When I’m Older

Grey Crowned Crane With Baby Chick Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Crane” today, I chose a crowned crane with her baby chick. I can only imagine the sheer wonder a baby chick must feel upon seeing mom with her elegant golden crown and lovely feathers. It must be something along the lines of, “Wow, I’ll turn into that when I’m older!” Indeed, it’s quite a transformation as the little chicks don’t really reveal anything when you look at them as to what they will one day become. Also, I think I’ve felt quite like a baby chick during my art journey. I started by simply sketching stuff and now I’ve moved to sketching stories. Or, at least the start of them for now. When I first started sketching, I would just pick one thing to focus on and try my hand at sketching that. After over five years, I know that I’m still growing up artistically, but it’s been fun to put all of that stuff I learned how to sketch along the way into my own scenes born out of my imagination. Yet, not much has changed from the start. I’m still growing up. One little sketch at a time.

I guess for artists, the ones we look up to and hope to be like in the future are the masters that inspire us most. For me, this is primarily all of the illustrators from the books I adored as a child. And, of course my mother, who was a master crafter. This is likely what gives my sketches a touch of a vintage look sometimes. I just loved the books that had real animals drawn as such and doing things like a human might. Or taking a nearly natural scene like this one and adding a touch of extra color, expression and love. In truth, looking back, even when I was just making a single thing, I always imbued it with a bit of a storybook feel. I guess, it’s how I see life. No matter how bleak the news becomes or what latest awful thing is happening in the world, I choose to imagine a better one. I dream of a world that’s full of happy little animals and harmony. A visual that reminds us all of the good things that have happened in the past or might actually be happening somewhere at this very moment.

Sure, it’s just that little child inside me as always, who still looks up to see a dazzling future full of hope and wonder. The same one that has trouble deciding which awesome thing he’d like to focus on next and instead tries them all at once. Truly, Philippe is a saint for putting up with all of my crazy whims that change so often. He still cheers me on, even when he’s never sure what direction I’ll head next. I think that’s the best kind of support one could ever hope to have. And my hope is that I can keep right on making images that provide a little hope for these troubled times. Beyond the changes I would like to see happen in the world is a world full of things that I wouldn’t change if I could. These are the things I sketch. The simpler things in life that share a touch of humanity, even with no humans present. I’m not entirely sure where all of this is leading me to next exactly, but I’m excited to find out what will happen when I’m older.

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Grey Crowned Crane With Baby Chick Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended2 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. isaiah46ministries 2 years ago

    Such a hopeful post and beautiful art. Thank you.

  2. writerleenda 2 years ago

    Charlie, you and Phillippe have hearts of gold. Remember to give him a Lindt chili chocolate bar. Imported by a Canadian company but you can likely get them there. You are inspiring me to make a little painting or sketch every day although my sketches don’t take paint which is okay too. Take care and keep up your great works.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much!! 😃💕 What a sweet thing to say! And I’m SO thrilled you’re inspired to sketch every day! Yay!!

  3. Walt. F Pierluissi 2 years ago

    When we are young we can’t wait to get older, but after 50 we wish to be young again….. Nice piece Charlie!!!!

  4. Edith 2 years ago

    Beautiful picture!! Beautiful thoughts..!!! 🥰💕🕊️👏💕

  5. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    Wonderful post, Charlie and what sweet mama and baby!!

  6. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Fantastic Charlie and you have another piece for your book! 😉 This is the perfect time to enjoy art. Even at 65 I hope to have a good 20 + years ahead to create.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, there’s so many more years to create, learn and love coming!

  7. Fascinante, Charlie, muy linda tu acuarela

  8. Marisela Delgado 2 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous Crowned Crane. So beautiful, Charlie! 💜 Yeah, I wonder what my life will turn out like when I get to back to living. I am excited, though. I get anxious sometimes because I want to hurry and get moving. The Lord has always promised me that the best is yet to come; that my best days are ahead. To say that I am excited and ready is an understatement. 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, I think that being excited for what’s next is the best feeling. No need to rush through that feeling… it’s wonderful on it’s own!

  9. Lisa 2 years ago

    Baraboo WI is home to the International Crane Foundation. I’ve been there quite a few times and these pompom headed cranes are spectacular in real life! If you’re lucky you might see these and other cranes dancing. We have sandhill cranes living right by my house. They are often in the fields right by us and we get to see them dancing in the spring. We drove out to Nebraska twice to see the sandhill crane migration on the Platt river. Thousands of these guys jumping and bugling. It is truly an incredible sight and if you ever get a chance, you should take it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      That sounds so incredible! I’d love to see all of those cranes at once. I definitely need a nature trip of some kind in the near future! 😃💕

  10. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    I suspect we were both highly influenced by the Golden Age of Illustration – John Tenniel, Walter Crane, Arthur Rackham, Aubrey Beardsley, Kay Nielsen to name just a few. I loved them all.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Indeed! 😃💕 I adore those illustrators along with Peggy Fortnum, Maurice Sendak, Quentin Blake and, of course, Ms. Potter. hehe

  11. Zertab Quaderi 2 years ago

    Love your storybook illustrations, Charlie 😀

  12. Nellie Nellie 2 years ago

    Your cranes are beautiful! I just celebrated with my mama crane, her 80th birthday! I still look at her the same way because she still looks at the world and her loved ones with child like wonder. Seeing “it,” is a lifelong venture I never want to be too “mature” for!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I feel the same about my mom. I think keeping that childlike wonder is the best thing we can do in life.

  13. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    Brilliant doodle, Charlie. Again you have that great perspective that makes mum look huge in the chick’s eyes.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yay! I was hoping to get that perspective across. It was a bit of a challenging to guess which bird bits went were as I didn’t have a single reference. hehe

  14. Iisa Ebenstein 2 years ago

    Beautiful picture of a mother crane and her chick which reminds me of myself and my cat. Can you paint some pictures of deer, such a beautiful animal loved by all. Thank you, Charlie.

  15. Fatima Chamkha 2 years ago

    Beautifully done Charlie!

  16. Priscilla DeConti 2 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful!!!

  17. Vio 2 years ago

    Fantastic storybook illustration, new book coming?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Vio! 😃💕 I’m hoping to write a book in the future indeed!

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