Sketching Stuff

Charlie O'Shields

I’m Charlie O’Shields, and just three years ago, I started sketching and painting with watercolor and became so hooked that I created a little blog called Doodlewash. It’s since grown much larger over the years, featuring posts from hundreds of artists all over the world, and in many ways it’s your usual art blog. Until I show up and start sketc

All Episodes

Hello again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! For this set of stories I simply pulled the ones that made me feel happy and hopeful. And it’s my sincere hope that they’ll make you feel the same way. These are trying times indeed where many things can seem to be nothing like we’d wish them to be if given the chance to choose. But, with a little bit of watercolor, life get’s a bit shiner and more hopeful. And for me, hearing the scratch of my fountain pen in my sketchbook as I scrawl out a doodle each day is a very relaxing break. I’ve always enjoyed it, but during these times, it means even more to me. And splashing color about after I’ve made my little drawing makes my inner child giggle with glee. It’s a wonderful way to transform any day into a sunny one. Whether I can find a full hour or even just a few precious minutes, I’ve made it my goal to show up and make something each and every day. Yeah, that’s literally the entire goal. I’ve no expectations that each little thing I make will be something fantastic, but sometimes, on a really good day, something really awesome appears. It’s that day that I’m always sketching toward. It will come if I just keep right on DOing it! Taking a blank sheet of paper and turning it into whatever popped into my mind that day. And then, of course, rambling on about things that are on my mind soon after that. It’s a beautiful habit indeed to combine water, color, and hope!

Sep 22

21 min

Hi there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! Sometimes creating “art” sounds like something that’s very difficult to achieve. The reality is that what one person deems art isn’t always exactly the same as what another person might think of as art. Indeed, the very idea of art is quite relative. I consider art as simply something that was created from scratch that didn’t exist in exactly that way before it appeared. Whether or not it’s a masterpiece is an even larger debate amongst those who worry over such things. But for the rest of us, I think we should celebrate the act of making and think of every little thing we create as a little piece of art. When I was a kid, my mother would consider everything I created as a little bit of art. Indeed, sometimes even a masterpiece of youthful skill. That’s the wonderful thing about creating. The people who love you most will always be there to love what you make along with you. So, it hardly matters what the rest of the world believes when they believe in you and you believe in yourself. Building just a bit of confidence in what we create is all that’s required to keep on showing up to make more things. Not everything will turn out just as we imagined, sometimes it’s even more amazing. Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel as good as the previous thing we made. But, no matter what, there’s pure joy to be discovered when you make art every day.

Sep 8

20 min

Hello, there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! Often one of the most challenging things about showing up to sketch and paint each day is finding inspiration. That core feeling that fuels me and gets me excited to create something. It’s always there, but some days, it can feel a bit muted. Instead of an excited feeling, I feel a bit daunted or even a bit lost as to what to do next. My solution is always the same. Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike me, I just start sketching! I know that each little scribble that I make will shake loose some idea that will turn a feeling that’s a bit humdrum into something fun and even exhilarating. I take this same approach with the stories that accompany my sketches. These are the very same stories that make up this podcast. I just start my rambling on to see what ideas might come out that day. I don’t have a particular message that I begin with, but instead, a feeling. I write about how I feel during my art journey and about the memories the things that I’m sketching make appear. What you’re listening to on this podcast is an art journey as it happens. It’s my hope that you’ll find something in my journey to inspire yours. Or, just a little something thoughtful to be played in the background while you set about transforming your next blank page. So, join me now for some more dreams in watercolor!

Aug 25

22 min

Hi, again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! I’ll admit that I really do love to geek out on new technology. I love all of the things that we can do today and think it’s really cool that much of it simply wasn’t possible even just a few years ago. But, as awesome as all of the new tech might be, I’m most enamored by things that we’ve always had the ability to DO! Like making things and creating art. It’s incredible what we can create by hand with just the simplest of tools. And the only thing we have to plug into is our own creativity and imagination. Of course, I adore sketching with watercolor most, because it’s just so much fun! Yet, when it comes to technology, my favorite part is that it can connect artists all across the globe. That’s always been the mission of Doodlewash.com. It’s a joy to help artists find other artists that can inspire them with their style and approach. We all have very different tastes and there are so many different ways to paint and sketch. Personally, I continue to be inspired to create each day by seeing people all across the earth making something wonderful. Whether it’s seeing a new approach or just triggering a wonderful memory. So, here’s another little collection of stories that appeared while I was sketching watercolor fun!

Aug 11

25 min

Hello, again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! As many of you know, I’ve personally formed a daily sketching habit that’s been happening for over five years now. Yep, I haven’t gone a single day without sketching stuff in all of that time. While that sounds like a rather incredible thing, it’s really not all that amazing. We have so many little habits that we do each and every day. Many of these are things we don’t even think about consciously. They just happen naturally. Whether it’s that daily shower or bath, brushing our teeth, or have a cup of coffee or tea, we never fail to take a little bit of time out of the day to DO these things. Sometimes, I hear people say they don’t have enough time to make art, but the reality is there will never be enough time. Truly, it would be awesome to have all the time in the world to do the things we love, but even if we only have a few minutes to spare, that’s plenty of time to have a little fun sketching and doodling. Or indeed, doing any little creative thing you adore. And soon, before we know it, we’ve formed a lovely little routine, that never actually feels routine, since one never knows exactly what will happen when it’s time to create. That’s the pure fun that comes from making new things. So, here’s a little collection of stories that appeared once, while I was sketching habits.

Jul 28

22 min

Hey there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! I hope everyone who is participating in World Watercolor Month during July is having a blast painting with watercolor! And if you haven’t jumped in yet, there’s still time, unless you’re listening to this in a different month, in which case, no worries as World Watercolor Month returns each and every year! Since I love sketching stuff, all of my fun happens inside of the pages of my sketchbooks. And watercolor has become my favorite way to color. It’s a beautiful medium that can be used in so many different ways. While there are many different techniques, my own involves a heavy dose of play. I just love playing with paint like I did back when I was a kid. I would try and DO anything back then, so I spend most of my adult life reminding myself of that little boy’s infinite curiosity and courage. And in that spirit of fun, I’ve compiled a set of happy little stories that appeared while I was happily splashing around watercolor. There’s certainly a lot of stress in the world today, and I truly believe that making things is the best way to combat that. That, of course, combined with a positive and optimistic attitude. It’s a fabulous combination and one that I hope to get everyone on the planet DOing! We deserve a bit of hope and happiness right now. So, I hope you’ll relax and enjoy this next set of stories that magically popped up one day while I was playing with watercolor.

Jul 14

20 min

Hello! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! I’m super excited that World Watercolor Month is here once again in July! If you love watercolor like I do, or even if you just want to give it a try this month, I DO hope you’ll join us! This event is an annual non-profit event that features the 31 watercolors in 31 days challenge. Or, just jump in and share your watercolors (or gouache) paintings anytime you like during the month by simply adding #WorldWatercolorMonth whenever you post on social media so we can add your beautiful watercolors to our online global gallery. Yep, it’s just that easy! Best of all, this is a benefit for The Dreaming Zebra Foundation to help get art supplies to underprivileged kids who them! And there’s a fun souvenir shop where 100% of proceeds on purchases go to help the cause! Learn all about it by visiting worldwatercolormonth.com! Can you tell I’m excited for the official month-long celebration of watercolor? It’s been my goal from the beginning to get everyone on the planet to try this fun medium. You can paint or, do like I do and color your ink sketches. Here’s a little collection of stories that I hope will inspire you to see the good in the world and, just maybe start a sketching and painting habit of your own! The world could really use more beauty and hope, so let’s make that happen in July as we enjoy a little watercolor fun!

Jun 30

25 min

Hi there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, here with another episode of Sketching Stuff! As most of you know by now, I adore sketching things each and every day. It’s a habit that I’ve formed and I simply can’t stop. It’s too much fun! I also ramble on a bit after I’ve sketched based on whatever inspires me in the moment. And that becomes the stories you’ll find in this podcast. Though I adore drawing things, it’s color that really steals my heart. And my favorite medium to color with is watercolor! If you also adore watercolor or what to give it a try, I hope you’ll join us for World Watercolor Month in July! This is an annual non-profit event that features the 31 watercolors in 31 days challenge. Or, just jump in and share your watercolors anytime you like during the month by adding #WorldWatercolorMonth whenever you post on social media. And, best of all, it’s a benefit for The Dreaming Zebra Foundation to help get art supplies for underprivileged kids who just might grow up to become our future artists! I’m quite passionate about getting people of all ages to make art. This world needs the added beauty that we create each time we draw and paint… even if we’re just starting out and trying to figure it all out. I always feel like I’m still a beginner in life and art and that’s just fine by me. I’ll simply continue to spend each and every day joyously and optimistically sketching with watercolor.

Jun 16

25 min

Welcome back! It’s Charlie O’Shields, here with another episode of Sketching Stuff! I love this time of year where I live! As the days get longer, they also start to get a bit sunnier as well. While I love a rainy day, a sunny day is particularly inspiring. As a kid, I was always excited for summer break. And even though I don’t get that as an adult, it’s still makes me a little giddy. And it’s fun to remember all of the things I enjoyed as a kid during this time and the new things I now enjoy as an adult. First and foremost is drawing and painting, of course, and the summer is my favorite time to DO it! Of course, one of the best bits of summer is that World Watercolor Month returns in July! I’m letting you know now so you can save the date and join me for this non-profit event featuring the 31 watercolors in 31 days challenge, supporting arts education. I know some of you out there have other creative hobbies, but I figured I would see if I could tempt you to try watercolor with me. It’s super fun, and that’s precisely the reason I’m always trying to get more people to DO it! I’m convinced that each of us already instinctually knows how to draw and paint. We all learned how as kids. It’s just a matter of remembering and letting our hearts play and explore. So, I hope you’ll enjoy this next selection of stories, inspired while sketching sunny days!

Jun 2

25 min

Hello again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! This marks the 50th episode of this podcast, and that feels like a lovely milestone. Indeed, when I set out to DO things, I don’t set a specific goal that I intend to hit, but it’s always nice to celebrate those special little moments along the way. I’ve been sketching stuff now for almost 1,800 consecutive days, which feels like a bit of an achievement as well. Yet, it’s really been one of the easiest things I’ve ever done in my life because sketching and coloring with watercolor is just so much fun! This set of stories was inspired while I was sketching very colorful things. Indeed, I adore playing with color and it’s often surprising to me what appears in my sketchbook. I don’t have a plan when I begin, but just let the colors chose themselves in the moment. This is because each day I let my inner child decide what I should make next. And that’s what’s kept me going on this journey, and why I share my inner thoughts with all of you. It can sometimes seem challenging to show up and make something each and every day, but I assure you it’s actually quite easy. And best of all, it’s really fun! Especially, when you approach it with glee, hand in hand with your own inner child, while sketching colorful stuff.

May 19

25 min

Hello! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! One of the things I’ve loved most about developing a sketchbook habit is that at any moment when I find myself bored, I always know I have something really fun to do. Indeed, when I was bored in school as a kid, which was more often than I’d like to admit, I would end up doodling in the corners of every notebook. It was a wonderful way to escape to a world of my own imagination. And today, not much has really changed. Yet, rather than doodling in the corners, my doodles have taken center stage in my books. And it’s been such a fun journey! For this set of stories, I decided to share some that I actually wrote last year during this month. This was a very different time indeed and not at all like the current times that we’re facing. But the same universal themes and stories still matter, even now. Simple musings on art, life and dreams of a better future. Also, at this time last year I had just released my first Sketching Stuff Activity Book and this year I’ve added one all about Sketching Food which is available on Amazon so I hope you’ll check it out! I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey with all of you and seeing your art and hearing your wonderful stories as well. We’ve added lots of beauty to this world, each day, creating things together.

May 5

26 min

Hi there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! I hope you’re staying safe, happy, and healthy. Sending you a big virtual hug and heaps of hope for the future. As so many of us find ourselves at home these days and far from our normal routines, it’s always good to take a moment to think about those littlest moments that provide so much cheer. This is why I’ve always loved sketching everyday things. They’re made far more magical when they come to life in a watercolor sketch. But, these ordinary things are a beautiful constant in everyone’s life. They’re the little reminders that life still has so much hope and happiness to offer. And no matter what creative endeavor you love most, when you make things, and make them from the heart, those things can spread joy around the whole world. So, I hope you’re finding extra time to create and to dream these days. We should never ever stop doing those two things, as they’re the building blocks of a lovely life. Even when travel was possible, I wasn’t an avid traveler and spent much of my time at home, even then. And now, along with much of the world I find myself having to stay home all of the time. Sure, there are things I miss out there, but most days there’s no place I’d rather be than home with my little family, enjoying a small moment each and every day spent sketching from the heart.

Apr 21

23 min

Hello again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! As we continue to live through one of the most challenging moments in history, there’s a lot of stress and uncertainty. The future seems a bit blurry and tough to figure out. So, rather than focus on things that we can’t change, I’ve compiled a set of stories that focuses on those beautiful simple things in life that remain constant. Things we would never change, even if we could. There’s still so much beauty and hope to be found in the world. Sometimes, you just have to look back and remember those truly important things in life. I’ve always loved and appreciated the simple things in life, but during these current times, I appreciate them even more. For me, it helps to think of those little memories of wonderful times from the past and those little reminders of the beautiful bits of life that are still with us in the present. Yes, even now, there are still a lot of fantastic things to be grateful for in the world. Sketching and writing each day is certainly something that’s helped me focus on those positive aspects. And DOing something creative is the best thing we can all be enjoying in this moment. So, join me now for this little collection of stories inspired by sketching simple things.

Apr 7

23 min

Hi again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! The current events we’re facing have been very stressful and the world is suddenly a very different place than the one we knew just weeks ago. I hope everyone out there is staying healthy and safe during these times. We’re living in a moment when uncertainty abounds and that often brings a lot of anxiety. So I thought I would assemble a little collection of stories all about love and hope. As many of you know, I’m a devout optimist. I believe that bad things will eventually pass, and that together, we can make a brighter future. And, as artists, we have the power to make things that make people smile and bring lots of joy, even during stressful times. I’ve always loved the healing properties of art, but it’s more important now more than ever. Both the act of making art and the act of sharing it with the world creates so much happiness. While many of us find ourselves at home more these days, I hope you’ll make time to sketch and paint. Or, indeed, to indulge in whatever creative hobby you enjoy most! These are exceptional times, but we can all get through them together, while sketching love and hope.

Mar 24

24 min

Hello again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! In the more than four and half years that I’ve been sketching and writing every day, I’ve often been inspired by nostalgia. I love those flashes from the past that bring back such good memories. Of course, they’re called retro or vintage now, but once upon a time, they were the coolest, most modern inventions ever. Indeed, it’s funny how time alters our view of things. Another reason why I adore these things from the past is that it takes me right back to when I was a kid again. As most of you know by now, this is the space I go to each time I sit down to sketch and paint. This helps me kick that adult brain to the curb for a bit and create freely, without any judgment. And it’s equally why I always have a lot of fun! There’s just something so incredibly wonderful about connecting with my past as I sketch my way into the future. I learn so much each time my mind remembers those days gone by. They haven’t gone far as they’re always waiting for me right there in my heart. So, I hope you’ll join me now for an inspiring trip down memory lane through a set of stories inspired by sketching vintage memories.

Mar 10

27 min

Hey there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! When it comes to sketching and watercolor, I love capturing the light in things. Whether it’s the shininess of a metal pot, the sparkly qualities of glass or the reflection on a pair of sunglasses. It makes me happy to recreate those little bits of life as I see them. The result may not be exactly like a photograph would portray, but it’s my own perception of the world that makes the final sketch appear. Equally, when I sit down to write a little something after making a sketch, the stories are a reflection of my perceptions as well. The way I see the world, and also, the mood that I happened to be in on that day. For me, my disposition doesn’t range very much as I tend to stay typically positive. But, it’s difficult to sketch something shiny and not have a bit of that shininess rub off on my mood that day. And so, I’ve found that I’m not simply sketching the physical light I see in life, I’m also sketching the emotional light I see as well. That glowing feeling of being alive and thrilled about all of the possibilities that this world has to offer. No matter your age, there’s always something wonderful and new to be discovered, and that’s why I’ll always love sketching the light of life!

Feb 25

23 min

Hello! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back again with another episode of Sketching Stuff! I’ve been sketching, painting and writing daily now for over four and a half years. Yep, I still haven’t missed a single day! Sure, I’m totally hooked and it’s definitely a habit now, but it’s also something I simply love to DO! And when you find something you enjoy this much, it’s always worth finding the time to make it happen. I hope my stories will inspire you in your art journey. These stories, as many of you know are simply collected ramblings that appeared after I was sketching stuff. In many cases, I had no idea that this particular story would appear that day. It’s amazing to me how art drawing and painting can conjure up so many emotions and memories. I’ve written about things I remembered for the first time in years, simply because my sketch brought me back to that particular time and place. And I also use my sketches to capture memories in the moment. To make sure I don’t forget something that touched my heart. Though topics may seem to jump about randomly, these are stories about life, family, and art. So, join me for another collection of stories that all share at least two things in common: love and watercolor.

Feb 11

24 min

Hey there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! For this episode, I’ve pulled together what seemed at first like a random bit of stories, but there’s still a lovely theme there. As most of you know, but it might bear repeating if not, these are posts that have appeared on my blog at Doodlewash.com. I call them rambles, because they are written in the moment and without any editing. So, the topics tend to bounce all over the place, but sometimes, there’s a few posts that stand out a bit more. I select posts based on the reaction from those who read them, so if you also read my posts, then thanks for helping make this podcast possible! Previously, I’ve changed the opening to past tense, but in some cases, a post was written in a way that it doesn’t make it possible. For example, there’s a segment in this episode where I talk about just returning from Paris, but that actually happened last year. Rather than skip those particular posts, I’m including some anyway as many liked the story that appeared. And it’s personally fun to go back and read those stories again for the first time in a long time. So many things and thoughts have occurred to me on the lovely art journey. So, join me for another time-bending trip through a series of stories that happened while sketching lovely life.

Jan 28

25 min

Hello again! This is Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! Though I paint with watercolor and draw each day, I’ve always looked at my sketchbook habit as fun playtime. And I’m not making paintings, I’m making drawings, or more accurately doodles that I then color with watercolor. This has brought me so much joy over these past few years. It’s a no pressure way to simply show up and make some art each day, which would make a mother proud. Do I have dreams of doing more? Yes, of course! Always! But, that will all come in time. With my little hour a day of practice, it’s still taken me quite a lot of time to learn and improve as I go. There are so many things that I want to sketch and paint that I don’t practice a single thing, over and over again, very often. I’m getting better at dogs and cats, for example, slowly but surely. And I’ve gotten pretty darn good at sketching birds since I tend to sketch them quite a lot. And no matter what I end up putting in my sketchbook that day, I always DO it with the eyes of a child and the joy and wonder like I had when I was a kid. That’s why, still today, there’s nothing I enjoy more than just showing up to make something. So join me now for a collection of stories inspired by my habit of drawing and coloring.

Jan 14

25 min

Hey there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! As we begin a bright shiny new year in 2020, my mind always drifts to all of the things I’d like to accomplish. I’ve learned that making resolutions is a bit too resolute, and I prefer to just focus on following that next little dream instead. There’s so much that we can do when we take each little step along the way as it comes naturally. Goals should never feel laborious, but always glorious! We each have the ability to make our dreams come true, so that’s what I hope to inspire in this next set of stories. I love trying new things and a new year is always a great excuse to give some new project a try. And I have so many projects that I’d love to try next. Just trying something is always a wonderful experience, particularly when we don’t put a ton of pressure on ourselves to reach some level of accomplishment. Success comes naturally when you love what you’re doing and follow your passions with all of your heart. So, join me now as we travel down that road of infinite and beautiful possibilities while dreaming those New Year’s Dreams.

Dec 2019

27 min

Hi! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! Many of you who listen to this podcast know by now that I’m a very nostalgic person. I love reminiscing about things from the past and thinking back to little moments that I enjoyed as a kid. Why on earth do I DO this? Because I love how much simpler life was in the past and I also love how thinking about it always keeps me well and truly connected to my inner child. From all of the cool gadgets that were coming onto the scene each year to the simplest of things, I’ve spent most of my life just well and truly fascinated. Another wonderful thing about nostalgia is that its very meaning is a wistful affection for past memories that have happy personal associations. Yeah, not every memory from the past is likely to be perfectly wonderful, but nostalgia allows us to edit out all of those bad bits and simply focus on the beautiful things that happened. Or, as is often the case with me, those oddly beautiful things that just happily to burst into my mind. So, I hope you’ll join me now on a winding journey of thoughtful stories that came to me once upon a time, while I was sketching nostalgia.

Dec 2019

24 min

Hello! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! This is truly one of my favorite times of year and I’m excited for the holiday season. While some say it’s the happiest time of the year, it can also be the busiest as well. But no matter what, each year I make a little time to sketch and paint every day while I try to keep my inner child from going completely nuts! It’s no secret that I get extra childlike this time of year. Well, okay, I admit it. I almost turn into a child and act pretty much like I did way too many years ago to count now. I’m thrilled and excited the entire time and each shiny light I see makes my heart smile. No matter what you celebrate, I hope you enjoy this final month of the year. For me it’s often a time of quiet contemplation. There’s a shiny fresh New Year heading this way and I think back to everything I’ve done this past year. Is it everything I’d hope to accomplish? Not at all really. That’s the beauty of having dreams so big they just taking a little more time to mature. So, join me now for a collection of stories all about warmth and love in moments past and present as we enter a winter wonderland made by sketching holiday moments.

Dec 2019

23 min

Hello once more! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! When I first started sketching and posting what I made online, a little over four years ago, I was a bit shy at first. I truly wasn’t sure if anyone would like to look at what I was making, or indeed read what I was writing. Thankfully, many people did and that’s why I keep right on sketching stuff and writing to this day. But as more people found me and viewed my work, there were days when I just didn’t feel quite courageous. Instead of backing away, I let my inner child out to play and never looked back. These days, I have a lot more courage thanks to that younger version of myself who continues to inspire me to this day. He’s willing to try just about anything when it comes to art and isn’t shy about sharing it. Yet, I’ve never found a way to get my adult brain to stay this consistent when it comes to conquering fear. There’s so much doubt there that can get in the way. This is a little collection of stories that I wrote to remind myself to show up to sketch and write in spite of it all. So, join me as together we continue to create onward, sketching with courage.

Nov 2019

26 min

Hey there! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! After trying to sketch lots of different things over the past few years I have quite an unusual assortment of illustrations. While many artists adhere to a particular theme or subject matter, I happily bounce all over the place. In truth, there is something holding everything together in that what I tend to sketch are ordinary things. There’s just something about adding watercolor that can make an ordinary thing rather extraordinary. And trying to make all sorts of things appear on paper is truly fun! Like a magician’s trick! I kept thinking I’d discover a single set of things I enjoy sketching, but it continues to be just about anything I feel like making that day. This, for me, has been what’s made this journey so enjoyable and keeps me coming back for more. The more random the sketch, the more unexpected the story I end up writing to go with it. So, here’s a little collection of humorous and hopefully inspiring stories that I never expected to write. So, join me now as we indulge in a little bit of sketching fun!

Nov 2019

22 min

Hello again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! It’s been over a year now since I started this podcast and there have been several stories that I kept meaning to share, but always got pushed off to the side. I found a little list of them recently and so I decided to share them now! When put together they don’t fully fit one particular holiday or theme, so I’ve decided to just create my own season of sorts. There’s nothing better than drawing and painting each and every day, save getting the chance to tell stories in the process. When I sit down to write, I truly just type whatever thoughts come to mind. What I’ve loved is that these thoughts from the heart have resonated with so many of you. This has never really been simply my story. It’s the story of life as I see it, sure, but I hope you see many similarities with your own life and journey. Though we’re each very unique and different, there’s still quite a lot that we all have in common. Though we’re each very unique and different, there’s still quite a lot that we all have in common. So, I hope you’ll relax and join me now as together we celebrate Sketching Season.

Oct 2019

25 min

In my part of the world, this time of year means the start of autumn. And I am incredibly thrilled! I adore this season most of all and find it so incredibly inspiring. I always have my best ideas this time of year. Perhaps this is because it’s one of the few times in the year that I slow down as I finish my current projects and wait for the New Year to go crazy all over again inventing new ones. This is time of year, where the days get shorter here, but the nights get incredibly cozy. It’s this kind of magical candlelit environment that makes me stop and give thanks for all of the wonderful things that have happened my life. If you’re listening to me now, then you’re part of that joy. I wasn’t sure if anyone would even show up to listen to me tell my stories, so the fact that you did, means so much to me. Thank you. And I truly hope you’ll enjoy this next little set of stories inspired by sketching autumn.

Sep 2019

23 min

I love drawing, but when I was younger, I failed to do it each and every day. In fact, I took a 20 year unintentional break from drawing. Today, thankfully, I’ve found little ways to keep myself inspired and I’ve been drawing each and every day for over 4 years now! In this episode, I’m sharing a set of stories about my own art journey that I hope will inspire you on yours as well. As many of you know by now, these are stories collected from my daily sketching and writing habit. Revisiting them has been a wonderful experience as it’s always good to remind oneself why this adventure of creating art began in the first place. For me, it was born out of a passion to create, but only became a habit when I made it a real part of my daily life, and not something “extra” that I could DO if I happened to find the time. The time is always there when we want it, along with a world of wonderful things for drawing inspiration.

Sep 2019

25 min

I love sketching animals and I’m always surprised by some of the thoughts and ideas they inspire each time that I do. As ever, this isn’t an episode specifically about animals, but about life itself and bits of inspiration that I’ve learned along the way. Thoughts that I hope will inspire you on your own creative journey. Though, sure, the little kid in me would be totally excited if it were possible to hold a conversation with a giraffe or a penguin. That would just be so cool! What I DO know is that sketching stuff is a wonderful habit to have. No matter what’s happened that day, the moment I sit down to sketch is the best moment of all. And though I thought it would be an art journey all about learning new techniques, it’s become one about learning new ideas and ways to keep a positive outlook on life. I like to imagine that animals know a thing or two about life and are just keeping those sage secrets from us. In my childlike heart, I’m quite certain that there’s much we could discover, if animals could talk.

Aug 2019

27 min

Hello again! It’s Charlie O’Shields here, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! This is the 30th episode! Yay! Actually, I’ve no idea what it is about round numbers, but they always feel like they require a bit of a celebration. Just recently, I celebrated 1,500 consecutive days of sketching stuff! Yep, actually making a little watercolor sketch and story every single day now, for over 1,500 days. While it sounds like a crazy high number, it’s nothing more than doing what I love each and every day, so it’s easy! I hope you are always making a bit of time to DO what you love each and every day as well! And truly, I’m just making a little sketch each day, not some gallery masterpiece, so that makes it much easier to show up and create as well. There’s no pressure to be amazing. I think a sketchbook is the perfect playground to have fun and explore ideas. In my case, it’s the extent of my art. It’s a wonderful way to unwind, rewind, and rejuvenate your creativity! So, join me now for a series of stories that appeared while sketching every day!

Aug 2019

25 min

Hey there! Charlie O’Shields here, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! During the month of August, I’ll be hosting a Doodlewash art challenge that I call “Travel Fun!” So, in honor of that, this episode is all about travel. Well, it’s about the idea of travel, at least, since many of you know I have a knack for drifting off topic. But I adore travel of all kinds and it’s always fun to visit new and interesting places. I used to travel much more when I was younger for work and pleasure, but these days, I tend to travel in my mind more of the time, simply imagining places I might like to go next. The best part about sketching stuff each and every day is the ability to travel to any place I like! Whatever ends up in my sketchbook is a catalyst for some story I didn’t even know I wanted to tell until that very moment that the sketch appeared. Or, even better, a trigger for some memory I had almost forgotten. Rediscovering that memory is often one of the best moments of all. So, join me now as we take a little trip together through a series of stories inspired by sketching travel fun! 

Jul 2019

25 min

Hi friends! It’s Charlie O’Shields here, back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! And, a very Happy World Watercolor Month to everyone out there as we celebrate this wonderful July together. If you’re wondering what the month is all about be sure to check out worldwatercolormonth.com to learn more. For this set of stories, I’ve collected some inspiring memories that my watercolor sketching habit has sparked over this past year. It’s fun to me how even sketching a bit of stuff that I chose to paint that day, simply for a bit of practice manages to reveal so much more. Whether it’s an ice cream sandwich or a little glass marble, there are so many thoughts and emotions that come to mind. So many almost forgotten bits of my past and thoughts that help me make better sense of where I’m going in the future. Truly, I had no idea that picking up a pen and brush would end up revealing so many stories and adding so more meaning along the way. I hope you’ll find these stories inspiring as well as we spend a bit of time together now, sketching memories.

Jul 2019

25 min

Hello again! It’s Charlie O’Shields, back with a very special episode of Sketching Stuff! It’s been one year since I started this podcast and 4 years ago this month that I very first started painting with watercolor each and every day. And, it’s also the start of World Watercolor Month in July. If you post watercolor art online, be sure to remember to add #WorldWatercolorMonth during the whole month of July each and every time you post your art. It’s a non-profit event to raise awareness for arts education and to get art supplies for underprivileged kids who need them via The Dreaming Zebra Foundation. Visit WorldWatercolorMonth.com to learn more! I often get asked how on earth I manage to paint something each and every day. Well, it’s really not as difficult as you think and doing so is incredibly rejuvenating and wonderful. That’s why I try to get everyone to DO it with me. This is a collection of stories to inspire the artist inside each and every one of us. And, if you’ve yet to try painting with watercolor, July is a perfect month to start!

Jul 2019

24 min

While I’ve grouped many of my stories into themes for each episode, sometimes the most random things inspire me. I think that’s what’s been the most fun for me during my daily sketchbook and writing habit. I’ve literally no clue what I’ll be inspired to sketch and even less clue as to what I’ll end up rambling on about based on what appears on the page. While I’m sure a sane person would plan things out a bit more in advance, I truly love living life as it comes. Life is like any good story, where it’s far more fun if you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next. It’s also why I love art challenges and for anyone who’s not aware, July is World Watercolor Month! I hope everyone listening who loves to paint and color with watercolor will join us throughout the month. Just add the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth when you post your watercolor art on social media in July. And now, I hope you enjoy this little collection of stories filled with random inspiration.

Jun 2019

23 min

Here, where I live, we’re heading into summer, which, in the middle of the United States, involves occasional thunderstorms and scorching hot sunny weather. At least that’s how I would describe it as an adult. As a kid, it meant a summer break from school and thousands of possibilities for things I could try next! So, even though I’m not a fan of a day so hot one could fry an egg on the sidewalk, I adore approaching summer like a kid again. The days are also a bit longer, which makes it feel like there’s more time to DO things! And the best part about this time of year, no matter what season it might be where you live, is that next month it’s time once again to celebrate World Watercolor Month in July! I hope you’ll save the date and join me for the official month-long celebration of watercolor, and the 31 watercolors in 31 days challenge supporting arts education and The Dreaming Zebra Foundation. It’s a wonderful time of year that makes me feel endlessly inspired as I enjoy a bit of time each day, painting summer.

Jun 2019

24 min

Hello again! This is Charlie O’Shields back with another episode of Sketching Stuff! What I adore most about sketching and coloring something each and every day is the chance to travel back in time and relive moments of my childhood. I often choose to draw things from my past, as it’s a wonderful way to really take me back to wonderful moments I’ve almost forgotten. So I’ve collected a few of those stories in this episode. Also, if you haven’t yet, please check out my new Sketching Stuff Activity Book, a fun set of sketching and coloring activities for people of all ages and skill levels. Also, makes a great gift for anyone you know who could use a little art therapy and bit of play in their life.  It’s available now on Amazon!  If you have purchased the book, then thank you from the bottom of my heart! That really means the world to me! And I hope you’ll join us in our Sketching Stuff Facebook Group to share what you make! And, above all, I hope that whatever creative project you have going at the moment is making your heart smile! I find myself smiling all of the time as I show up to my own sketchbook each day, once again drawing memories.

May 2019

23 min

While I adore traveling to new places, I’m equally entranced by the idea of virtual travel. The kind of travel that happens in our minds when we reflect on memories and moments that have had an impact on our lives. My sketching journey has provided me with all sorts of these moments so I’m sharing just a few of them with you now in this episode. There are millions of dreams that I still chase in my mind, but I’m happy to be living one of them today. Writing and sketching each day has definitely enriched my life. And I believe that when you take the time to create something, and pursue it with all of your passion, life always gets much more rewarding in the process. Life would be terribly dull if it’s just filled with those things we feel like we have to do. So, whether you have found your favorite creative outlet or are still in search of it, then I hope that my stories will inspire to chase those dreams. I personally know that I feel very thankful each and every day that I finally decided to go on a sketching journey.

May 2019

22 min

Hey there friends! This is Charlie O’Shields and welcome back to another episode of Sketching Stuff! I always talk about letting my inner child come out to play, and the fact is, that’s not just sometimes, but literally all of the time for me. In my heart, I’m never sitting down to make a piece of art, but simply coloring in my coloring book each day. And, as many of you know, my favorite thing in the world to color with is watercolor! After releasing a book of illustrated stories last year, I’ve gotten requests for a book that talks about how I sketch stuff. I wasn’t sure what to create. I don’t have much of a technique, really, and I’m not an art teacher. I just like to play and jump in and DO things each day. That’s when the idea hit me! I’ll make an Activity Book like I had when I was a kid. Where you can jump in and Scribble, Doodle, Color with me! For people of all ages and skill levels. So, I did that and the first Sketching Stuff Activity Book is now available on Amazon.com (click here to check it out!).  So, in honor of my new fun book, here’s a fun collection of stories inspired by coloring with watercolor!!

Apr 2019

27 min

Hello again! This is Charlie O’Shields welcoming you back to another episode of Sketching Stuff! I know that some of you out there listening to this are sketchbook fans, if not fanatics like me, and perhaps some of you haven’t yet started to sketch or paint. My hope is that I can inspire everyone in the world to form a daily sketchbook habit because it’s personally brought me so much joy. Whether you paint, draw, write, knit, sew, make jewelry or something else entirely, a sketchbook is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy a bit of doodling each day. Coming up later this month, I’ll be appearing in the Sketchbook Revival Online Workshop. It’s totally free! Many of you know by now that I’m a bit shy, so this was quite a leap for me. And it ‘s the very first time I’ve ever appeared on video, so if you’re curious, definitely sign up and check it out. So, I figured I’d dedicate this episode to stories about my love of art and sketchbooks and the wondrous and energizing effects of making a sketch a day!

Apr 2019

25 min

This is Episode #20 and since that feels like a nice round number, I thought I’d celebrate it with a selection of stories about embracing one’s inner child. That little voice inside all of us that has the coolest ideas and always wants to have the most fun in life! And as silly as those ideas can sometimes seem, I’ve found that kid to be the wisest muse I’ve ever had to privilege to enjoy when it comes to both art and life. Also, April is my birthday month and though I’ll be turning another year older, I simply refuse to ever grow up! This combined with the approach of spring has made me perfectly giddy with anticipation for what’s ahead. And, more than ever, I’m embracing the childlike way I approach my own art and happy to share some stories as to why I think it’s a wonderful thing to DO! So join me now, and grab a sketchbook if you like, as we hold hands and skip down this crazy and twisting road of life like a kid again.

Mar 2019

26 min

One of my very favorite things to sketch is food. Okay, I’ll admit it… I also just like food in general and love to eat so these two joys go hand in hand really well. For those of you who attended art school, once upon a time, I’m sure you have memories of drawing or painting a still life that likely included some pears, apples or other such fruits. For my own sketches, I simply choose the food that I enjoy and then sit back and enjoy all of the wonderful memories that each little food sketch brings to mind. It’s uncanny how many wonderful memories can be brought back thanks to food. Whether it’s special dishes from that special aunt at family gatherings or family pizza night. The food is a fun part, to be sure, but it’s the joy of sharing food together that creates such wonderful moments. And, it’s because of this that I adore drawing and painting food whenever I get a chance. So, join me know as I share some of my own memories that came to mind on those times when I found myself sketching food.

Mar 2019

24 min

Hey there, Charlie O’Shields here with another episode of Sketching Stuff. Many of you know by now that I’m often rather nostalgic, so this is a collection of stories about some fun things from the past. From lava lamps to cassette tapes, we’ve seen a lot of technology over the last few decades and more seems to be coming our way every day. In fact, it’s often difficult to keep up with everything, as the world seems to be constantly changing. So I like to take a break from all that every now and again and enjoy some of the simpler moments from the past. It’s really no wonder that all things retro and vintage seems to be in vogue. These were days when we all liked the same things, used the same products, and watched the same television shows. While they may sound boring to some folks today, it gave the decades before us a universal style and language and, in turn, gave the people who lived through them something in common.  So, I hope you’ll join me now for a little stroll down memory lane as we remember those gold old days.

Feb 2019

26 min

February is the month of Valentine’s Day and stores are often filled with lots of little treats, so I thought I’d dedicate an episode to all things sweet. In truth, I just love sketching and well, eating, desserts so I have quite a few stories that they’ve inspired. As ever, these aren’t really stories about the desserts themselves so much as an exploration of all of the best things life has to offer. I’m often guilty of rushing around and worrying about getting everything done. It’s tough sometimes to settle down for a moment and enjoy a little down time or a treat of some kind. And to remind myself to treat my friends as well, because that’s really one of the most enjoyable things one can do. And certainly taking a little time to paint and sketch each day is also one of the life’s greatest little pleasures. So, I hope you’ll grab a pen, pencil or paintbrush and sketch with me as we go on a little journey together, enjoying the sweetest things.

Feb 2019

24 min

I’ve always loved all sorts of animals and insects ever since I was a little kid. Getting to sketch them as an adult makes me feel like a kid all over again. During my art journey of daily writing and sketching, I haven’t sketched many humans, but I have quite a collection of other living creatures. Nature is odd and wonderful, full of mysteries and often wild and unexpected things. Many times, when I choose to sketch something from nature, I hop online to discover more about it. This has led to lots of random trivia that I’ve collected along the way, so I figured I’d share some of that with you here. As many of you know, I sketch to not only capture life, but to learn a bit more about it along the way. And the natural world is so fascinating and interesting to me, especially the oddest little bits that make my inner child giggle. While merely looking at nature certainly has much to inspire an artist, each living creature also has its own history. Beyond the lines, contours, and shapes there’s a story there as well. Sometimes, I find myself fascinated with fun facts about a particular creature and sometimes it makes me think of something else entirely. This, to me, is what makes daily sketching so much fun! So, join me now, for perhaps the oddest journey yet, as we explore some curious bits of our naturally fun world!

Jan 2019

22 min

In this episode I’ve collected a few stories about the things in life that have inspired me over the years. For me, I find that inspiration can happen at any moment and be triggered by some of the simplest things in life. Things I wouldn’t have even guessed would be so inspiring. When it comes to painting and sketching each day, even though I’ve been doing so for well over 3 years now, there are still some days when I feel a bit blocked. I’m waiting for that glorious moment of revelation and nothing seems to be rushing to mind. But, I always find that if I simply pick something to sketch and start thinking about the memories it evokes, I’m suddenly energized again and though I don’t know how things will turn out, I’m at least excited to try. So, I hope you’ll enjoy this little set of tales, and that they make you think of your own memories as we explore some of those stories of inspiration.

Jan 2019

23 min

As we begin a shiny New Year, this often comes with setting new goals of things we’d like to accomplish. Sometimes these are called resolutions, but those seem a bit too resolute for me and can also be wildly daunting. I think that just setting a few lovely goals or, even better, just making a little list of new things you’d like to try next is a much less stressful way to go. This is a little collection of stories all about goals and dreams and finding your own unique path in art and life. If you have dreams that are burning in your heart, then by all means you should happily pursue them. I hope these stories inspire you to do just that! Life is never better than when we’re dreaming our way through it. So sit back, relax and dream with me as we think about those New Year’s goals.

Jan 2019

24 min

This Sketching Stuff episode is another little collection of life lessons I’ve learned while regrettably growing old, but happily managing to never grow up! Oh, and in case you missed it, I just published a Sketching Stuff book! It contains familiar stories heard here along with 25 pages of new rambles and over 180 black and white illustrations, and it’s available now on Amazon in all formats.  (if you’d prefer color illustrations, just grab the Kindle version and view it on a color screen) Also available for other popular e-readers as well! If you’ve followed along this far, you’re quite aware that I’m all about listening to my inner child. And though I’ve learned a lot as an adult, there were many wonderful experiences as a kid that made me the adult I am today. And keeping that childlike curiosity alive in everything I DO has made life so much more enjoyable. So sit back and relax as we enjoy some of those wonderful little lessons from childhood.

Dec 2018

22 min

Welcome back to a very special holiday episode of Sketching Stuff! Though I know, not everyone celebrates Christmas; these are some of my personal stories of this time of year that I hope will put a smile on your face. Also, I just published a Sketching Stuff book (available in all formats)! It contains familiar stories heard here along with 25 pages of new rambles and over 180 black and white illustrations. And it’s available now on Amazon in all formats!  I’ve always loved December, and counting down the days until Christmas Day was a family tradition I’ve always cherished. Though thankfully, when I was little, my mom used to have tiny little presents for me that I could have each day of the month, to keep me from going perfectly insane with anticipation. This is the time of year when my inner child literally shoves me out of the way and takes over while giggling and screaming with delight. In short, it’s indeed the most wonderful time of the year!

Dec 2018

25 min

Life just wouldn’t be the same without family. Whether it's children, parents, grandparents, and even our pets, there’s a beautiful bond there that touches our hearts in a unique and special way. Here in the states, our holidays begin with Thanksgiving, which by itself is a rather beautiful idea. The notion of giving thanks for all of the important and wonderful things in your life is certainly a good thing to do, pretty much any time of the year. And no matter how delicious the food might be or how beautiful the house might be decorated, it’s really those moments spent with family that make it all truly special. Though some of my family members are no longer with me, their memories are something I cherish, and I think about them every day. The rest are miles and miles or an ocean away and I don’t get to see them very often. But that’s the beautiful thing about family. No matter how far away, the connection is always as close as your heart.

Nov 2018

24 min

Welcome back to a very special episode of Sketching Stuff! What makes it so special? Well first, it’s Episode Number 10, which feels like a nice round number and a bit of a milestone. And second, this one features stories primarily about sketching and art. I’ve been sketching and writing daily from the moment I first began, and for some, this seems either perfectly crazy or an enviable and impossible level of commitment and dedication. I’m here to tell you it’s actually a bit of both and it’s enriched my life in so many ways. My goal in all of this is to inspire others to create! Anything at all… and do it on a regular basis. So if you’re not a sketcher, no worries, simply think of whatever creative endeavor you’ve been dreaming of mastering. The approach and ideas are very much the same. This is my story, but I hope you’ll find ways to apply it to your own creative life as I’ve done, sketching all the way.

Nov 2018

22 min

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