Year Of The Rat

Chinese New Year 2020 Year Of The Rat Watercolor Illustration

Today, our prompt was “Something Red” in honor of the start of the Chinese New Year, though it could, of course, apply to anything red at all. I love the lanterns that appear this time of year, and love even more that they symbolize a wish for a bright future. Also, according to the Chinese zodiac, it’s the year of the rat. Last year was the year of the pig, which is the year I was born. Well many, many years before, of course. I turned to Philippe this afternoon and asked, “you’re a rat, right?” without thinking to give him the proper context and he just looked at me sideways. I then explained, and he nodded excitedly that yes, he’s indeed a rat and this is his year. Men born in this year are said to be very curious, trying anything they can, and usually doing so with skill. While this is true about Philippe, many of the various descriptions do seem a bit broad as though they could apply to just about anyone. I was hoping for something more conclusive, but I guess the curiosity bit could explain how he can watch an hour-long documentary on turnips. But, no matter the sign you may have, I hope that everyone out there has a wonderful year ahead!

I did have to look at the charts to check on the compatibility between Philippe and I, and apparently, we’re not considered the best match, but are considered to be complementary. I take that as a good sign. Though I probably didn’t need a chart to know that was true. What intrigues me most about compatibility in the Chinese zodiac is that there is always one particular pairing for each person that could go either way. This is one that could be the perfect match, but is more likely an enemy. I can only assume that these romantic relationships are quite exciting. As intriguing as that sounds, though, I have to admit that complementary is just fine with me. I adore the sweet and uncomplicated life that Philippe and I have together. And truly, I don’t fully believe in any zodiac, but it’s always fun to consider these things. It’s a world where a rat and a pig can meet and fall in love. That’s the kind of storybook world that I just have to adore.   

I always start the year with exciting new plans, ideas, and lots of energy, but it can be tough to sustain that for very long. So, I like that the Chinese New Year comes along as a bit of a reboot to get that feeling of a fresh start again. This then, of course, has to last me through winter until spring comes along with its promise of sun, flowers, and new beginnings. And though there’s lots of new things to do each day, I’m equally happy doing nothing much at all. This afternoon, Philippe and I lounged around playing games in a fine show of olympic laziness. It was fantastic! We are indeed quite complementary and I love our time together. Teasing him about watching a documentary on turnips is just a reminder of what I adore most about him. And, it’s likely a touch unfair. It was actually a show about lemons. One thing is certain, I know he’ll be making the most of the year ahead and I’ll be happily following his lead and doing the same. Something tells me there’s definitely a bit of good luck coming our way in this wonderful year of the rat.

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Day 25 - Chinese New Year 2020 Year Of The Rat Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
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28 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    I’m a snake and my hubby’s a rooster. Roosters and dragons are my best matches according to the Chinese zodiac, and I believe it!

  2. Claire Randall 3 weeks ago

    Hey this is just superb, love it. Happy New year, I’m an ox moo and my husband’s a snake lol I have no idea if we are a good match 😮😋😍 my kids are a dog and monkey 🙂 i love these daily inspirations and ideas, I’m trying things I’d never normally do and really enjoying it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Claire! 😃💕Happy new year to you! Actually the snake and ox and considered to be most compatible! hehe Thrilled you’re enjoying the daily inspiration and trying new things! Yay!

  3. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 weeks ago

    Beautiful!!!!!!!!!! I love everything about this the cute rat, the flowers and the lanterns ahhhhhhhh!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 I’m trying to experiment a bit more and just try things I imagine! Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Tiger and pig here..don’t know how that could be compatible but has worked for 47 years. :-). Love your mouse and lanterns.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Pigs are indeed said to be most compatible with tigers! hehe… hmmm…. 😉

  5. Kathy Delumpa Allegri 3 weeks ago

    This is MY year, too! I’m not fond of rats, but the description does amuse me. Gung Hei Fat Choy!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Yay Kathy! 😃💕 Happy New Year! And I hope the Lunar new year treats you well and you have a perfectly awesome one!

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for painting such a beautiful picture of the rat. I’m also a rat, but way older than Phillipe. And I hate rats, and always wondered why it couldn’t have been the year of the rabbit or the deer or the panda – what idiot chose a rat? At least your vision is really charming and this rodent looks pretty good under the red lanterns. You popped in as much pink as possible. Maybe I’ll think of your image and stop bitching about being a rat.

    All astrology charts are so everything that anyone can find themselves in any year or season and find something wonderful to think about themselves. Vanilla egalitarianism. But still, they’re fun, and celebrating Chinese New Year is always a good time, no matter our ethnicity. Gong hey fat choy. We had fun saying that to each other when I lived in Hawaii.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Yay! Glad I could make you feel good about being a rat, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… I’m a pig, so… yeah, I get it! And so true, zodiacs are always fun and uplifting. And yay to the Chinese New Year. It’s another wonderful reason to celebrate!

  7. Lisa Cihlar 3 weeks ago

    I’m a pig too. Last year was not a great one for me due to health stuff. Maybe this one will be better. Joe is an ox.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Here’s to a much better year this year, Lisa! 😃💕 And Pig and Ox are considered a good match by the way! 😉

  8. Karen Fortier 3 weeks ago

    Fabulous Charlie. I just had to do a search to see that I’m a sheep and my husband is a snake. I didn’t look to see if we are compatible. Late night for us. We went to the New Hampshire theater awards tonight as our oldest daughter was nominated for best actress in a community theater musical. She didn’t win but it was an honor to be nominated. I am now enjoying quiet as there was a great deal of screaming as award winners were announced.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 So awesome your daughter was nominated that’s wonderful! And yeah… quiet is a wonderful thing after award shows indeed! hehe

  9. Gary Middleton 3 weeks ago

    I love the lanterns and the blossom. Great painting.

  10. Heidi S. 3 weeks ago

    You are such a sweet couple (my thoughts, while I was reading this).
    Also had to think of the movie ‘The red lantern’. And of a chinese set of brushes and ink etc. in a special box, I once bought for my mother (who passed away 4 y. ago on 23 jan.). So far I didn’t find the box yet. Maybe on a Chinese New Year’s day 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Heidi! 😃💕And I hope you find that box of brushes. Sounds wonderful indeed!

  11. CATHY 3 weeks ago

    En rouge, vous aviez déjà fait, à Paris, le Moulin Rouge et deux fois, je crois – aujourd’hui, vous auriez pu faire le dessin d’un rat et d’un cochon, en plus – mais c’est vrai que ce rat est très mignon – moi je ne sais pas, je suis née le 17 janvier, je vais chercher quel animal je suis – j’adore vous lire – bien que parfois, la traduction est assez amusante

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Merci beaucoup, Cathy! 😃💕Awww, I could have painted a rat and pig, but decided to give the rat the focus! hehe… and I wonder what animal you will be! 😉

  12. LoriCtoo 3 weeks ago

    Not a fan of rats, but yours has a touch of whimsy to him to make him acceptable. 😉 I have a friend in Malaysia right now. They went for a wedding and the Chinese New Year. I am excited to see her pictures of the colorful events.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I love the Pixar movie Ratatouille so rats got cuter for me after that! hehe So cool you’re getting to see pictures of the Chinese New Year!

  13. Linda Calverley 3 weeks ago

    Lovely painting. I’m a snake and my husband is a tiger, I love tigers but I’m not so keen on snakes. According to the zodiac we are not compatible but there again I don’t recognize myself from that description.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕Yeah, I think I’d prefer tigers over snakes in real life. hehe… and at least they got the compatibility part right! 😉

  14. smzang 3 weeks ago

    I love the lanterns but the rat is giving me the heebie jeebies. It just looks so real.

    Wishing you all the good luck the year can bring!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 lol… that makes me giggle because I wish I could make things a bit more cartoon. I try to, but they always look rather real! Hope you have good luck all year as well!

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