So, today is one of those lightning speed days where I’m watching the clock while trying to figure out how to paint and write about a rock, our art challenge prompt today. Or in the case of where I ended up, a fox among rocks because I thought the rocks needed a little company. There used to be red foxes that would roam the cemetery that is next to our row home. I loved seeing them wander about and sometimes the more curious ones would come right up to the gate to inspect us. After a few years of always being there, one last little fox was found up the street, cowering and sick from something or another. Animal control was called and the fox disappeared. Today, there are no more foxes to be found roaming next to our house and I really miss seeing them each day. We still have rabbits and raccoons, but the beautiful red fur of foxes like these make them rather impressive and impossible to miss. Unfortunately, living around humans isn’t always the easiest place to be for these animals. Humans aren’t always good at sharing the planet.
But for me, my animal neighbors can often be more enjoyable than the human ones. Well, at least some of the human ones. We can’t really choose our neighbors, they’re just who we happen to end up living next to. Thankfully, most of ours are rather wonderful, making me feel quite lucky. As a kid, we knew most of our neighbors, but there was always that odd house we never visited. The one with the shutters pulled and people my parents referred to as odd. This always intrigued me and I would invent whole stories for these neighbors that weren’t quite so neighborly. I’d peer out my bedroom window in hopes of catching a glimpse of them. In many ways, I worry that Philippe and I have become these neighbors in our own neighborhood. We’re extremely introverted and tire almost immediately when faced with a crowd of people. So we tend to miss almost all of our neighborhood gatherings.
Yesterday, Philippe mentioned that we should go down and join our neighbors when we hear them laughing in the garden again. They always welcome us, so it’s silly to not at least make an effort. Even that curious red fox would come over to say hello, so what shouldn’t we every now and then? If nothing else, to prove that we’re not completely hermits and those strange creepy neighbors living at the end of the row. But we do rather love living in our own bubble, either together, or separately, doing our own thing. Even Phineas can only handle so much interaction before he grows weary and wanders off upstairs to find his own space. Usually under one of our pillows. Don’t get me wrong, I adore people and talking with them, but you’ll often catch me only talking one on one when possible. Group conversations rattle me and I don’t often understand what’s even being said. So maybe, in a way, I’m not much different than that curious little neighbor we used to have. Many times, you’ll find me just watching from the sidelines, simply being a fox on the rocks.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink 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!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!