When The Sun Sets

Lighthouse Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Lighthouse,” today, I decided to sketch one at sunset, just before it starts doing its job for the evening. Also, I realized I tend to just splash bits of blue about to suggest a sky, on the rare occasions that I add one. So, I thought I’d try something a little more colorful. I love sunsets. It’s like watching two completely different skies come together to shake hands before they surrender to the stars. I find it impossible to do anything but pause for a moment and reflect on things during this moment. Sometimes, on the idea of light itself. Tonight, Philippe and I were discussing stars, as geeky couples are sometimes prone to do, along with the speed of light. While light is the fastest thing we know in the universe, it still takes a bit of time to travel. A beautiful night sky full of stars is a painting of the past, often showing us a glimpse of stars as they looked millions of years ago. Stars live a long time, but in very rare cases, we might not yet know if they’re actually still there or not. Even our own world’s most important star, the sun, reaches us with a bit of a delay. The sun we’re viewing is actually an image of the sun from 8 minutes ago. It’s fascinating to think the past is actually the present.

We went on to discuss the fact that if you lived 66 million light years away and had a really amazing telescope, you’d be able to watch dinosaurs on earth. Of course, the telescope would have to be roughly the size of several planet earths, and that’s likely not possible. More interesting to me was thinking about old television programs and how radio waves travel at the same high speed. It’s fascinating to think that millions of years from now, another planet might get to experience “I Love Lucy” for the first time. In truth, we simply don’t know, what we don’t know. As Philippe hypothesized, there could be a planet in another solar system that’s several times bigger than ours with beings much like us. This would mean the inhabitants can’t travel through space like we can, and would have much less of a clue about the rest of the universe. They would be stuck in their own reality with no glimpse of anything else at all. Though all of this is fascinating to consider, it’s clear that we ourselves have only a fraction of the knowledge all of the universe has to offer. And perhaps, that’s okay.

I truly believe that life is best lived by asking questions rather than constantly looking for answers. In the very act of asking “what if?” we can discover so many wonderful possibilities. Whether or not these possibilities are actually true, is something to be tested, but the very act of considering them is the purest definition of creativity. If you want to make art of any kind and in any medium, the only thing you need to have when you begin is an open mind. The moment we create past some previously held belief or habit in our thinking is the most amazing moment of all. And, as ever, this isn’t a post about a lighthouse, it’s a post about finding that bit of light that inspires us individually. There’s something out there in those stars that is calling to each of us. Whatever we choose to belief and consider is the gloriously unique thing that makes us who we are. And that’s a very beautiful trait indeed! What I sincerely hope is that at the end of the day, we always continue to believe in ourselves. There’s a world of possibility waiting for each of us to discover, and there’s a fresh chance to discover it again each and every day, when the sun sets.

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Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click Here!
Lighthouse Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. Chad 12 months ago

    Beautiful painting and words. Thank you!

  2. Karen Fortier 12 months ago

    Great lighthouse Charlie! I agree that an open mind and a sense of curiosity plus a touch of humor is crucial to be happy in life. I think it helps in creating art as well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Hehe… definitely a touch of humor! That’s the best ingredient of all!

  3. LoriCtoo 12 months ago

    So pretty! You planted a little seed in my brain for skies. I always just paint them blue, never thinking to add some of the beautiful colors we are presented with occasionally. Thanks!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, you and me both… I tend to just splashes in some blue and more on…. hehe… so figured I should add a bit more color!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 12 months ago

    Wonderful painting and words! I love the metaphor of skies shaking hands and the idea of aliens watching I Love Lucy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe…yeah, isn’t the idea of aliens watching I Love Lucy kind of awesome! It would be so great!

  5. memadtwo 12 months ago

    I love how the lighthouse took you into the stars, one of my favorite poetic subjects. Time is something full of endless questions too. (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks, Kerfe! 😃💕 Yeah, I love how the image takes me in a more metaphorical direction. Gotta love art and words! Glad you liked this!

  6. Lisa 12 months ago

    Joe and I were watching a thing about time and gravity today and how it the sun suddenly disappeared it would take 8 minutes before we were dead. Lol Weird cross communication from your abode to mine!😂😂

    I spent most of my youth living about five miles, as the crow flies, from the Sturgeon Bay ship canal lighthouse. We couldn’t see the light because of the trees, but we could hear the fog horn if the windows were open. I miss living by Lake Michigan.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Oh wow! That is a coincidence! hehe 😃💕 Yeah, makes one consider just how much they could accomplish in 8 minutes. And ohhh the sound of a fog horn… I love that sound.

  7. Fanna Turano 12 months ago

    Wow, Charlie…I think this is one of your daily blogs that I really enjoyed the most. Deep thinking, connecting marvelous visuals. Thank you. Was lovely to read it. (and your lighthouse and sky were beautiful. Shaking hands…great line.). I’ve been on many New England lighthouse tours, so this prompt was of particular fondness for me. Well put throughout, Charlie. Thank you.

    Fanna

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this one!! Yeah, my mind leaps to many places, but I’ve always adored lighthouses. They’re so beautiful!

  8. Kristina 12 months ago

    Just found the blog today. Inspired. Listened to 3 of your podcasts, too. Wow, in our current world your words are a breath of fresh air. I feel like you are speaking directly to me . . . and I drew my dog and a funny castle this evening just because of you. Mahalo

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      That’s so wonderful to hear, Kristina!! 😃💕 Yay! I’m so thrilled and happy to know you enjoyed my podcast and blog! You’ve given me a breath of fresh air with your comment! And and yay to drawing your dog and a funny castle… that sounds like an evening well spent! 🙂

  9. Mary Roff 12 months ago

    “…two completely different skies come together to shake hands before they surrender to the stars”. What a beautiful way to describe the sunset! Wonderful lighthouse and beautiful sunset sky!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 It’s funny, when you quoted me, I was like… who said that? hehe… I do just write and post, but occasionally I manage a nice turn of phrase I guess. Glad you liked it!

  10. Robert J. Coleman 12 months ago

    A true lighthouse guiding us along our darkened way. And how far out to sea can that light be seen? As far as the stars? Searching the stars is one of mankind’s oldest pursuits, for navigation like the lighthouse, or for inspiration and faith. Scanning the night sky brings to mind one of my favorite poetic quotes from Robert Browning; “a man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Awww I love that quote, Bob! 😃💕 And I love searching the stars. There are so many questions there that require less of an answer and more just a heavy dose of inspiration.

  11. smzang 12 months ago

    I love that Browning quote…

    and the sky, and the lighthouse, and the article…and I pray that it is I Love Lucy that they see rather than The Kardashians.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      hehe! I hadn’t even thought about that… yeah… I chose what I wanted them to see. But odds are equally good they might catch The Kardashians, which would give them a much different picture of our world. 😉

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