Some days, you just never know what will call you to sketch it. I normally choose something to paint while I’m at work during the day, but today was super busy so I arrived home with absolutely no idea in mind. The prompt today is “feathery” so I assumed this would be some sort of bird, but while looking up birds, I got completely distracted by an article on how to avoid an ostrich attack. Apparently, when provoked, an ostrich will get really mad, come charging after you, and proceed to kick your ass. This lead me to a page about how to avoid an ostrich and included helpful suggestions like maintaining an optimal distance, diving into a thorn bush, or if none of those work, laying on the ground and simply “playing dead.” These were combined with airline safety-style illustrations that made the whole thing both terrifying and delightfully amusing. In the few little minutes I had left to paint at that point, I figured it only made sense to do a quick portrait one, so that’s how we ended up here today.
I’m always amazed at how many “how to” articles exist on the Internet. You can literally find the “solution” to anything you need or anything you can imagine just for fun. When I was a kid, you only had books that were published according to the idea that people only wanted to know useful things like plumbing, cooking and crafting. These days, we can google our hearts away and find answers to everything we wanted to know and much more we’ve never really cared to know. While I find this all quite entertaining, it’s equally distracting. I don’t live anywhere near ostriches, so it’s highly unlikely that I would ever find myself confronted with one. But, knowing that I now have the tools to survive should this insane and impossibly unlikely event ever occur, is strangely comforting. These days, it’s not just information that we crave, it’s also a lot of trivia, which is defined as bits of knowledge, often of little importance. It strikes me that with our limited ability to hold that knowledge, what does all this extra stuff replace?
I am happily distracted by all the funny things I see on Buzzfeed and other places and it really does bring joy to my day. But give me a wonderfully written article with something to say and I’m even more enamoured. I’ve realized that I need to take more time for consuming the things in life that are actually important. Those wonderful documentaries with real information and those books written with passion by authors who have something they really wanted to say. Not articles carefully crafted for keywords that distract me from what I really need to know. I was recently lured by an article that told me how to focus on what really matters in life. What the article failed to share, is what that actually might be. For me, it’s a focus on the things that simply bring me joy along with the things that enrich my mind in a way that’s actually relevant to my life. Today, I’ve failed at that last bit, so the only helpful thing I truly have to tell you is that you should never piss off an ostrich.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Teal, Opera Rose, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.