Saturday, May 19, 2007

Zoo weeks

Finally finished the Aruba Island rattlesnake drawing in the last couple of weeks at work. My new specs making drawing a pleasure again. And then on Wednesday of this week I finally did some painting (after a enforced break of nearly 3 months!), the subjects were a male and female Von der Decken’s hornbill. The zoo has these two birds off show at present, awaiting an aviary revamp for them; so about a month ago I had gone to the off show area where they were housed to look at them and get some photo ref. The pair are juveniles, so I had to check the adult plumage from internet pictures and book information, photo’s and illustrations, against the pics I had taken. Once I was sure I had all the info I needed I could paint them in their adult plumage. It felt great to be painting again, even if it was just a small illustration. They were a lovely subject to do for my return to painting, pretty straightforward and I really enjoyed painting them.

Other jobs I have done over the last couple of weeks include a fair amount of computer work preparing I.D. signs for the aquarium species I have yet to do and updating the reptile I.D’s. Scraping clean a couple of interpretation panels in the tropical bird house from lime build-up from dried water droplets, where the keepers hose down the pathways and plants (I was watched closely by a Victoria crowned pigeon, a very large pigeon with an impressive mohawk crest of dainty feathers, I think he/she thought I might have the food he/she was waiting for). A sifaka line drawing, for the summer campaign (which is focused on Madagascar this year), that will be copied onto sheets for the kids visiting the display in the Education Centre to colour in. Also, I put together the photo and small amount of text for the false black widow spider display, which is presented as a framed picture mounted on the wall of the ‘town house’ area. So I played at being a handyman taking off the picture frame replacing the old info for the new species and screwing it back onto the wall.

That's what I like about my job, I'm never quite sure what I shall be doing the following day.

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