At The Zoo

Camels, Bronx Zoo
pen and ink and watercolor, 2016
9″ w x 8″ h

Drawings and paintings of live animals made on-site.

It is always a pleasure to go to the zoo the draw or paint. The play of light on an animal, and even small movements reveal the form under fur, feathers and scales. But it’s also a challenge since even a sleeping animal is always moving.

Because the places I draw and paint in are cramped, I stand as I work. I don’t paint from photographs because working directly from life is more exciting and requires me to work quickly and concentrate, to get to the essentials without over-thinking.

Some zoo visitors come over to talk and encourage me. They murmur to each other as they try to peer over my shoulder; they may even try to photograph the piece as I try to catch a pose before it’s gone. If things are going well, I am pleasant enough, but I get pretty grumpy if I’m struggling.

I painted most of these watercolors on all-media spiral books with hard covers. The drawings are mostly done in black ballpoint pen on soft-cover sketchbooks. Most of the papers are acid-free.

Golden Dart Frogs, American Museum of Natural History
pen and watercolor, 2014
Tundra, Bronx Zoo
watercolor on paper, 2012
10″ h x 8″ w
Tamarind, Central Park Zoo
ballpoint pen on paper, 2011
9″ h x 6″ w
Piranha, Centra Park Zoo
ballpoint pen and colored pencil on paper, 2011
6″ h x 9″ w
Parrot, Central Park Zoo
ballpoint pen on paper, 2011
12″ h x 9″ w
Lemur, Central Park Zoo
watercolor on paper, 2012
6″ h x 9″ w
Gus(4), Central Park Zoo
watercolor on paper, 2012
9″ h x 6″ w
Gus(2), Central Park Zoo
ballpoint pen on paper, 2012
9″ h x 6″ w
Gus(1), Central Park Zoo
ballpoint pen on paper, 2011
6″ h x 9″ w