Floating Like A Sea Otter

Day 28 - Floating Like A Sea Otter Watercolor - Doodlewash

When I thought about “ocean creatures,” our prompt for today, my mind first went to fish and then to dolphins and then just jumped inexplicably to sea otters. By the time I finished deliberating about what I should actually paint, I realized I only had a few precious minutes left in order to actually do it. So, I opted for a quick ink outline and a loose and mostly painted 3-color doodlewash in hopes something otter-like might appear. I think these creatures are rather cute and always seem to know just how to relax a bit in life. Something that I often struggle with as I’m rushing to get all of my mostly self-inflicted to-do lists completed and try to keep up with all of the projects I have going at all times. But, my painting time is a time to simply play and do whatever comes to mind, even when it comes in the form of only a few minutes. They’re my minutes. A moment to escape the day, unwind, and float into my imagination a bit. A time to move all worry and doubt to the back corners of my mind and just happily splash some paint around on paper. It’s become a rather exciting ritual as I’m completely surprised by what appears every single time.

I’m always a big cheerleader when it comes to getting people to post whatever they make. I’ve never once stopped to consider whether anything I’ve ever doodlewashed is “worthy” of posting. I just post it and see what people might think. Sometimes, what appears here is well-loved and there are lots of comments, and other times, there are far fewer. But here’s the thing that’s always true. Somebody, somewhere, thinks it’s rather awesome. Think about that for a moment. Someone out there in the world smiled and I was the cause of that happening. To me, that’s the coolest and most rewarding thing of all! I’ve had some posts on Instagram that only garnered a single comment. In my mind, I’m first thinking, wow, nobody liked this one at all, so it must be rubbish. Yet, it wasn’t rubbish to that one person who said they adored it. So in that very moment, it became art. A piece of work by the very definition that is “appreciated primarily for its beauty or emotional power.” That’s all art is in the end. And it only takes one person to make this true and therefore make something art, even if that person is simply you.

Sure, there are masters, and that’s why we have a name for that. But you don’t have to actually be a master to make art. Okay, yeah, masters might sell a lot more paintings, get featured in galleries across the world and several other perks that come with being one of the proclaimed best. And the rest of us get to admire and learn from them the entire time, all the while making our own little bits of art to share with the world. For every master getting featured in a gallery, there’s also somebody on Etsy making insanely creative things that are viewed and enjoyed by even more people than might ever visit a physical gallery. We live in a pretty cool time where we have the opportunity to share our art with people across the entire world in the click of a button. I hope you’ll join me in taking that opportunity. Together, we can show the world all different types of art and find that person out there who just might be in need of smile. I’m perfectly random in my own approach to what I create each day, but there’s also something wonderful about simply enjoying the process of sketching and painting as though I’m just floating like a sea otter.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Yellow Ochre, Turquoise, and Maroon Perylene. 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 28 - Floating Like A Sea Otter Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended6 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!

24 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    That’s the wonderful thing about the internet – your chances of sharing something with a person who gets it are soooo much higher. And I love your otter. I think he was art before I said it, but now he’s even art-ier!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Yes, the internet is really an amazing thing indeed! And hehe… thanks for making my otter art!

  2. Laura Hale 3 weeks ago

    Amen Sandra! We all need to take time to enjoy “my minutes” as well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! yes, Laura! 😃💕 We deserve to treat ourselves with those minutes!

  3. Jodi 3 weeks ago

    love your attitude <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Jodi! 😃💕 yeah, I think we should all share whatever we make. It’s fun to see who out there loves it!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 weeks ago

    Sea otters are the best! In Alaska, we saw them floating on their backs, in huge groups, with babies on the mothers’s bellies. They connect themselves to each other using kelp so that they can sleep safely. I love the expression on the one you painted!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Awww… I know! I adore how they take care of their babies. It’s sooooo cute!

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 weeks ago

    Unless one is a professional artist, it’s the journey that counts, not the finished product. I taught that to my young art students and to their parents as well. Still, I wanted my kids to be proud of what they made/painted and my comments always pointed to what they’d done very well.

    And yes, this Doodlewash of an otter is adorable – just look at that face. Otters are some of my most favorite animals. They are a ball to watch in the ocean and at the aquariums, diving and rolling and zipping around in the water. How can you not love all that life-affirming energy?

    BTW – 3 colors and no time – you kill me, Charlie, you really do. LOL.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕Glad you liked my little otter! And yay to that energy! And a bigger yay to the journey in art. I think that’s why I’ve never aspired to be a professional artist. I don’t think I want to give up the journey… it’s the most fun!

  6. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    It took me ages to understand that people who said they loved my work were seeing it through their mindset that they can’t make art. I love giving the paintings away to people who love them. Especially when I don’t like them much.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Yes to that, Lisa! 😃💕Art is an amazing thing. When you make it, people show up to adore it. Or even just a single person… either way, it’s an incredible thing indeed!

  7. Zertab Quaderi 3 weeks ago

    Love your otter! Sometimes, I also think twice before posting art but since I’ve joined this community, I say to myself that I’ll post whatever I’ve created today as am not in a competiton and there must be tons of people who do art that are not top-notch. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and as you say, even if it makes one person feel good, it’s worth it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Yay for that, Zertab! 😃💕 That’s exactly the kind of community I was hoping to create! I feel like it’s more rewarding to share as we go along and learn from each other. When we curate everything out, it’s less a reflection of who we really are and only what we aspire to be. But, I can’t help but wonder if the true us, isn’t the one that we should follow. If we post all of our work, we can better get a sense of that.

  8. SnehLata Maheshwari 3 weeks ago

    Enjoyed your art , otter.
    Thanks os.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Glad you liked my little otter!

  9. sketchingwithmallie 3 weeks ago

    I love your otter.
    While at the zoo sketching I totally failed at my otter but that’s okay, I will have to go back and try again some time. I feel the same about posting but realized it’s more fun to just post for myself and if people come along to enjoy GREAT! if not at the end of the day I am happy that I faced my fear of sharing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 And yay to that philosophy! We have to paint and sketch for ourselves first and foremost. It’s what keeps us doing it all of the time. There will always be someone who loves it, and that’s all the reward we should ever need!

  10. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Wonderful otter, Charlie! And making someone smile is a total win win situation.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, I am on a fierce pursuit to spread smiles… hehe… not through my own little doodlewashes, of course, but by hoping to inspire others to share their awesomeness! Smiles all around!

  11. smzang 3 weeks ago

    Precious otter!!

    You not only make us smile, you make us think as your teach and guide us on a journey into the self.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      That’s the coolest and nicest comment ever! Thank you so much, Sarah! 😃💕 I sit down to ramble each and every day not knowing if anything I rapidly type is worthy or even interesting. I’m so touched and happy that you enjoy these posts!

  12. June Hadaway 3 weeks ago

    This is the cutest little otter. He definitely is a relaxed little creature. Love his little face too. I hesitated posting at first and felt the same way but found the you and the group to be so helpful, encouraging and inspiring. I have company this month so it’s been a bit hectic trying to get to my painting. I will try to pipe in now and then. For some reason I am not getting notifications when you post your daily artwork and story. I only get emails from Doodlewash when you like my message. 🤔

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! And oh now… I’ve no idea why the daily posts aren’t coming through if you’re subscribed. But Internet gremlins seem to lurk around every turn. If you got this like then you can usually bet, I’m just about to post my next one! 😉

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