When it comes to painting furry things, I definitely find it challenging to get the idea across. Here we have a little kitty, who stared at me imploringly for the past hour urging me not to mess him up. I skipped my trusty fountain pen for this one and simply made a quick pencil contour sketch and jumped right in with watercolor. I’ve never owned a cat as I’m allergic to them, but I think they’re really cute. I’ve always loved animals of all kinds. In my early teens, I was totally into horses and used to go on trail rides with my sister-in-law. It was amazing! As a little kid, I wanted nearly every animal I saw at the zoo as a pet. Each time we would visit, I would find a new one that I was suddenly fascinated with and just had to bring home. I was told that wasn’t possible, of course, but I assured my mother that my chimpanzee could just share my room and wouldn’t be a bother. I ended up getting a plush one instead, which was not quite the same, but better than nothing.
I’ve often wondered what animals really think of us. If they’re pets, we’re the “food bringers” so that’s a pretty important role. I always tease that my dog Phineas is constantly judging me, but that’s just the nature of the wrinkles on his forehead. At least, I think so. Truthfully, I’m not sure. He could actually be judging me and wondering why I’m so clumsy or have the attention span of a goldfish or any myriad of things that one might imagine. Actually, I saw a study a few years ago that said all humans now have an attention span that is shorter than a goldfish, thanks to technology. I’ve no idea how they knew that they’d successfully bored a goldfish, but I never made it through the article because I got distracted by a funny cat video. Phineas may have a point. There are so many things we know about animals, and yet so many things we may never know. One thing I’m certain of, is that having one in my life on a daily basis is incredibly rewarding.
Philippe was actually worried that our dog might be getting a bit bored so he bought him some interactive puzzles from Sweden. These were meant to challenge his mind, but the first attempts getting him to use them were hilarious. Philippe was down on all fours and doing most of the work, while Phineas sat there quietly just looking worried. Today, Phineas tackles the puzzles with aplomb and happily gets all the treats inside. Then, he will barely leave you alone in an attempt to get you to “fix” the magic treat giver which obviously must be broken as it’s failing to dispense them. These moments are precious. I try not to think much about the fact that he’s half way through his little life and just enjoy each moment as it comes. And even if he can’t tell me exactly what he’s thinking, I’m pretty sure there’s one thing we can both agree on. Life just wouldn’t be the same without furry friends.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Cobalt Teal, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
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!