Off To The Aquarium Again

My goodness.  It’s the middle of August and we didn’t make it to 60F yesterday.  Seems the arctic is warming faster than the equator, as predicted by scientists, and causing some ‘interesting’ trends around our old planet.  While those around 30-degrees north are experiencing extreme droughts and high temps, those of us closer to 45-degrees north are losing our summers and getting an excess of rainfall as jet stream oscillations are increasing…as predicted.

And so it was yesterday when Fernande, Claudette and I needed a place to sketch.   The Quebec aquarium is an ideal spot for sketchers because it is full of both indoor and outdoor subjects.  And stupid me, in spite of the weather, I still wore shorts.  For the most part, on this day, we remained indoors.

I want to master sketching sea anemones.  I find them quite beautiful.  Members of the Coelenterata, these guys feed themselves with tentacles full of tiny little spears that capture plankton in the water.  They’re a paradox of an animal as they don’t move and yet are in constant motion.  Their foot is forever attached to the substrate and they wave their tentacles constantly, giving this sketcher fits trying to draw the tentacles.  Here’s my meager attempt.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10x7), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

One of the amazing creatures of the sea is the Nautilus.  No, not the submarine, the animal.  They are Cephalopods, related to octopuses (octupii?) and squids.  And while the octopuses and squids have mostly lost their ‘shells’, the Nautilus seems to want us to know that they went to math school by sporting a shell that follows a beautiful Fibornacci spiral.  It’s truly an animal designed to be drawn.  Here’s mine.  I was cold when I finished.  Darn shorts.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10x7), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

As we ate lunch we noticed the skies clearing a bit.  Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but Claudette wanted to sketch outdoors so we did.  Claudette and Fernande were dressed properly.  Did I mention that I was wearing shorts?

I don’t function well when I’m cold so I knew I couldn’t sketch anything too complex but there are a bunch of really fun playground toys and most look like great subjects for sketches so I tried this one, a little submarine that kids get in and ‘drive’.  It was fun.  I was cold.

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10x7), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

In all, we had a great day.  We’ve got annual passes to the aquarium and we’ll be using them a lot over the next few months.  It’s a great place to draw.  Why don’t you come along?

4 Responses to “Off To The Aquarium Again”

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  1. lynne howard says:

    Well Larry I find all these sketches and the background story behind them most interesting and so well done!!!!! I truly always enjoy your sketches and information. I have learned do much from you in this short time on Facebook after joining the 75 sketch. You were such a great help there as well. Thank you! I’ll keep enjoying your work for a long time.

  2. Tina says:

    Sorry to hear your “summer” is a bit fall-like already. . . and sounds like you are in denial! 😉 Great sketches, regardless. I love anemones, too — the way they move in the water is so ethereal.

    – Tina

    • You may be right, though I’m not sure what I’m denying. Our temps are supposed to climb back into the ‘normal’ range starting tomorrow. Hope so as we’re heading down the south coast of the St. Lawrence on Wednesday for a sketching adventure. Can’t wait.

      Cheers — Larry