Telling Tall Tales

Day 16 - Giraffe Watercolor Full Body Sketchbook - Doodlewash

When met with a prompt of “textures”, my mind went to a million places at once and then I had the inexplicable desire to doodlewash a giraffe. I now realize this would have been rather perfect for our prompt of patterns, but I didn’t think of it at the time. So, I ended up with this tall and gangly creature, that’s bent down a bit so it could fit in my sketchbook. This particular angle makes her or him, I can’t possibly tell with giraffes, seem to be asking, “does my butt look big in this pic?” Though, I’m quite sure giraffes don’t really bother with such silly questions. We humans, however, are capable of worrying over the silliest of things. I often find myself doing this, and then giggling at myself for bothering over it in the first place. Sometimes, I tell myself stories that make me amazing and almost heroic, and other times I cast myself in a rather unfavorable light. I like to think of all of these stories as “tall tales,” those unbelievable and exaggerated stories of folk literature. Everything gets amplified and transformed into something a bit different in both directions, but somewhere in the middle exists a certain truth. Which is always the same. That, we’re all pretty awesome in our own way.

Many times, I’ve been regaled with stories by coworkers that I know have a few embellishments thrown in. I adore these stories, because a strictly documentary narrative would bore me to tears. But, that’s the beauty of tales like this. They are still a perfectly truthful account, they just have a bit more pizazz and sizzle thrown in. These have been happening for years as fisherman of the olden days often told stories of that fish that got away. The one so big and incredible that it almost sank their boats. This was, most often, a way of saving face when failing to produce the fish in question, or any fish at all. But, it’s also a wild imagining of what should have occurred in the first place. A dream that almost feels real as its retold. Sure, in the moment, it might resemble a lie, but if you continue to believe it’s possible, then maybe one day, it’s a dream that will actually come true. I certainly don’t advocate that we lie to ourselves, but I do hope we take the time to dream to ourselves properly. Throwing in a dash of hope and belief, even when the story seems perfectly impossible.

For my part, I tell stories that are always true and completely confirmed by my heart. They are the most genuine version of me, and life as I feel it. As I ramble out loud here each and every day, I’m actually chronicling my emotions and perceptions, surrounded by the most basic of facts in the matter. I’m sometimes telling a story of that side of myself that doesn’t always feel confident. But, it’s in the telling of these stories that I realize my own power to create. Even on days when I feel stressed, tired, and finding it nearly impossible to show up to sketch and paint, I still manage to DO it. And that makes me so incredibly happy! It’s precisely why I constantly tell everyone who might be listening that forming a daily art habit is the most amazing thing in the world. I’m not kidding. Just join me each and every day so, you too, can experience the wonders that await you! I’ve been sketching, painting, and writing for over 1,230 consecutive days! And many of you who have joined me on this wonderful journey would know that this is entirely true, and I’m not telling tale tales.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue (my “Shiny” Trio!). 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 16 - Giraffe Watercolor Full Body Sketchbook - Doodlewash

 

Recommended4 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!

14 Comments
  1. louiseaprimeau 4 weeks ago

    Charlie, you and I started blogging at about the same time and not long after, I was a guest on your website. However, since them you have remained constant and consistent whereas I have been exploring and have mostly moved into mixed media. I enjoy reading your posts where your personality shines through and seeing your daily illustrations that sometimes have a touch of nostalgia which are my favourite ones. I am in awe of the fact that you have made this a daily practice over such a long period of time. Congrats!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Louise! 😃💕 I love that we started together… this has been such a fun journey. I couldn’t have guessed in the beginning where it would all lead, but it’s been fun all along! And no matter what path we chose, it’s just awesome to know that we’re all still DOING it! Congrats to you as well!

  2. Anita Sinha 4 weeks ago

    1230 days of daily art! Incredible – Congrats and also thanks for taking us all along with you on this journey. Loving it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Anita! 😃💕 It’s my personal goal to get everyone on the planet as equally addicted to daily creating as aI am! hehe… I DO hope you’ll be joining me!

  3. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    It’s a chaotic world, but doing that daily DO something – be it art or blogging or standing on your head – is one way of grabbing hold and taking control, even if only for 15-20 minutes. I love reading your rambles each day. Doing art is so much something I just do ALL the time that it no longer seems like I’m doing something special, but I make a point of reading your blog each day (except when I’m without the internet, durn it). That’s my special DO!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Aww thanks, Sandra! 😃💕Yeah, making something daily has become so much a part of me that it’s almost not spectacular anymore. BUT… then I realize that not everyone does that, so it becomes spectacular once again! Here’s to DOing as much as we possibly can!

  4. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    My father was the most amazing story teller I have ever known. He was asked to speak at banquets in our small town because people knew he would have them rolling on the floor. I like to think I have a smidge of his ability in my brain. It was from him I learned that you can’t let the truth stand in the way of a good story. Painting is the same. You should move trees and rocks and every thing else around if it better serves the picture. Like a twisty giraffe served your picture so well!😁

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Your father sounds wonderful, Lisa! 😃💕And I’m guessing you have much more than smidge of his storytelling prowess. 😉 Sometimes we do have to bend things a bit, but as long as the outcome is truth, it’s still the best story we could tell!

  5. Sharon Nolfi 4 weeks ago

    I like this post very much. I believe our selves can only be life as we feel it. Our experience is filtered through our emotions to produce memories (and stories) that make us uniquely ourselves. Tall tales are the best! Love the giraffe, too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 So true… our emotions create stories that are far better than the ones we might tell only from fact.

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 weeks ago

    You tell a great story, Charlie, and I’m always pleased to read the places your imagination takes you. I think this giraffe is turning around to listen better to you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! Thanks, Shari! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoy my stories. They always come from the heart, but are typed as I go. I always think I could tell better stories if I learned to edit, but I’ve never learned how to do anything but ramble on for a bit. 😊

  7. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    Next to elephants, I love giraffes. Yours is a wonderful example. I enjoy reading your ramblings. Just knowing there is someone else out there that thinks the same crazy way as me. 😉 I wish I had more time in my days to create art all day, but at least my little sketches fill that little bit of desire each day. You know what? I crave it every day! Good thing to crave.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Best thing ever to crave I say! 😃💕 And yeah, I totally wish I could spend more than my little 30 minutes to an hour each day. But making something, rather than nothing at all, is always something to be proud of!

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