Saturday, January 17, 2015

Field Trip: Animal Shelter

   Took a break from human beings in the Life Drawing course, as after all, animals are also ostensibly alive, and many make for such good models. Others, not so much, but that's Life. So off to the Borough Animal Shelter for a couple hours of reference sketching. Some really great folks with big hearts doing a tough job. Actually it was reaffirming in the positive sense to see so many empty cages, in that an overcrowded shelter would have been comparatively more more depressing. And just while we were there, two cats, a dog and a rabbit were adopted.

   Fortunate for us there was a veritable menagerie of species on display: above and beyond the usual cats + dogs, there were hamsters, pigeons, budgies, turtles and a herd of rabbits. And of course a diverse selection of individual animals with respect to age, size and temperament.

   Aside from all the heightened awareness of minutia that is the observational skill-set of sketching, one also is privy to quite the range of elicited responses in people when they first enter one of the rooms or upon seeing a particular critter. The range of noises people make rival that of their caged counterparts. Probably the only practical downside to the location was the din of the dogs: in a concrete and steel enclosure the sound can make it hard to focus. I tend to think of it from their perspective - I'd yell my head off if I was locked up too.

   Outside in the sled-dog area there were a handful of dogs awaiting a new leash on life. I know it had been a year since we lost Bird-Dog, but given how much I teared up over a couple of these old pups it's still too soon.

Stray Cartoonist

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