Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sketching at the zoo

Yesterday I made the mistake of going to the city zoo to sketch the animals. It was low 90's- abysmally hot. Humid. Screaming, whining children running all over, banging on the aquarium walls, throwing leaves and sticks at the animal cages. It doesn't take much to put me over the edge, but all the kids behaving SO BADLY... I have never felt the allure of children anyway, but the behavior I witnessed yesterday... parents just let them get away with it. Are these the people that will be running our country some day?


Even beyond the kid scene, I wasn't in the mood to sketch. I was sweating bullets, forgot the sunscreen, and my glasses kept sliding down my nose from sweat. And I could feel sweat trickling down my back which grossed the crap outta me. I just HATE to sweat. I thought about dropping my art show entries off at the State Fair and bypassing the zoo altogether to go shopping in the air conditioned mall but... well... I told myself to Buck Up and deal.

And I did.

Sketching out in public is kind of nerve-wracking. When I do, there are usually people who come over to see what I'm doing which embarrasses the stuffing out of me. Occasionally people start conversations with me, which I find uncomfortable. But I needed to sketch, so again- Buck up, Jennifer. You'll be fine. I started out rough, but eventually got into a rhythm.

Many of the animals were hiding in the shade spots they could find, but were out of range of my eyesight. Some were active, so I got quick sketches in. Critters can be wiggly so it was tough, and I had to draw fast. I only had two people come up to me. One was a kid, and he was nice and quiet and watched me for awhile. I explained that I was sketching to practice my drawing skills, and if he liked drawing he should practice too. The other person that came up to me was a zoo volunteer, and he helped me ID the Caspian Tern I was sketching (what a beautiful bird!). Nice guy.

I will definitely go back, but not until late fall when it is cooler and less people!

Sorry the pictures are so bad- my camera isn't good at taking photos of white paper- it comes out blue and I have to auto-adjust-



Sherrie Y said...

Oh Jen! I could tell you stories about the trials of zoo drawing! Once a kid, in full view of his mother, KICKED my sketchbook out of my lap while I was drawing and sent all my gear flying. The mother's response? To tell the boy "that wasn't nice" and calmly walk away! Not one word of apology to me out of either one of them!

Anyway... I'm glad you stuck it out... the spoonbill in particular is nice. YES! The best days to go to the zoo are the ones with bad weather. AND... I find that if you go after, say, 2:00pm, the buses full of school kids will shortly be departing and you'll get some peace and quiet.

As for talkers... ignore them or wear headphones. You don't have to turn the headphones on. Just wear them. :-)

Sarah said...

oh jen! good thing you didn't have a rolled up newspaper or those kids would have really been in trouble! :) I think the sketches are great!