Zoo Doodles

Since things have a way of keep on keeping on, I’ll share with you some good times we had at the zoo a few months back.

You guys, Texas is hot.  I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s really hot.  It’s the kind of hot that makes me never want to leave the house.  But one weekend, the husband & I heard it’d be a bit cooler that normal (a tiny bit less than “sweltering”) and left the house early to take Myla to the Austin Zoo.  I like the Austin Zoo because it’s a rescue center, and it’s so small that you can get pretty close and personal with the animals there.

Ages ago, I suggested to Myla that we bring our sketchbooks on a zoo trip.  We did, and we had a great time.  She remembered that this time, and asked me could we please please bring our sketchbooks again?  And, since I really really love when she asks me for easy things, I said yes, of course we could.

We made a bit of a game of sitting and stopping and drawing the animals.  The giant tortoise was out & about, most likely wondering if we had any more lettuce, but also just as likely looking at us thinking, “what are they DOING?”

zoo 1Myla and I sat there for quite a while, politely sketching him (or her).  We complimented him (or her) on its shell and all of it’s lovely bumpy skin.

We sat and drew a bear cub rolling around with some chickens and a duck.  And although she was a little annoyed that they wouldn’t hold still (“Hey duck!  Stop moving around!”), she used her imagination to draw them for the most part, anyway…

zoo 2(PS: Since the husband came along, it was a nice change to have photos with BOTH me and Myla in them!)

The tiger was out, totally passing up her pile of meat to come over and check us out…and then sauntered over to a shady area for a nap.

zoo 4Myla drew the “three little bears,” as we watched the bear cubs getting fed, and playing hide and seek for their veggies.  Myla continued to “collect” animals in her sketchbook.  “OH! a parrot!  I haven’t gotten a parrot yet!”

Most times, collecting the animal wasn’t as important as using it to create something else.  When we found the serval, she gave it spikes and a dragon tail…because: REALITY.

zoo 3It didn’t really matter WHAT the drawings looked like.  In fact, everything I drew ended up as just a little strip of a tiger stripe, or a rough doodle of the turtle’s eye.  What I really enjoyed was watching HER excitement, and seeing things through her eyes.  “WOW, mom!  That pig is so big and cool and guhSKUSTING!”

And we also took time to put the sketchbooks down a bit and look around at all the beautiful things, and enjoy just being together.

zoo 5…And then it got really really hot, and we went home.

But hey–you’ve got to find smiles in the little things!  Those little things are truly what leave the biggest memories.

And it doesn’t have to be the zoo–It can be a walk down the street, kicking rocks and catching grasshoppers.  It can be the crunch of leaves with each step on a walk through the forest.  It can be in your backyard, drawing daisies, or splashing paint on paper.

You can try it right now!  You can try it when the kids get home from school.  You can try it alone, or with a friend.

Enjoy the little things, and be glad that they’re there…

51c3daf2609dc763336f17489134b8d9

5 responses

  1. What a lovely post! Back in Britain, each of my boys had a sketchbook they would take with them on trips to the zoo, art gallery or museum and we would all sketch. It was great fun. Once in a modern art gallery, they attracted a small crowd who gathered around to watch them draw. They loved that. I had totally forgotten to transfer that tradition to our new context. We draw a lot at home but I need to get them small sketchbooks so we can get back to drawing when we are out and about. Thanks for the prod.

  2. love is in the small moments…nice post.

  3. So-o-o sweet — such happy times. Thank you for bringing back memories of years ago, when I’d take my artistic niece out sketching. She was probably about Myla’s age. We went to the zoo to draw the otters, to the local museum to draw the sculpture, to the riverfront to draw the ducks… She’s in her thirties now, and the mother of a happy, creative, and self-confident little boy.

  4. I seriously LOVE that idea, both as an ex-kindergardenteacher and as an (more or less) artist! Basic education in arts and perception with no pressure and lots of fun :-). And the last bit with “don’t ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives” YES! Wish my parents had known this one ^^

  5. Very cool 🙂

    Can’t wait to see the sketches of me and my doggies.!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: