August 30, 2010

Chuckwalla Loves His Cactus!

(Otherwise known as: Joanie and her Co-workers visit the Zoo on a Lovely Sunday, but I like the shorter title better, don't you?)

So long story short, I went out with my sketchbook! Not only that, but life drawing at my local zoo, which happens to be Woodland Park Zoo. They have a new Meerkat exhibit in for the summer which was really informative and let you see the Meerkats (I think they were more interested in us!) up close.  

 The last time I had done this was in school with my classmates in Vancouver. I was very worried that I had lost so much skill from not using it that I wouldn't be able to remember everything Stephen taught us in Life Drawing class.

Let me surprise you with a cliche. It really was like getting on a bicycle again. The first few pages were a mess, and occasionally I gave up mid-sketch knowing it wasn't worth saving and to just start again and move on. But I'm telling you, every now and then, blam! It was like magic. Here's the best from my day at the zoo:

There's a lot more, but I figured I wouldn't bore you with page after page! My favorite (if you couldn't guess) was the Chuckwalla center there. This one was literally cuddling up to a cactus next to his friend and I couldn't help but squee at that, being a reptile lover. I adore lizards. No geckos this time, but they had so much. I enjoyed drawing the frogs as well (see my little poison dart friend in the corner). I also spent some time with the fish since I have that Fish Dragon story and everything going on every other week at my writing blog, Tales of a Nightcrafter. ;D

The Zoo Trip was originally just an outing for my co-workers. I happen to work at an amazing company, Big Fish Games, that knows how to work hard and play hard, and we were celebrating some good times at work just hanging out on a very lovely Sunday afternoon. Nothing formal, just, hey who wants to go to the Zoo?  We had a blast, we got lost a few times, but we saw tons of animals and had some good laughs. What more could you want? My friend Kim brought her sketchbook too, so it was good to sit and chat and do art again.
This has been such a good process for me. I'm remembering the joy that comes from drawing and how it feels when people walk by and I hear, "Look honey, she's an artist!" and "That's really good!" It's the little things that bring you bursts of happiness.

Want to know the best part about the day? You won't believe this, but I was attempting to do some quick gesture sketches of the Golden Tamarins (cute rainforest monkeys) and one of them was staring at my sketchbook! Everyone saw this and so I lifted it up for him to see. I could see his eyes moving and looking at all of my sketches. Then he ran off. A second later he had brought a friend down! This new monkey looked at my sketches too. It was almost like he said, "C'mon, you have to see this! She's drawing us!"

That totally made my day. Here's to more fun days of drawing in the near future!

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