Galapagos Mistaken Identity

One place I’ve always wanted to go is to the Galapagos. Since reading articles in the National Geographic as a child, I’ve longed to see the islands that inspired Mr. Darwin’s insight into the evolution of species. I loved the stories of early naturalists sailing around the world, recording their observations in drawings and journals, and felt I was born far too late.

I’ve still not been there, but when I saw that the Inktober prompt word for yesterday was “rock”, I set my mind wandering to find some way I could express that word with animals, following the theme I’ve been working with for Inktober. The Galapagos Tortoise came to mind as the most rocklike animal I could think of! But while I was poking around the internet looking for picture reference, I found some pictures of the Blue Footed Booby as well, and knew I had to include one of those!

The clownish, waddling-dancing Booby was the perfect foil for the stolid, deliberate Tortoise, both endearing in their own ways. I took some anthropomorphic liberties with a potential meeting and came up with this:

Inktober 2016 8-9.jpg

It took me two days to do this. Actually it took about an hour, but sometimes with these daily challenges you have to be realistic and cut yourself some slack when you are truly overloaded. Yesterday I was teaching a watercolour class all day, after a night of patchy sleep, came home and caught an hour’s doze, and went out again to play a contra dance gig with my band—by the time I got home, all I was fit for was doing a bit of research for my idea! But I continued it today, in between baking pumpkin pies and going to a lovely feast with my neighbours, and feel satisfied to have squeezed some art into my day.

Art challenges are wonderful things, intended to encourage a regular art-practice habit. But they are also intended to be fun. If you are doing one, and have to miss a day for whatever reason, don’t let it throw you off, and don’t feel guilty—get back to it whenever you can, and you will find your own rhythm. I may have to add another day to finishing this book (or maybe I’ll have a day where I feel like doing two drawings in it!), but I remind myself that it’s my challenge, and I’m doing it to refresh my enjoyment of being in the studio (after months of working to deadline) by generating positive, relaxed vibes around drawing.

Steady and slow like the Tortoise, but dancing and joyful like the Booby—that’s the ticket!


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