Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bonus Castor canadensis

Okay, okay... I know I swore off the Castor canadensis themed posts way back at the start of the year, but like how each + every little stick eventually adds up to a beaver dam that can stem the current of even the mightiest river, the pieces keep piling up.

Hat-Tip/Tail-Slap Josh

This was a real blast from the past, as it brought back memories of one of my fist jobs as a prep cook in a restaurant during my highschool days.

I used to clock out maybe around midnight, and then sit up in the balcony area ringing the dance floor and listen to the weekend dj spin the hot tracks, which this one in particular would never fail to bring out the crowds and get people moving. I think I can developmentally peg this as the time when I got into objectively observing the intricacies of human interactions, like mating rituals and displays of territoriality, not unlike the many foibles and funnies so easy to anthropomorphize.

h/t Anita

Here's a Sabre-toothed heraldic beaver from Scheibler Armorial, Germany ca. 1450-1480 (München,BSB, Cod.icon. 312 c, p. 114)
This magnificent edifice - the oldest wooden statue in the world - was unearthed in Siberia, but most importantly, evidence suggests it was carved with the intact jaws of beavers. Which leads one to hypothesize who exactly made it to begin with, hmmm?

Here's an educational + entertaining documentary from PBS's "Nature" soon to be added to the library of inspirational reference material:
The fascinating story of beavers in North America - their history, their near extinction, and their current comeback, as a growing number of scientists, conservationists and grass-roots environmentalists have come to regard beavers as overlooked tools when it comes to reversing the disastrous effects of global warming and world-wide water shortages. Once valued for their fur or hunted as pests, these industrious rodents are seen in a new light through the eyes of this novel assembly of beaver enthusiasts and "employers" who reveal the ways in which the presence of beavers can transform and revive landscapes. Using their skills as natural builders and brilliant hydro-engineers, beavers are being recruited to accomplish everything from re-establishing water sources in bone-dry deserts to supporting whole communities of wildlife drawn to the revitalizing aquatic ecosystems their ponds provide.

It will bookend a this great little teaser of a trailer shot by a couple friends in the Park Service (hat-tip/tail-slap Josh Spice & Dev Dharm Khalsa): " Enjoy a close-up view of a day in the life of a beaver, filmed in the Coal Creek drainage in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve."

One can only just imagine my sincere adoration and everlasting pleasure at finding this customized model (the mini-goatee an especially nice touch) adorning my desk in my office at the UAF Art Department - thanks Da-ka!

There was a recent internet phenomenon, with a filter adding the ubiquitous big eyes as seen in anime + manga, to people's profile pictures. There's actually an interesting history behind this as it relates to the psychology of Disneyfied "Princess eyes."

This syndicated kid's feature caught my eye in our local newspaper: it's also a frequent cartoon of note as examined over at The Comics Curmudgeon.

One of the few originals adorning the walls of the cabin studio was scored after sharing a gig with David Petersen, a much beloved participant of the Guys Read program here in Fairbanks, and an often-used example in the classroom with exercises for my beginning drawing students.

"...seemingly harmless..."

Yet another cautionary tale that reminds us it's all fun + games until someone gets hurt:
Animal welfare officers were called and the man's ordeal ended with him receiving 15 stitches, though the beaver is still at large.
Beginning Beavers

Of course I'm still inflicting the semesterly exercises of torturous gnawing at the topic of pen + ink by bringing in my infamous bag o' beavers for aspiring artists to painstakingly render.

Excerpted detail from image by David Thompson

Elevating the iconic representation of Castor canadensis as depicted in historical architecture, click here for a magnificent Flickr post featuring a bevvy of beavers from Art Deco buildings in Toronto, Ottawa & Montreal by photographer David Thompson.

I really wish I could track down the creator of this epic image: given the number of oddball emails and tips I receive on a regular basis regarding this toothy topic it sometimes gets lost in the flood. I'll leave it up unattributed at least until my internet sleuthing uncovers the artist - in the meantime enjoy this outstanding heraldic crest which deserves to at least be on the backside of the national flag...

These couple pics illustrate the solemnity of our neighboring country's annual event: most Alaskans stop for a minute and give a mental salute to honor Canada Day. At least amongst my own colony of fellow aficionados.

The whole Pokémon GO craze might have passed me by if it weren't for the Bibarel character catching my eye:
Bibarel is a bulky, bipedal Pokémon similar to a beaver. (…) This Pokémon is known to be an industrious worker that dams rivers by building its nest. However, a river dammed by Bibarel will never overflow. It is slow moving and awkward out of water, but a swift swimmer.

While at an evening engagement I just-so happened to be seated at eye-level with the host's waist while he was serving us seated at the table. It recalled the "Chill Cat" panel re: a hallmark of traditional formline design from Northwest coastal peoples. And no, he wouldn't trade.

Lastly, here's a special one-off that came about as a break from a very special recent project (details forthcoming this next weekend!) involving my totem animal. What started out as a doodle evolved into yet another alchemic illustration incorporating one of my favorite myths, that of the ouroborous.

No comments:

Post a Comment