A Little Duck In A Big Lake

Day 26 - A Little Duck In A Big Lake - #doodlewashJune2018 Doodlewash

Today’s art challenge prompt of lake, made me first think of frogs, but then Philippe suggested a duck so that’s where we ended up instead. There are just a few days left in June and very soon we’ll be heading into World Watercolor Month in July once again! The countdown on my site insists on using my own time zone, but there’s actually less days than it’s showing before the fun begins for my friends in New Zealand and Australia! I sincerely hope that everyone reading this will join in at some point during the month, even if they aren’t able to do the full month-long challenge. All you have to do is add the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth when you post on social media, even if it’s just whatever lovely artwork featuring some watercolor that you were planning to post anyway. And you’ll be added to our global social gallery. Yep! World Watercolor Month is not only the biggest month of the year for watercolor, it’s also the easiest challenge on the planet to participate in! No rules, save the use of watercolors (or gouache!) and a heck of a lot of fun. Join us! As for ducks and lakes, well, I do have actually have a story about those, so please read on.

Once, when I was a kid, I remember visiting one of the local lakes. There are several large lakes not too far from where I live and visiting them was always a delight. I’ve always loved animals of all kinds, so spotting a duck was particularly fun. Seeing one floating way out in the middle of the water, barely a silhouette, was intriguing, but having one paddle up to say hello was a perfectly enchanting experience. I remember once, a little duck swam up and just locked eyes with me. At that age, there’s a certainty when it comes to communication. If I could see its eyes and it could see mine, we must actually be talking. Why, later in life, when it magically happens again with our spouse, we call it romance. Back then, in my childish imagination I thought the duck had purposely singled me out. We were, after all, both small compared to everything around us. We had so much in common. I wasn’t quite as adept as a swimmer though, so I stayed safely on the edge of the water.

This was nothing worth remembering at all. Just a boy and a duck on a summer day. Yet, in my memory that glance lasted for hours. There was a complete silent conversation filled with whimsy and wonder that I can still remember to this day. And when I think back, I realize, that being so small in a big giant world was often intimidating. Literally everyone around me was taller, bigger, and seemed to know more about things than I did. I wanted to be just like them. I wanted to grow up and become smart and do all the things that the big kids did. After many years passed, I spent my youth doing just that. Trying to achieve things, getting awards and accolades, yet often feeling smaller than ever. There were always people who could do what I was doing and do it better. I was never the master, always the student. This frustrated me back then, but today, it’s something I embrace with joy. Perhaps, that’s what that little creature was trying to explain to me so many years ago when we had that chat. Don’t ever compare yourself to others and sometimes, under the bright rays of a glowing sun, it’s rather more amazing to be just a little duck in a big lake.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue (My Da Vinci Trio, click here to learn more!). 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!
 Day 26 - A Little Duck In A Big Lake - #doodlewashJune2018 Doodlewash

 

Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

20 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 6 months ago

    And perhaps your memory is correct and you did communicate with that duck in that language we all forget as we grow older. I like the notion that there is a little magic around us. Certainly nothing that facts can prove, but never proved incorrect either.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      So true! 😃💕 I still have to believe there’s a little magic around us. Life would be terribly dull were we ever to figure it out entirely! 😉

  2. Sharon Nolfi 6 months ago

    Beautiful job on the duck! Looks like a female mallard. I’m a birder and am especially fond of ducks.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… so thrilled you enjoyed this! I liked how this one turned out!

  3. Jodi 6 months ago

    How beautifully you wove this story. So glad things worked out how they did 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Jodi! 😃💕I think things always have a way of turning out as they should. But, if you’re ever in doubt, a long conversation with a duck is certainly a nice distraction to help you realize just how perfect life really is. 😉

  4. SnehLata Maheshwari 6 months ago

    Although I loved animal but 🦆 also closed to my heart your 🦆 is pretty good.I have huge house ,ikept goose .they never expected my family to close them ecept me. Long story.lovly duck. thanks

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕hehe… a goose?! That sounds awesome!

  5. Lisa 6 months ago

    Great duck! You nailed it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      aww thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Glad you liked this. I was pleased with this one. Seemed very ducky in the end.

  6. smzang 6 months ago

    “Don’t ever compare yourself to others and sometimes, under the bright rays of a glowing sun, it’s rather more amazing to be just a little duck in a big lake.” (this made me smile so big that tears filled my eyes…you stated a spectacular truth spectacularly)

    Love the duck too!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Ohhh I’m so happy this one touched your heart, Sarah! 😃💕 I do believe that as we strive for greatness, it’s a little known fact that we have already achieved it in our own way. Best to smile and swim on!

  7. Anita Sinha 6 months ago

    Wow..Lovely ending to the story.. And..Beautiful duck in the lake…!

  8. artistapooja 6 months ago

    You are amazing artist.. Super inspiring

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      That is such a sweet and wonderful comment to hear! Thank you so much my friend!! 😃💕

  9. Mary Roff 6 months ago

    Wonderful duck! I love the way you painted the feet.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕The feet kind of worried me at first… wasn’t sure how to pull that off. hehe… glad you liked how it turned out!

  10. Lisa 6 months ago

    In Door County where I grew up, there was a duck pond and a machine where you could insert a quarter and get a cup of dried corn to feed the ducks. What a thrill. And a bit scary when all of those fat ducks came waddling up in a mob to be fed. They took all of that away now, but I remember it so fondly.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 months ago

      Aww what a wonderful memory, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, we used to be able to feed the ducks as well. It was a bit terrifying… their squawks were insistent and demanding! lol But So much fun!

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