Marine World Critters, ink & watercolor in 6x8" sketchbook

Marine World Critters, ink & watercolor in 6x8" sketchbook

Sunday I took Mariah to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (formerly known as Marine World) for her 10th birthday. After the dolphin show I saw a poster of Quilson the Porcupine and said I hoped we’d get to see him. An exuberant and joyful young lady, Mariah’s enthusiasm paled next to mine when we sat in on animal show and there was Quilson, just as cute as in his picture. It turns out they can’t shoot their quills at enemies (they’re just for display).

Also in the show was an adorable anteater, a cute coatamundi, a jittery chinchilla who shed a pile of fur on her handler, and a desert fox with gigantic ears “used as air conditioners” according to the show’s corny young announcer. He never explained exactly how they work as air conditioners, though. Do they flap them? Do they sweat? Do they just create shade? Who knows?

I was so thrilled to get to see and sketch these critters that I apparently took leave of my senses and unfortunately also my sketchbook. When I next reached for it to sketch the flamingos in another area of the park (“I thought they were extinct” said Mariah), sadly so was my sketchbook. Gone!  We backtracked looking for it, filled out a form at Guest Relations, and then I just tried to focus on having fun with Mariah.

After 7 hours and 6 miles (I was wearing my pedometer) and seeing the crowning event of the day, the Killer Whale Show, we headed for the exit and the Lost and Found office. I told the woman what I’d lost and she asked me to describe the first picture in the sketchbook. I said, “I have no idea what the first picture is but I know what the last one is: a PORCUPINE!” so she handed it over and I literally jumped up and down with glee (looking pretty stupid, and not caring!)

I’ve never lost a sketchbook before and while not disastrous, it was most unpleasant, especially because I use mine not only for drawing, but also to write notes or sketch out ideas for art projects and techniques to try, and information about art events, etc.

I’ll blame it on my sensory overload at Six Flags, with no escape from the speakers placed every 20 feet throughout the park playing  loud rock music interspersed with DJ blather and commercials for Six Flags (?!), the crowds, trying to find our way from one “kingdom” to another, and all the other sights and sounds of a large amusement park. They even have a jumbotron screen at the killer whale show,  which displays the same show you’re watching only gigantic (with more loud music). They actually interrupt the show and play a COMMERCIAL for Six Flags and more commercials play on  large TV screens around the park. Hello Six Flags, we’re already here! Why are you interrupting our fun to tell us about the fun we could be having if we were here?

Advertisements
Category:
Animals, Bay Area Parks, Drawing, Ink and watercolor wash, Life in general, Places, Sketchbook Pages
Tags:
, , , , , , , ,

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. Seeing some of those animals would have been wonderful, but I’m with you on the pointless blaring commercials!
    And the fox with big ears? Well, the ears both dissipate the heat (by flicking them) and the fox has hearing good enough to detect beetles on the sand.
    Lucky you to get your book back!And lucky us that we can see the sketches!

    Like

    • Oh, thanks for clearing up the fox ear question! I just wish there could have been more sketches! But I have some photos to play with too, and plan to have some fun drawing the flamingos, even if I have to do it from photos. Are there these foxes where you live? Jana

      Like

  2. I’m glad you got your sketchbook back, and that we can see the sketches. I wonder how the animals feel about all the noise – no wonder the chinchilla is jittery!

    Like

  3. Fun sketches! So glad you got your sketchbook back.

    Like

  4. So glad you got the sketchbook back. I lost one on a trip last summer, very frustrating. Sounds like a fun day!

    Like

  5. I’m a believer of miracles(and in the goodness of people). We’ve experienced SO many times wallets being mailed to us, called on the phone, train cards being sent to us(we always lose things somehow) So, I’m so happy for you getting your book back! great sketches and flaminoges will be such fun to do…their colour and lines!
    Ronmell

    Like

  6. My second try at a comment(I wrote a long one and now you’re geting just a short one!)
    so glad you got your book back, I’m a firm believer of the goodness of people! And I’m looking forward to the flamingoes…very exotic they are!
    Ronell

    Like

  7. Jana – How lovely that someone handed in your sketchbook. It would have been such a temptation to keep it. Delightful sketches of your day.

    Actually I thought porcupines just used their quills for show until the other day. I went out to the farm to see a very large Tuscan porcupine in a cage awaiting transportation away from the vegetable garden. As the cage was in the sun and the porcupine looked so quiet he could have been dead – or asleep I decided to pull his cage into the shadow of a tree. Well I’ve never seen anything move so fast! Up came the quills as though on springs and two jabbed me deeply in the palm. It bled like mad – fortunately and hurt like fury, unfortunately. So I’d say sketch away but keep your distance.

    Like

    • Wow! How strange. They said that porcupines can’t shoot their quills anymore than we can shoot our our hair. I wonder if North American porcupines are more genteel than Tuscan ones. Hardly seems likely! But they were letting little kids pet him. I hope your hand is OK. Jana

      Like

  8. Your Quilson is very winsome. You are having fun with Mariah. What a great reason to go to places you might never go otherwise. Good thing you are a quick sketcher. The pace is pretty fast at 6 Flags. That is what the music and commercials are for – to keep you moving and buying more food. Did Mariah do any sketching?

    Like

    • Hi B. No, she wasn’t interested in sketching; she prefers drawing from her imagination than from life because drawing from life means you have to be good, and get it right, etc. I’m working on her, trying to help her see it’s about having fun drawing and looking, not about the finished drawing. Easier said than believed, I’m afraid, by most everyone!
      Jana

      Like

  9. No, Jana, we don’t have those Fennec Foxes in Australia (maybe a zoo?) They come from North Africa. Here, the only foxes are feral descendants of those shipped out from England for the Colonial Gentry to hunt. (It was really hard for me to be involved with Wildlife and love foxes!)

    Like

  10. Wow, just stumbled across your site, really like your work 🙂 There is something really beautiful about the rawness of a sketch, I often prefer them to ‘finished’ pieces. Great to see a fellow artist blog, I will keep checking you out !

    Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: