Today we’re celebrating Wildlife Day and all of those creatures great and small in the world who share our little green planet with us. My entry for the day is a quick and loose little sketch of a lion cub, because I think they’re super cute. Actually, the younger version of about every animal on the planet is pretty adorable. Which is not to say, of course, that we older human animals aren’t also capable of being cute. I like to think I still have my days when that occurs. Wildlife Day is so important that it actually occurs again in February and World Wildlife Day takes place on March 3rd. It’s also Macadamia Nut day, but that seemed a bit less important than our fellow living creatures in the world, many of which are now endangered. I’ve always been a huge animal lover and used to get little collector cards in the mail each week where I could learn more about each and every one of them when I was a kid. At one point, I think I wanted to be a veterinarian, but since I get squeamish and sometimes faint at the sight of my own blood, this was quickly changed to just about anything else as I grew up. But, I’m a huge fan and supporter of those people in the world who fight and care for our animal friends.
Philippe and I recently became “Friends” of our local zoo, which means donating a bit each year to help the non-profit institution succeed. While not at all ideal, in many cases, we humans are the last resort for some animals, even though we were the cause of the problem in the first place. I would definitely prefer they were able to roam free in their natural habitat, but any effort that educates people about them and tries to help them is a good one to me. Philippe doesn’t share my squeamishness for medical procedures and does, after all, have a Ph.D in Biology, so he still has dreams of working at the zoo. Watching him with our own little basenji dog, Phineas, I know that he would be an excellent caretaker that any animal would be thrilled to have. For the record, yes, he’s also an excellent human caretaker and I’m rather lucky to have him as well. We both share a deep love of animals and it’s sometimes impossible to describe those feelings exactly. But each little squirrel or bunny we see frolicking outside our kitchen window requires us both to stop and observe the wonder together.
When I first started sketching and painting I spent an entire month sketching animals from A-Z and even made a poster of the event. In the following month, I explored all of the stranger, uncommon creatures that are often less celebrated and much more rarely ever drawn. Though I may lack the ability to treat medical conditions, I still like to do my part in raising awareness for these animals. For example, did you know that it’s entirely possible that our future generations would live in a world without lions? Or even rhinos, elephants, and gorillas? This seems like science fiction to me and my little self can’t imagine that something like this could ever happen. But my adult self knows that what we take for granted now is often the very thing we’ll miss most in the future. There’s much about this world that seems like it’s spinning out of control, but we can always do something to make a difference. For me, it’s as simple as wanting the future children of this world to have the same glorious childhood that I remember. One filled with wonderful and exotic creatures from all over the world, who certainly deserve to be celebrated on this fantastic Wildlife Day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. 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!
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!