Today we have a little seal simply because he looked adorable and I wanted to sketch him. Also, Philippe is currently watching a French television series about a zoo and I keep seeing segments with cute seals getting hugs from their trainers. This, of course, is not a recommended behavior in the wild, since they have rather large teeth, but it’s certainly fun to watch. And I get a bit jealous really so I often have to look away. As if that weren’t enough, I just happened to see a video clip from a couple of years ago of a seal on a beach in southern France who lumbers across the sand to hug a dog. It’s impossibly cute. So, it just had to be a seal today, albeit scribbled rather quickly with four colors as I ran out of time. That explains the sketch, but the story seems a little thin as it appears we’re starting out with a simple, “I like hugs and seals, and wish I could hug one.” I guess this should end with me getting my wish, but since it hasn’t happened yet, that won’t quite be how this story ends.

When I was little, going to see the seals perform at the local zoo was a total highlight of the trip. In fact, I would want to plan our entire day around them so I didn’t miss the show. I’m not entirely sure what I found so fascinating, but it just seemed incredible that they could perform tricks like that. Or maybe it was because I was never a good swimmer and so their amazing underwater prowess greatly impressed me. Whatever the reason, seals and more specifically, a seal performance, was a required part going to the zoo. As I grew up, I never did manage to become a good swimmer, but I did end up becoming a performer for a period of time, so perhaps the seals inspired me after all. These were actually paid acting jobs, by the way, and I didn’t work for raw fish. Just to be clear. But the idea of performing is the same, at least.

So many things in nature fascinate me and I’m never sure if man’s interaction with it is truly the way nature intended. I’m also not sure if seals actually enjoy performing or not. Perhaps they’d prefer something else, like writing a novel or learning how to program an iPhone app. But their trainers will make them wave at people and jump through hoops instead, which could be totally humiliating if a life in showbiz isn’t what you really wanted. What do seals dream about doing? Something more, I suspect, as do the rest of us. Having a dream come true is a very rare thing, but the simple act of dreaming is enough to make it all worthwile. No matter what happens in life, I’m just glad that I still have my dreams. The big ones that seem like they could never possibly happen and even the small ones. The thought that one day, if nothing else, I might actually find myself hugging a seal.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Quinacridone Gold, Dioxazine Purple, Phthalocyanine Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 10 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - Hugging A Seal - Seal Head Poking Out Off Water
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

35 replies on “Hugging A Seal

  1. Charlie, did you go to the San Diego zoo to see the seals? I loved watching the seal show. I wanted to be in the water with them. That was never going to happen.

    I love your little guy! 🐬 (this is as close as I can come to a seal)…….Pam

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When you make it to the San Diego zoo skip the seal show.. The last time I went to it, with my 8 year old child, it was revamped to be ” politically correct, “for the seals. No jumping through hoops or off of stools or doing water antics. Just plain paddling across the fake pond. It was a complete waste of time. My poor child was greatly disappointed after all the hooplaI I had told her about the fun, lively seals.😢

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to hug a seal every night 😀 When I was a child I had what felt like the biggest seal cuddly toy, it was real life size…. Only as I grew up it shrunk to much less than life size. He was vert realistic in looks…so as I was dreaming, I was hugging a seal. Thanks for the memory Charlie, your seal is adorable and super cute bobing in the water, one day you may get your seal hug too.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I started to read this post about seals in the evening of Feb. 10 and got distracted by the link you provided with all the videos of seals and then of other critters doing tricks and being cute and then of performers and then of flash mobs, my absolute favorite secret waste-of-time-indulgence, and now I’m finally back to your post and it’s nearly 2 AM on Feb. 11 – Charlie, please don’t post any more links as I can’t stay focused.
    But your little seal with his big imploring eyes is adorable. I hope one day you get to hug a seal and I hope I one day get to be part of a flash mob. That would be so cool for each of us, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, isn’t this is a fairly standard doodlewash. No real stand-out features for me.

    WHO AM I KIDDING!?!? Eeeee! With the (complete lack of) power vested in me, I pronounce this the BEST DOODLEWASH EVER! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ Those big, silly eyes. Those markings. Those whiskers. I genuinely can't stop chuckling at this cutie – it is Simon, the seal of approval, and I want him. Could we squeeze in another heart smiley, do you think? Would that be excessive? Oh well never mind. It is love! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s sweet of you to say – I did get a bit carried away with our seal friend up there, didn’t I? 😉 I get pretty irritating after a while though – just ask Charlie!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Your seal is beautiful – his expression captures his wonderful innocence. Like all marine mammals, seals are intelligent and should not be “trained” or kept in captivity for human enjoyment. By the way, it is possible to swim with dolphins at many tropical resorts, something I would love to do, but not under circumstances where the animal is kept captive for someone’s money-making operation. Your paintings have a lot of emotional impact – I think the artist is a very sensitive person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks, Sharon! What a wonderful compliment on his expression! 😃💕 Yeah, I don’t like the idea of animals in captivity, unless they’re safer there, which is unfortunately the case as we humans keep pushing our way around. The artist is definitely rather sensitive. 😊

      Like

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