Thursday, March 1, 2018

New Hampshire, Maryland, and England

I decided to have a theme of animals for this post. I looked through the last nine years of blog posts (that took a while!) and selected a few drawings that I especially liked. Only one drawing is based on a direct animal observation. You'll see what I mean.

Starting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I sketched some funny old metal mailboxes, with a very tropical flamingo on one of them.

On the right is a nicely carved salamander above a shop doorway, also in Portsmouth.

In Baltimore, Maryland's Inner Harbor, you can rent a small dragon boat to pedal around the waterfront. The pointed glass building is the National Aquarium.

Last winter, I stopped my car to draw this snow dragon on the New London, New Hampshire, town green. I knew which local artist had made it because I recognized her style based on her children's books. I added a few sparrows for scale.

The dragon was only there for a few days. It then got transformed into a ski jump for the upcoming skijoring competition (skiers pulled by horses).

And one more dragon on the town green. This time it is a large inflatable sculpture that has a tunnel full of children. See them peering out of the round windows? It is part of a summer festival called Hospital Days. It raises money for our local hospital, 100 years old this year.

Here are the real animals, a flock of sheep in a field in the Cotswolds, in England. The guy in front kept a careful eye on me while the others grazed.

And another sheep, a puppet owned and operated by Lindsay Aucella. And a tiger. She has a wonderful business with her puppets, and travels widely throughout New Hampshire. Lindsay comes to our town, at the small beach on Pleasant Lake, once a year.

Learn more at her website.

These stuffed animals sit in the sun on a window seat in our house. A Paddington bear made by my mother, a regular teddy bear, a striped something, and a Curious George monkey.

Once we owned a rowhouse in Baltimore near an Hispanic grocery. The ceiling was filled with pinatas. They are constructed by hand with crepe paper and cardboard, and filled with candy.

Our doorknocker is a carved wooden woodpecker. This drawing is a few years old, but the woods look just like they do today. Deep snow and copper beech leaves clinging on until Spring. The melted circles around the tree trunks say that Spring might be coming soon and daffodils will pop up there.

One year our town had a fundraiser which involved fiberglass statues of gnus. Various people painted them, and then they were raffled off. Call me a grouch, but I think they are an eyesore. But I do like this home made parody of the project. An elk on the lawn of the maker, named for a village in our town called Elkins. So instead of a Gnu of New London, it is the Elk of Elkins.

Shortly after I drew this, the next generation of baby elk appeared on the scene.