Today, for our prompt of wild animals, we have a bengal tiger, simply because I wanted to try painting one again. I realized the first and last time I ever sketched a tiger was when I first started painting so I wanted to give it another go. Of course, the nature hikes where I live would never include a tiger encounter, unless I was strolling through the local zoo. While I love visiting the zoo, I’ve always thought the tigers seemed the least happy with their surroundings. Sitting there, thoroughly bored or pacing endlessly in hopes something might change. Even tinier domesticated cats get to roam about more freely and they’re a fraction of the size. When I was very young, the tiger enclosure at our zoo was impossibly small, but over the years has expanded quite a bit. Still, when you cage a wild thing, you take something away that’s part of the animal’s DNA, and one has to wonder if that’s a good thing at all. As a kid, I adored the zoo and going to the circus, but still, I felt bad for the animals and wondered, if given the chance, wouldn’t they prefer to have their freedom back?

Last year, after 146 years in operation, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus held its final performances before shutting down entirely. For years, animal rights groups had actively argued against the treatment of animals and successfully had the elephants removed from the show. This caused an even further decline in ticket sales, as the elephants were a main attraction. I remember them as a kid, performing tricks that seemed impossible for such large beasts. It was exciting to go to the circus, except for the clowns which I found terrifying, and I have fond memories of going with my family. It was simply a tradition back then that nobody questioned. An annual event, when the circus once again came to town. It’s funny how our own species continues to evolve. There are so many things that have changed over the years as it can often take years for humans to learn to be more humane.

As people continue to plod across our little green planet, with an arrogant attitude of eminent domain, many creatures get hurt in the process. Indeed, the tiger shown here is unfortunately endangered, with a growing population decline due to habitat loss and human poachers. I’ve always loved animals and, as a kid, I guess I just assumed all of the animals were fine. After all, I was taught how important it was to share. Surely that applied to creatures big and small. We must have been sharing our planet with them as was just the right thing to do. Youth is rife with such naivety. But it’s always filled with wisdom that adults sometimes lose sight of in the quest to expand their horizons. As we take our virtual hike across the planet together discovering nature’s beauty this month, I hope it will shine a positive light on the world we share. A gentle reminder that we aren’t alone. We’ve a rich and fabulous planet that’s filled with amazing natural wonders and beautiful, sometimes fragile, wild things.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 4 - Wild Thing - Bengal Tiger - Doodlewash

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48 thoughts on “Wild Things

  1. Beautiful tiger and sentiments. I feel the same way about the elephants as you do about tigers. Years ago I visited a “zoo” and watched those most incredible of animals standing in one place shifting from one foot to the other. Every time I walked by those beautiful creatures it broke my heart to see them. You’re right Charlie, we aren’t alone and we need to respect the world around us.

  2. Your tiger painting is gorgeous! While I agree that caging animals in is cruel, unfortunately, in many cases it is the only reason that some species exist at all, because their natural habitat has been over-run by humans and their populations in the wild have gone extinct or close to it. Hopefully, we’ll someday figure out some way to share the planet so that all species can thrive.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yes… it’s very true… in many cases without man’s intervention after the fact, many species would be lost entirely. I do hope we’ll figure out how to share the planet better one day!

  3. Thank you for your beautiful post. This is such an important subject, nature changes so quickly and the nature of change can be so relentless and violent. Your painting is gorgeous. I am inspired to get some pigmented sepia ink.

          1. Oh, I have to thank you for your daily picture, Charlie. Everyday when I see your post I know that the world is still spinning, that there is beauty in the little things and that there will never be a reason to stop painting, because there will always be enough motives to stay inspired.

          2. That makes me so happy! Thank you, Carsten! 😃💕 It’s not always easy to show up each day, but I think I’d feel a huge loss if I didn’t. I hope we can all stay inspired to paint and keep painting. The world really needs it now!

          3. Thanks so much, Carsten! I’m working hard to make this Doodlewash project awesome. It’s still just a side hobby as I have a full time job, but I hope it inspires and encourages more people to paint with lovely watercolor! 😃💕

          4. I´d rather like to invite you to have a look at the 1st part of my watercolor-movie and tell me what you think about it, Charlie. I know it takes 15 minutes – which is a tremendous amount of time for a busy man nowadays – but it would be pretty helpful to hear an honest expert-opinion about my project before I continue. Thanks so much!


          5. Oh my gosh! You’re still far more an expert at painting, I’m much more of a sketcher and illustrator! But Wow! It’s awesome! Really mesmerizing. Very cool! The only thing I’d say is to pull back more and connect how those lovely strokes of genius combine to create the finished look! 😍

          6. Thanks so much, Charlie! It was not so much ment as a painting demonstration or tutorial – more about the fun of painting with watercolors. I am more interested if you find the video entertaining or if it is getting boring after a while. There are so many gorgeous artists with so much more skills than me and it would be presumtuous to act like a big shot. The idea of my project is just to impart how much fun watercolor painting can be. You are an expert in creating entertainment – the doodlewash project is entertaining a lot of people successful and a melting pot for everybody from beginner to pro. Anyway I will add a few pull back shots in the upcoming chapters – it might round out the message. Thanks so much for watching. I really appreciate it.

          7. You’re an amazing artist!! You have so much to share! And yes, it definitely exudes the power and allure of watercolor in a wonderful way! If you’re wanting it to be simply an inspiration piece… then I would simply say that you should shorten it a bit. Attention spans are rather small these days. Other than that, I’d say it’s stunning!

          8. Thanks so much, Charlie. So kind of you to take the time. The next parts will be shorter. I´ll keep your advice in mind. I checked the doodlewash site last night – it has become so awesome. Somehow I missed to join te community – but I will for sure. And I discovered my guest doodlewash article from 2016. A lot has happened since then. Time for a look back post in my blog. 🙂

  4. Love your tiger!

    I was a docent (volunteer teacher) at my local zoo for 18 years. Thankfully our zoo is part of the Species Survival Plan. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums created the SSP in 1981 to help endangered species survive. Sadly such zoos are often the last hope for some species, so the work of these zoos with conservation and breeding is very crucial. The SSP oversees breeding of certain species and some zoos have been successful in sending animals into the wild to repopulate areas where their habitats have not been totally destroyed. Not every zoo is a part of the SSP, but the ones who are continue to make a difference for these species. These zoos will also have enrichment programs for all of their animals to keep them healthy mentally and physically.

    I too am saddened by the facilities who do not have these programs, but instead have “postage stamp” enclosures with very stressed animals. It totally breaks my heart.

    I am thankful for sanctuaries who have taken in performing animals and are giving them a better quality of life.

    As you can tell, I am very passionate about animals. Thanks for a wonderful post!

    1. Thanks so much, Delores! 😃💕 That’s awesome you’re a docent at a zoo! And yes! The good zoos do so much to help and are often the final lifeline for some species. We always visit and support those zoos and donate when we can. It’s so important!

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