Finding Balance

Flamingo Standing On One Leg Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Flamingo” today, I made a little sketch of a flamingo standing on one leg. I’ve always loved this particular bird and find them so elegantly beautiful. I lack this level of poise and grace and wouldn’t last very long without toppling over, were I to attempt to stand on one leg for a long period of time. I was curious as to why they do such a thing, but like so many things, it’s not completely certain. Recent science says it’s likely to regulate body temperature and more often happens when a flamingo is standing in water. Combine this with the fact that their feathers are dyed various shades of pink by feasting on algae and brine shrimp, and you have a most curious creature indeed! While I do envy their sense of balance, I’m rather glad that my skin doesn’t change shades with every meal. Although, that would certainly make dinner parties a bit more entertaining and might actually entice me to attend them.

Lately, I’ve been in a whirlwind of various creative projects that I’m attempting to juggle all at once. While some days, it seems like I’ve taken on more than is humanly possible, on most days, I’m just having a lot of fun! Indeed, unless I DO have some new project brewing, I tend to get a little lost and unmotivated. This is why you’ll find me showing up with such a wide variety of things and not simply doing the same thing over and over again. I think as creative people, which includes every human on the planet, we are at our best when we are in a constant state of exploration. That’s why I’m always sketching stuff and constantly looking for ideas to pursue next. Letting my Inner Child play and discover novel ideas doesn’t just keep me happy, it keeps me young. It makes me feel more alive and full of hope. It’s the root of my abundant optimism and how I’m always able to see a bit of sparkle in the world, even when the world doesn’t immediately reveal its magic.

Yet, despite my childlike exuberance, I always make time for my little family. Philippe and I enjoy a lovely moment at the end of each day as we snack and have a glass of wine to unwind. Our dog Phineas is only interested in the snacks, of course, as like most dogs he has a grape allergy. Next, we might watch a show or just some silly videos online, but we always take a break from everything else and spend a moment in our own little bubble. It’s a wonderful reminder that even with all of the new projects in our life, there’s still nothing more magical than the marvelous mundanity of routine. It’s an enduring calm that’s much like standing in the center of a water ripple. And though the next day will usually bring some new deadline or touch of chaos, in that moment, it simply fails to matter. There’s so much that I might wish for and dream about doing in this life, but none of it compares to that timeless gratification that only comes from finding balance.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Hansa Yellow Medium, Benzimida Orange, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine (Green Shad), Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black 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!
Flamingo Standing On One Leg Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
  1. Brenda Mohr 12 months ago

    Love your flamingo and especially your outlook on life! Thanks for sharing your art and thoughts, ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Brenda! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this post!

  2. Mary Roff 12 months ago

    Love your Flamingo, Charlie!! Lovely reflection in the water!!!

  3. Brenda Sommerville 12 months ago


  4. Sandra Strait 12 months ago

    Did you know that ALL yellow, orange and red birds owe their color to the food they eat? It comes from carotenoids in the food. It can work on people, too. I had a co-worker whose 3 year old turned orange. The mother was in a panic, thinking her kid had some horrible disease, and was shocked to learn it was from all those healthy carrots she was eating.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Lol… remind me to go easy on the carrots! Yeah, I’ve heard about that with people, but wasn’t sure how much they’d have to consumer. 😉

  5. Marisela Delgado 12 months ago

    Charlie, mi amigo! Such a beautiful flamingo! You made me laugh with your comment about changing colors at dinner parties. I think that would actually be kind of scary to see or the perfect set up for a bully to see what else they could get you to eat. Almost like that old commercial about cereal where they get Mikey to eat it because Mikey will eat anything. 😂😂😂 My favorite would have to be Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka, who ate an everlasting gobstopper and turned violet from the blueberry pie. “Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet!” My favorite line in the whole movie! 😂😂😂 I agree, my friend. Sometimes the mundane things are like heaven. Doing laundry for your beloved is a joy when you remember the pain of loneliness. Cooking and baking are exciting and wonderful to look forward to when you finally get to do them in your own house. I have a long list of mundane things that I excitedly look forward to. Soon, my friend. 💜 Today was a beautiful day. We were sunny, warm, and 66*F. I hope your day was beautiful also, Charlie. Warm hugs. 🌞🌞🌞

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 hehe… I totally thought about Violet Beauregard when I was writing that. Love that book and movie! hehe Here’s to wishing you a place of your own to do all of the mundane things you adore most! And I’m jealous of that weather… sounds perfectly wonderful. Hope you have a fabulous week my friend! Much love! 😃💕

  6. Gary Middleton 12 months ago

    Wonderful flamingo, Charlie.

  7. Varsha Koli 12 months ago


  8. Dr Madhumeeta Banerjee 12 months ago

    Wonderful flamingo and the write up!

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