Though I love all types of animals, baby animals are my favorite. Cute, cuddly, and full of innocence. I had seen an image of a baby giraffe and knew that’s what I wanted to sketch for this prompt. Also, I didn’t have much time, so I needed to choose something I knew how to sketch fairly quickly. Philippe and I arrived in Paris today, and, as usual, didn’t sleep at all on the flight. We were greeted by the family at the airport, complete with a banner that said, “Welcome Charlie & Philippe, We Love You!” It was a fun start to the trip and the excitement was the only thing keeping us awake. Though my understanding of French improves slightly each trip, I still feel a bit like a baby animal every time I arrive. Like I’ve just been born into a perfectly delightful, yet mysterious world with only a bit of instinct to guide me. Come to think of it, I feel a bit like that when it comes to many things in life.
It’s still morning in Paris as I’m typing this, and the morning seems to be passing even more slowly in our current state of sleep deprivation. Our apartment for this trip is being cleaned around lunch and won’t be available until early afternoon. The good news is, I have a bit of time to sketch and write while Philippe catches up with his mom. I don’t feel horribly sleepy, but if we don’t manage a nap this afternoon, we’ll pass out in our plates during dinner. That would be terribly awkward so I’m hoping everything works out to plan. Tonight, we’re going to see our niece so we certainly want to be awake for it. I used to pull many all-nighters in college, as I was always doing all of my projects at the last possible moment. While I’m still a last minute kind of guy, staying awake doesn’t work as well as it did back then. Actually, I’m not particularly sure it worked well back then, but I could do it more easily than I can these days.
Now, I’m mostly just wishing I could rub a genie’s lamp and make a wish to be able to speak French fluently. Or go back in time, like in movies, and tell my littlest self he needs to diligently study and learn the language. When we’re very young, our brains are like soft little sponges, soaking up all knowledge like it’s oxygen. Everything is easy to learn when we’re little tykes, eager and ready for each new piece of information. But, despite my inability to speak French with aplomb, I can stumble through a few sentences and sometimes even in a way that’s understandable. And when whatever I say is not easy to understand, I receive smiles in return for my timid attempts. Of course, simply DOing is always the best way to approach everything. So I’ll just keep right on fumbling my way through French like the littlest of kids and happily enjoy those “that’s so sweet” smiles. After all, as it turns out, baby animals are cute.
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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!