So, we’re rapidly nearing the very end of this month’s art challenge, and I hope those of you who’ve joined me this month have been having a wonderful smile-inducing time! And I also hope you’ll be joining me for next month’s art challenge of Outdoor Fun as we celebrate all the wonderful things to be discovered there! June is always a fun month to play and practice as we gear up for the ultimate challenge of World Watercolor Month in July! So just join when you can and have a lot of fun! But don’t miss July! It’s going to be amazing! For our prompt of pandas today, I opted for a red panda, which has been considered a relative of the giant panda and also a raccoon, giving scientists fits when trying to classify them. It’s still known as a “lesser panda” which, to me, is a horrible name for any living creature. It would be the human equivalent of being known as the “lesser sibling” in a family. While that may or may not be true, one knows we simply never talk about it. Also, this little guy is on the endangered list as well. So, I’m rooting for the lesser panda to survive and thrive for many years to come.
Speaking of siblings, I was the youngest child in our family. My brother and sister are actually 13 and 12 years older, respectively. This meant that as a very young child I had babysitters and by the age of five or six, both siblings happened to marry and move on, so I basically grew up as an only child. I was a ring bearer in my sister’s wedding, though I was terribly sick and threw up a few times before managing my way down the aisle. This had nothing to do with the wedding, and I definitely approved of her choice, it was just a case of bad timing. The pictures show a resolute Little Charlie determined to do his job according to instruction while bearing a perfectly unmistakable “please just shoot me now and put me out of my misery” look on his face. I was terribly young, so those memories tend to fade entirely, but thanks to a touch of flu, I can perfectly remember the moment. In truth, I was a bit sad to see my sister get married. She was like a second mother to me and since her husband was in the Army, she was shipped off to Germany soon after.
This, of course, has nothing to do with pandas, but those of you who follow my posts know they are simply a stream of consciousness and I make no warranties. I guess in the end, these little red creatures just made me think of what feeling “lesser” must be like. Though I was certainly the very youngest in my little family, I don’t remember ever feeling that way. This was because I was always surrounded by love and encouragement. Though my mother would always say, “don’t encourage him” she secretly enjoyed whatever attention I received. It was, after all, not a reflection on her, but indeed the very reflection of her that those people were responding favorably to and encouraging. So she felt a bit of pride and a glimpse of her younger self, doing much the same thing. Like all good parents, she never quite admitted that my antics were a perfect mirror of her own, but gleefully enjoyed watching them happen. And today, I just want to empower and encourage as many people as I can. Thanks, Mom, for teaching me there’s never a good reason to ever feel “lesser” because, in the end, we’re all just little pandas in the trees.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue (my Da Vinci Trio, Click Here to Learn More!) + Leaf Green. 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!
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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!