Still, it was a fun time. Next time I will bring Neil, who had been hoping to come along but found himself feeling sick all weekend.
The museum has an extensive collection of animals (mostly stuffed, obviously, except for the bugs which skitter around in all their multilegged glory), which are fun to draw. Mostly I try to draw animals from life, which is challenging because they are almost always moving. Last year I became interested in bird watching, so I had a great time seeing their bird collection and trying to identify some of the birds I had seen but not confirmed.
For the first half hour I actually found myself trapped in the crafts area with a group of children who were doing a bird-colouring workshop. I had been lured in by the owl and snow bunting, neither of which I've seen in the wild, and they closed the door on me! The kids have a much shorter attention span than I do, though, and they were done with their birds long before I was done with mine.
This jingle dress is from the early 1990s. It reminds me of my school days, when we would occasionally have native dancers at the school assemblies.
After lunch I took another turn through the nature dioramas, which I had also rushed through at the beginning. The part that I like the best is that the paintings behind the dioramas all come from real places around Alberta. It makes me want to fly out to Fort Smith and hike the Slave Rapids Trail. There's a lot of stuff up north that I would love to see, with a little bit of camping know-how and a lot of bug spray.
Anyway, I had to draw a mountain goat for Neil:
We've only seen mountain goats once in real life, driving somewhere along the Icefield Parkway between Jasper and Banff. We got really lucky that time because they were right by the side of the road, there was a herd of them, and they had kids with them. And then... nothing. You can always see bighorn sheep, but good luck seeing a goat.
Fun fact: mountain goats are not actually closely related to true goats. They have their own genus within the goat-antelope family.
I also sketched some mule deer.
Bonus sketche: a few days later I was hanging around the house and wanted to draw some still life. This is a pair of salt and pepper shakers Neil's parents gave us for Christmas. They are very silly! Also, rather challenging to sketch.