Wide Open Spaces

Pheasant In The Snow Watercolor Painting

For our prompt of “Snow” today, I thought about being out in the country on a snowy day. There’s something so inspiring about a view that seems so expansive. As a kid, I loved hiking around my grandparent’s farm. They had a lot of land and I never really got to explore all of it, but it was so wonderful to go on little adventures and wander down each new trail I discovered. I was mostly there for extended time during the summer months, but we’d always visit for Christmas and sometimes there would be snow. There’s nothing more amazing than a bright blue sky and a landscape covered in a blanket of white. And with no grasshoppers whizzing by or large flocks of noisy birds, it’s the glistening sound of silence that I love most. For a rare moment, I’m not distracted by anything at all and can think clearly. It’s a miraculous time, where I can sit with my own thoughts and dreams. My mind is free to wonder about life and enjoy a quiet, peaceful glow, hearing only the music of my heart.

Philippe and I have talked at length about moving someplace out of the city when we retire. Our disdain of long commutes and traffic jams has kept us close to the urban core and our jobs. But, some days, we really long to be somewhere with far fewer people. I’d miss our easy access to live theaters and restaurants, so we’d have to be close enough to attend those once in awhile. In truth, it’s likely we’ll retire in France, which would mean access to train travel. And we’ve talked about taking a vacation in lovely nature, but the same jobs that keep us in the city have made that challenging to make happen along with our family trips. Though, I adore visiting where my mother lives in Texas, because it’s well outside the city. It’s not a farm with tons of land, but the sky at night is filled with an impossible number of stars that I never get to see. I’ll often stand outside there in the evening, just staring up into space and enjoying the infinite majesty of our galaxy. It’s amazing to consider how much is out there that we’ve yet to discover. For example, we theorized that black holes existed back in 1916, but only directly observed them for the first time last year. Even when we think we know that something is out there, it’s always nice to have a bit of visual proof.

What I love is that though we have incredible tools today to make the most impossible images, at one time, the vastness of the universe was only brought to life by artists. Instead of photographs of our universe, we were instead met with a painted depiction. It was a dance between reality and an artist’s visual interpretation of the world. I love this dance. It’s the one I enjoy each day when I view all of the wonderful things that people create for our monthly challenges. And, best of all, I often find myself seeing something that makes me think it’s somehow more real than reality. An artist showed me a bit of life in a way that I didn’t expect, but it feels so inevitably true. It’s the very definition of every great story. The thrilling combination of reality, imagination, and heart is a wondrous thing indeed. There’s nothing else quite like it. So, cheers to all of you who take a moment to take a pen or pencil and some paint to explore those wide open spaces.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, Indigo, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!
Pheasant In The Snow Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

 

Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
30 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Hubby and I have talked about retiring to the area of Florida where my brother lives because there is still so much open land and enough lakes that lakefront property is relatively cheap. Unfortunately, it is orange grove country, and the farmers are all going broke because we import from other countries. The groves are abandoned or picked up cheap to be torn down for suburban housing. I’m afraid that by the time we went to live there, it would be something totally different.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yeah, that’s the thing here. It does seem like what’s good today may not have quite the same feel in the future. Too much of a push to grow houses, not oranges. 😉

  2. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    Beautiful bird – I love the lifework and the colors.

  3. Karen Fortier 2 months ago

    What a gorgeous scene Charlie! I agree with you that living in a rural setting is indeed special and it is a difficult decision when it comes to where to retire. My husband and I are in the midst of that now.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Good luck with your decision. Yeah, it’s so tough!

  4. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Agreed…there is something totally amazing about an endless night sky in the country..or, winter fields with a light cover of snow under a bright blue sky.

  5. Priscilla DeConti 2 months ago

    Lovely snowy image…and great to slow down at times to take a look at the lovely night sky…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Also good to slow down and contemplate the real world! Always makes me feel refreshed.

  6. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 months ago

    Beautiful!!! I live in a small town at the moment but for years lived in Concord California and really loved the awesome balance of it cozy environment with all the shops and entertainment. I find enjoyment always but sure miss the city lol 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 That city sounds awesome! I love it when there’s a perfect balance of both!

  7. Lisa 2 months ago

    Come to Wisconsin and be my neighbors. We have lots of stars and we are close to Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago. We could share some chickens!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Awww that would be awesome!! hehe 😃💕 I had a client that I visited often there so I was in Kenosha a lot and have friends in Racine!

  8. Gary Middleton 2 months ago

    Great painting. Pheasants are probably the most colourful bird we have in the UK, alongside the kingfisher.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yeah, I was trying to find a colorful bird you might actually find in the snow. hehe

  9. Jodi m 2 months ago

    Love the art and story

  10. Susan Masters 2 months ago

    Love the thoughts you shared and so happy to be able to share in all these talented people’s “dance” live your snow too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Thrilled you’re enjoying our community!

  11. smzang 2 months ago

    Charlie says, “…best of all, I often find myself seeing something that makes me think it’s somehow more real than reality. An artist showed me a bit of life in a way that I didn’t expect, but it feels so inevitably true. It’s the very definition of every great story. The thrilling combination of reality, imagination, and heart is a wondrous thing indeed. There’s nothing else quite like it.”

    You have defined both art and the joy of art. Bravo!

  12. Cathy France 2 months ago

    Bonjour, étonnée, de lire, l’enfant Charlie, parler de sa retraite future, si vous venez en France chez moi, chez Philippe, il vous faut vous mettre aux cours de français, l’idéal, serait que Philippe, parfois, vous parle à la maison, un peu en français – “passe moi la bouteille de vin” -” vient manger” – “il faut sortir le chien” – et alors, à force, de ces phrases habituelles et répétitives, vous allez en savoir plus, et vous faire un carnet, de mots appris, que vous relisez de temps en temps – mes amitiés

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Bonjour, Cathy! Oui! C’est vrai! We definitely need to use more French at home. All of our dog Phineas’ commands are in French, but telling someone to sit, stay, or lay down isn’t helpful or polite in everyday conversation. 😉

  13. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Such a beautiful scene. Your daily prompts have sent me down the memory path so many times. Something we forget to do in these crazy fast days. Thank you Charlie for doing all of this!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Thrilled you’re enjoying the prompts. Yeah, I love going down that memory path… always wonderful!

  14. Linda M. Gigliotti 2 months ago

    Hi Charlie,

    You will always get one comment such as mine: I. Hate. Winter. And I even live in the wine and orchard part of western Canada where we really don’t get the torments of the rest of the country, just enough to make me run for the nearest heater. The one good thing about winter is its pathway to spring.

    Having said all that, it’s all good because I get to cuddle up with my paint brush and sketching pencil and work from the heated inside!!

    Love your DOodles!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 hehe! Yeah, if it’s a brutal winter, I can’t stand it!! If it’s mild, I’m okay with the cold, but I miss the flowers and greenery!

  15. Fatima Chamkha 2 months ago

    Lovely pheasant Charlie!

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