Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lots of Portraits, and Victorian Ladies' Doctor Dolls: All Caught Up

 Chickens are a big presence around M and A's house in NH.  These three were picking around their yard where one chicken had been recently killed and then abandoned by a predator.  M was doing an experiment to see if the chickens would bury the dead hen.
On the right you can see the desiccated remains of the hen after a couple of days of insects doing their thing and hens picking off the insect larvae and at the same time burying the hen in a dust bowl. Interesting little food cycle there, the kind of thing I try to not think about I guess, but nevertheless a part of nature.  On the top left is Bill, the family bearded dragon.  I like the little hen at the bottom who is seeking some shade under the chicken house.  M gave in and buried the hen in a deep grave after three days.  But by then the hen was dry and small and nearly buried anyway.  Interesting.
One afternoon we went over to a friend's house so the kids could go swimming.  Her yard was so beautiful.  She had a little pasture for a small donkey and another horse;  and on the other side of the yard was a walking trail that had been mowed into a wild flower field and that had a grass-covered, velvety smooth surface to walk on.  We paced it off and found it to be exactly a tenth of a mile;  so we decided to run around it ten times.  Meanwhile B collected goldenrod ball galls and afterward his dad explained the whole ball gall process while we dissected a gall and found a small larvae.
M took all the kids down to a small lake at the end of the road, and they all clambered down the rocks and swam around while I drew the lake.  That night T and I organized a Wide Game and coerced everyone into playing.  As it grew very dark, all eight of us ran around the field behind the house we were staying in (next door).  So much fun!  We all enjoyed playing so much that we did it again the next night too.
Here's a map of the neighborhood and also the rules we worked out for our Wide Games.
Saturday afternoon we went to the Montshire Museum, a favorite excursion.  Unusual for this trip, I was actually able to draw some fish at the museum.
Before we went to the museum, T wanted us to go to some yard sales.  I hit gold at the second one.  It was held in the carriage house of a bed and breakfast where we used to stay before the house next door became available.  The woman who owns it was selling off her husband's collection of stuff.  I found in a box of random objects these very small (shown life-size here) dolls that were labeled "Victorian Ladies' Doctor Dolls", and the owner told me these were used by women when they had to go to a doctor.  Doctors weren't allowed to disrobe women patients, and women couldn't bring themselves to talk about their bodies;  so they would point (with some kind of stylus probably) to the afflicted body part and the doc would then prescribe whatever drug was in favor.  The larger doll is from Germany and is made of clay, but was used for the same purpose.  These remind me of the Charlottes, and I was so excited to find them.
I drew T while he was playing the piano for me.  He plays wonderfully.
T's hands at top left, and B on the right playing one of his own compositions,  eerie,  in a minor key.
L has played guitar for several years, and it took me three drawings to begin to draw him because I was mainly just listening to him play.  He has great concentration and tone.
Back to Maplewood after a great week.  Nate was waiting for us and ready for another assault on Manhattan.
This time we kept it simple, just the Museum of Natural History.  One of N's favorite exhibits was this house made of mammoth bones.  We also saw a 3D film about undersea life.  On the train on the way home I drew the contents of Nate's man bag:  the wooden stick from some space candy that Maya bought for him;  two straws from Auntie Annie's in Penn Station that he used in his bottles of water;  four brochures from the museum;  a NJT timetable;  his notebook, and a crayon.
And to finish up, airport people at EWR.

1 comment:

  1. Love the drawings Gwen, especially the wheel barrow.