About the MotmotExploring the natural world with pencil and paper from high atop a one-story bungalow in the middle of Oklahoma. Currently on sabbatical in Copenhagen, Denmark, until December, 2014.
While we drew the okapis today at the Copenhagen zoo, my friend told me a startling story. Okapis are rare African forest-dwelling relatives of the giraffe and sensitive animals. Very sensitive. Twenty years ago the Royal Theatre staged a performance at the zoo of selections from Wagner’s Tannhauser. They were just practicing their high notes when one of the nearby okapis, a six-year-old female named Katanda, came unglued.
Wagner can have that effect on people, too.
In the enclosure with us a portable boom box provided a little music for the okapis. They seemed fine with the musical choice. It was rock and roll.
No foxes were hunted during today’s annual Hubertus Hunt in the great Deer Park forest at Klampenborg, just north of Copenhagen. In fact, the deer were laying low, too. But steeples were chased, if I’m getting that right, and the race was glorious. The grand horses, the elegant riders, the beautiful fall day all came together with throngs of lovely people and their dogs, too. Someone won, someone else fell off their horse into cold water and someone’s horse stalled at one jump and took courage at the next.
Urban and travel sketching was in the news yesterday, to my surprise and delight. Luis Simoes, a Portuguese artist, is on a 5 year mission to sketch his way around the world. He talks about his experiences and the purpose of of slow travel via sketchbook:
“What I’ve learned is I have time to see things, to see the culture passing by. I can be in one spot for three hours maybe, it gives me the time to feel more.
Which sums up the practice very nicely. He also talks about sketching as a cultural ice-breaker, which is tremendously useful at times (like the time someone sent a drink to my table in Florence where I was sketching. At least, I think that was the reason).
It made me very happy to see sketching, and a great sketcher, featured in mainstream news, and I hope it inspires people to pick up sketchbooks and go for it. You don’t have to travel around the world to make it work, either. You can try this at home.
And Happy Anniversary, Antman!