One of the more challenging bits of doing these daily posts isn’t the doodlewash itself, but coming up with something to say after I’ve just painted, let’s say, a baby duck. Like this one. That is what’s happened today. As I’m left staring at a little duck willing it to tell me what it wants me to say about it, I noticed a little sparkle in its eyes. I recognize it as it’s one that my own eyes experience much of the time. That hint of hope and possibility that comes when one is dreaming of something grand. I’m not sure it’s actually true, but I love to think that baby animals dream like young children. Wondering what life holds next and imagining a future that’s epic and amazing. It’s an exceptional time when we’re young and the world is only limited by our belief in the possible. I still remember the feeling like it was yesterday. Each thing I wanted to be “when I grew up” was not some ridiculous dream that my adult self might scoff at, but something exciting and perfectly inevitable. Yeah, I’m quite sure this duck must have grand plans for what’s coming next.

When I was kid, I changed dreams like some people changed their underwear. Each day, I would come up with an entirely new plan, or a major twist on an existing one. It wasn’t just changing the big dream of what I would be when I was older, but also changing all the little dreams of what I wanted to accomplish along the way. Particularly summer vacation, as a break from school meant that I was in charge of all the projects assigned to me. And I assigned myself a ton of various projects, trying to do as much as I could. Literally anything that caught my interest would be turned into a project of learning more about it. My mom still muses that we couldn’t go anywhere when I was young without it becoming a field trip. One of those educational school trips meant for learning and discovering new things. Every little thing around me was electric with intrigue. Even things I’d seen a million times would get a second glance and reveal whole new mysteries to unravel.

I would grow up to begin as an English major hoping to be a writer and end college with a Studio Art degree, focused on 3D computer animation, hoping I would make movies. Neither quite came to fruition as I expected, but I did manage to publish the book I wrote in college and later helped create a magical world as an executive producer on a Hallmark movie. And best of all, with Doodlewash, I’m able to put all of it together into these little posts. My long for storytelling and illustration, sneaking out in bits and spurts with just a single doodlewash and three paragraphs a day. A simple three act structure, written with blistering speed and no editing, but always from the heart. It strikes me that my dreams are just now in the process of truly coming true. And I’m in no hurry. I’m excited to see what becomes of them each day as they inch forward. As I’ve grown older, I now know that part of realizing a vision is making plenty of time for those you love along the way. There will always be moments to work tirelessly on my dreams, so I embrace those little everyday moments along the way, pausing in happiness, before returning to feed those wild baby duck dreams.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Yellow, Bezimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Ultramarine Violet, Cobalt Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour BookWant to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!
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39 thoughts on “Baby Duck Dreams

  1. I don’t know if ducks dream, but yours is dreamy! I’m glad that even when you’re floating around with a head stuffed with dreams, you’ve got your feet on the ground and are remembering your loved ones. I think that’s secret to success.

  2. You have caught the best of the hatchlings. I raise Mandarins and Wood ducks and there is nothing more adorable to me than how independent they are on day one. So curious and they bond with humans easily when they see them everyday and interact with them.

  3. You have posed a puzzle for me, and I’m not sure how. I love Doodlewash. I love seeing people’s artwork, and I recognise that state of having plans (My possible subjects file is rapidly assuming gargantuan proportions 😁). But, TBH, the words have less allure for me, it’s the art that gives me pleasure.

    Except for you Charlie. Your art is very good, but always seems secondary to your words in my head, and that’s the puzzle – I don’t know why. Perhaps it is because it is drawn from the inner you. I don’t know, but I do look forward to “What’s he going to come up with today?” I don’t do the challenges, but I do love what they produce in your head and the artwork of others.🖐

    1. That’s such a wonderful compliment! Thanks, Rod! 😃💕 The truth is, for me, my art is the combination of both the illustration and the words. I set out to create paintings, but ended up with these illustrated blog posts instead. I try to create an image that removes context so even if people don’t read my ramble, they can hopefully write a story of their own. I’m glad you enjoy them!

  4. You do seem to work tirelessly – and this painting is adorable, such an expressive little duck with its downy feathers and the sparkling eye. Don’t stop dreaming, Charlie.

    I majored in English, intending to become a writer, but taught art for about 25 years. Now I’m in pursuit of getting my books published. And painting on the side.

    1. Thanks, Sharon!! 😃💕 Yeah, ti’s funny who we go through life on the verge of our dreams. Maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be. Chasing them, is often far more exciting. I’m always a little disappointed when one happens and I have to start over. hehe

  5. Love the duck and your post. Seems I’ve never grown up really – I still make new plans every day and dream about great things to come… But this leads my everyday small steps. Hooray for wild baby duck dreams!

  6. An adorable little duckling! You have captured everything it means to be a little duck, including the glint in the eye showing the dreams of making anything possible. Just like you, Charlie – you make anything possible.

  7. SUCH a beautiful little duckling! So adorable and perfect. Very interesting story, as always. Sure sounds like you’ve realized a lot of your childhood dreams! Does your book come with an autograph? 🙂🤗

    1. Thanks so much, Miste! 😃💕 I’ve had a really fun life! And yeah, my book is super old, meant for kids… and I wasn’t even drawing at the time so I’m not the illustrator. hehe… My more current books starting with the the illustrated cookbook coming out in a few weeks will include an autograph though.

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