone” is a wonderful thing indeed and extremely addictive. It’s like I get to visit a beach each and every day.

I’ve got so many projects I’m working on right now that it’s bordering on insane. Each day, I move them forward just a bit, and that’s fine by me. One would think I’d stop these daily posts in order to focus on those projects, but then I’d lose my trip to the beach. Projects just don’t hold the same allure as showing up to sketch and color for no reason other than taking a happy little break in the day. This is how I relieve stress and regroup for a moment so I can return to those little projects waiting for me. That’s why my posts are so oddly raw and lacking a level of craft. They’re just a quick reaction to a tiny bit of time spent doing something I adore. Yet, today, I was reassured that the little thing I do every day means everything to me. I cherish my sketching habit and though I can’t do it as much as I’d like, I can at least make a moment to play each day. Yes, I’m still just playing and learning and enjoying every second. I’ve so much more to discover and so much more to try in the future. And there’s plenty of time for all of that to happen. For now, I’m simply caught up in the waves of creating things and enjoying the breeze of satisfaction that comes from spending each and every day walking on the beach.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Bezimida Orange, 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!
Heron Beach Watercolor Illustration - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
29 Comments
  1. JA Wilson 6 months ago

    Nothing like the “Zone”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Yes to that!! The “Zone” is an amazing thing indeed! 😃💕

  2. Lisa 6 months ago

    The thing I miss the most is beaches. Sometimes I say cross country skiing, but that’s only good for a few months. Beaches are good year round. Having grown up so close to Lake Michigan, and having spent almost every vacation of my life by water, it’s no surprise that I’m a beach bum. Even here, in this landlocked bit of country, the Sugar River is only a field away. You guys should really pack your shorts and flip flops and get to a beach!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Yes!! We totally should, Lisa! 😃💕I was such a late beach bloomer, but its effects can’t be denied. It’s so wonderful. There’s something about the water that makes everything better.

  3. smzang 6 months ago

    Charlie says, “For now, I’m simply caught up in the waves of creating things and enjoying the breeze of satisfaction that comes from spending each and every day walking on the beach.”

    A huge amen. Don’t ever sell yourself short, my friend, as a painter, a writer or
    a person. You are top shelf all the way.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      You’re so wonderful! 😃💕 I want to bottle up all of your comments so I can reach in and grab one on the days I’m feeling down. You always make me feel wonderful. Thanks so much for that, my friend!

  4. memadtwo 6 months ago

    I’m dreaming of summer…will this snow ever remember it’s supposed to be spring? (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Exactly! hehe Someone needs to tell the snow it has outworn its welcome. And the groundhog didn’t seem to be effective in that area. lol 😉

  5. Sharon Nolfi 6 months ago

    Wonderful job on one of my favorite birds! I do love the beach and feel lucky to live with the coast nearby.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Nothing better than a beach. Glad you liked my little heron!

  6. LoriCtoo 6 months ago

    I am not sure when I turned from a warm beach bum to a cold stormy beach bum. I rather be inside watching the waves sailing up into the air and crashing down onto the rocks. It is so much more interesting! We are fortunate to live less than 2 hours from the Pacific. Great idea for our beach theme…bird. He’s wonderful!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Glad ya liked this. And yeah, I think as I get older, being near a beach is plenty good enough for me! hehe

  7. Sharon Mann 6 months ago

    So delightful!!

  8. Mary Roff 6 months ago

    Beautiful Heron! They are so regal and graceful…one of my favorites.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I love the way they strut. We should all take a lesson in confidence from these creatures, I think!

  9. June Hadaway 6 months ago

    Heron’s are such pretty birds. You captured it’s beauty for sure. Always my favorite bird to watch for at the beach.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 I think I’ve only ever seen a heron once in person… hehe… so I definitely need to get back to a beach soon!

  10. singing.mermaid 6 months ago

    I’m the same! I love writing about the beach and surrounding myself with beach pictures, seashells, home decor, beach music…. you get it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      That’s awesome! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this! Yes… there’s nothing in the world quite like the beach! Love it!

  11. chapter18 6 months ago

    Beach beckons….

  12. Sandra Strait 5 months ago

    I would miss being so far from a beach. Although the Oregon coast isn’t one that’s good for snorkeling, and it’s often stormy and gray, and I love watching the waves. People think I’m crazy because I far prefer it to tropical beaches. It’s the sound and the movement, and the hope that if you watch closely enough you’ll see the spout, fin or tail of a great gray whale.

    • Sandra Strait 5 months ago

      Oh, and I love your Heron. We live on a small lake where herons hang out a lot. We used to have one that would come up on the patio and fight his reflection in our sliding door window. It sounded like a gunshot every time he’d slam his beak against the glass. We finally put up a fence to keep him out because we weren’t sure what would break first – the glass or his beak!

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

        hehe! Thanks! 😃💕 Glad you liked the heron! I honestly don’t even notice when people don’t mention the doodlewash. And yikes! That heron sounds a bit insistent… hehe… yeah… the fence was probably wise! lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 months ago

      That’s so a beautiful picture you painted with words my friend! 😃💕 Yessss! It’s the sound, the movement and the feeling… and spotting a whale is the icing on that awesome cake!

  13. Crystal Cox Snyder 4 months ago

    Love your style of writing. Very well put together.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 months ago

      Thanks so much, Crystal! 😃💕 What a lovely compliment! I’m so happy you enjoyed my writing!

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