Like A Swan

White Swan On The Water Watercolor Painting

There’s just something so beautiful about a “Swan,” our prompt for today. The long graceful necks and white plumage are certainly a draw, but for me, it’s how they live their lives. Swans tend to mate for life, having only one partner during their entire lifespan, which can range from 20 to 30 years. While not quite the commitment of time one would face in human standards, it’s still rather interesting. And though, this is indeed an instinctual behavior born out of greater and greater success in producing little swans each year, there’s a bit more going on than that. Reports of swans in captivity show that after a mate dies, the other swan becomes so despondent they’ll stop eating and indeed, some actually die. Is it death by heartbreak? The truth is, we don’t actually know. Many humans tend to think we’re the only ones with the capacity for romantic love. But, given the divorce rate in swans in less than 4%, I have to believe that we’ve still somehow failed to become masters.

In truth, the idea of being with someone for life is the most romantic notion in the world. It’s that fairytale ending that we all grew up reading about in books. Philippe and I have been watching the show Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, and it’s so much fun. It’s equally one big fat commercial for choosing Disney for one’s upcoming nuptials, but since Philippe and I are already married, we just watch the show. The weddings are rather over-the-top like one would expect and that makes it really fun to watch. What’s truly intriguing, however, isn’t the wedding itself, but all of the little soundbites that lead up to the big event. The way that each person in a couple describes the other and why they love them. In short, it’s always the exact same things. But when each person tells the camera why they love someone, it’s like it’s something that’s only ever happened to them. I think that’s when you know it’s love. When a good feeling becomes something so personal, that the word to describe it belongs to you and you alone.

Philippe and I didn’t have a big wedding, but instead got married on a hotel rooftop in Los Angeles with only our officiant present. We didn’t suddenly elope or anything, this was by design. We didn’t want to perform for a crowd, and instead, simply enjoyed something intimate on our own. And, though we didn’t go to Disneyland, we did spend the next day as VIP guests at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. So, we had our own fairytale wedding in the end. Not to mention the fact that outside our hotel window there were tons of hummingbirds! And it’s quite a big step to promise someone that you’ll be with them until the day you die. Perhaps this is why some couples get the pre-wedding jitters. Of all the steps one can take in life, this is definitely one of the most important decisions. For Philippe and I, there really couldn’t have been a better beginning to our story. And, in my heart, I think we’ll definitely make it to the very end. I know the world isn’t really a fairytale, but those only turned out happily ever after in their Disney forms. No, I don’t want a life that’s just like a fairytale, but I wouldn’t mind enjoying a long life and happy life with the one I love, like a swan.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) 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!
White Swan On The Water Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

 

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
25 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 7 months ago

    Such a graceful swan Charlie!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 7 months ago

    Wishing you and Philippe long and happy lives together! Glad for the romantic facts about swans.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Swans are just so romantic! Love them!

  3. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 7 months ago

    So breathtaking Charlie!!! Thanks for sharing more about the lovely swan. So beautiful!!! I totally love seeing pictures of the moms with the babies they are so attentive to their babies too. Such beautiful family connections they have!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s so wonderful to see. I know there must be love there when it comes to swans!

  4. Zertab Quaderi 7 months ago

    Wow, this is amazing! Love that reflection!

  5. Mary Roff 7 months ago

    Beautiful swan and wishing you and Philippe a long and happy life together!!

  6. Lisa 7 months ago

    Joe and I were just looking at some of our wedding pictures today and laughing at how much hair he had, and how dark mine was. I had forgotten that I had these photos which were really just snapshots taken by my aunt. My dad and mom and grandparents were in a few of them, and they are all gone now. It was fun to see them looking happy at our wedding. And we had a fairly small one of less than a hundred guests. It was fun, but went too fast. I’d do it all over again.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Your wedding sounds perfect, Lisa! 😃💕 Those are some lovely memories indeed!

  7. Susan Masters 7 months ago

    Beautiful swan and equally beautiful post, my guess is that you and Phillippe will make it a life long thing, like the swans some couples do figure out that romantic love is the real basis of surviving this world. As a partner in a 46 year relationship I know how affirming it is to be part of a duo. Like swans we need each other!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 It’s so wonderful being part of duo! And 46 years? That’s fantastic!

  8. LoriCtoo 7 months ago

    What a lovely swan. I’ll have to use this as my reference photo when I get to it. We also had a small wedding. We went to the courthouse. We will be celebrating 30 years this September. Goes to show you, the fluff and fuss isn’t necessary for a long happy marriage. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Sounds like a great wedding to me! And 30 years! That’s awesome!

      • LoriCtoo 7 months ago

        Thank you! 🙂

  9. Gary Middleton 7 months ago

    Beautiful painting. I love the way you used blue for the shading.

  10. Laura Kate 7 months ago

    This swan is positively iridescent.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Using more colors in my whites these days!

  11. shawnthompsonart 7 months ago

    Nice swan drawing, it is so neat how they curve their neck.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Shawn! 😃💕 Yeah, I just think swans are gorgeous birds!

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 months ago

    Thank you for this intimate and wonderful story about you and Philippe. It’s a deeply fulfilling breath in this world to read about an enduring love. Your swan is a beauty. I like the looseness of the watercolors.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 7 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one. Yeah, the world needs to be reminded of happy things now more than ever, I think.

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