There’s just something adorable and sweet about alpacas. Although alpacas may or may not seem exotic depending on where you’re located, but I only get to see them on farms and zoos so they’re quite exotic to me. They have an adorable face and I’m told they are quite curious and sweet animals. You won’t find any alpacas in the wild as this breed has been domesticated for over 6,000 years now. They’re shorn once a year for their prized soft and wondrous fleece, that’s naturally water-repellent, flame resistant, and available in 22 different colors of over 300 varying shades. So, alpacas are just really cool! Yeah, they do spit a bit like their camelid kin, but it’s much more rare and only when in true distress. Basically the same truly bad situations where spitting would seem entirely appropriate to any creature really. Their docile and social nature makes alpacas rather intriguing role models. They stay true to their friends and remember them even after years of being apart. So, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for alpacas.
What I constantly see in animals are traits that are not only sweet, but rather admirable. Sure, I don’t want to be exactly like an alpaca as they also poop in the exact same spot as a group, but I do have to admire their sense of community. Perhaps the most intriguing fact about alpacas is that they don’t ever want to be truly alone. In fact, if separated from their tribe and left in isolation, they will often grow ill and even die of loneliness. As an introvert who tends to avoid crowds, I can still appreciate that feeling of needing to be loved. Not by just anyone who happens to be around me, but by my own tribe and family. That group of people who know everything about me and love me both because of it, and in spite of it all. No wonder an alpaca would grow ill without that feeling. It’s the very force that keeps us all alive each and every day. While I do often like to be alone, I can’t imagine a world where I might ever feel lonely. Just having a husband and a dog in my life is more than enough to make life wonderful. But having friends and family is what makes life truly amazing.
As I journey through wildly different topics while sketching stuff each and every day, I’m always learning new things. Not simply about the subject matter I’ve chosen, but about myself and what makes me tick. And though I’ll continue to poop in private, thank you very much, I love being reminded by an alpaca that I should reach out to those old friends that I’ve lost touch with over the years. Following these prompts each and every day for me is much more than continuing a daily art habit. It’s a chance to stop and reflect on something I might not have stopped to contemplate. That’s why I adore painting with prompts each day. Each one inspires a new bit of thinking and new story. I never feel limited as I can happily interpret them in any way that I like. Or, like most days, simply let the idea wash over me and wait to see what appears on paper. Little bits of life that taken singular are nothing more than an exercise in sketching, but when folded together, create a patchwork of wonderful memories. Whether it’s a trip back to childhood while painting a favorite toy or simply pausing a moment to appreciate the wisdom of alpacas.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo. 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!