Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Face and Wing:





Cebah found this red bat in the maple tree in our yard back in the early 80s (this drawing isn't dated, but I think it's 81).
The face and wing are on a single sketchbook page. I think I drew it just because I was enchanted with how it looked, but what I learned by looking closely turned out to be useful. From this drawing forward, I understood how bats look, how the bones of their hands (front feet?) extend out to make the stretcher for the wing skin - how similar their noses are to the noses of pigs... even something about their personality. I can draw imagined bats and cut corners on their anatomy yet still instill a look of real batness. When I see them flitting around in the twilight, they have a dimension of familiarity, because I've looked very very closely at at least one. Drawing things is a form of visual love.

7 comments:

Apifera Farm said...

I once [I really hate to say thi] killed a bat out of complete freak out mode. I had lived in a bungalow in Mpls with a red tile roof, which the bats loved. I did a lot to bat proof my house, ut had a small colony. I am not a shrieker, love mice, pick up snakes, etc, but bats just make me screech [this was 2000 or so. I had one flying around my head, trying galantly to get to the window, and I just freaked. I killed it. But by so doing that, I was able to pick it up and really examine it - which helped me see it was a mouse [in ways] with wings - beutiful wings! Now if I find a baby bat in the barn dfallen from a high eave nest, I try hard to protect it from the cats, and I love picking the babies up - ok sort of love- but they can be controled in their newborn state.

Thank you for posting these drawings, and your comments. It will help me get ready for bat season. Just the other night one flew near my head at the chicken coop [early, but a warmish day].

Each year, I do better at not shrinking my head when they swoop around as we sit out in the cocktail hour.

You've also made me realize I should pick an old master to get better at drawing hands [which I suck at big time]

Dan Dutton said...

It took me a long time to get used to them flying into my sleeping loft. I'm still not totally down with it, but now I don't bury my head under the covers every time I hear that flitty-flutter sound. I know the reason that they're flying right above my face is that they're nabbing mosquitos drawn to the carbon dioxide I'm exhaling, but still - they are a little freaky. Eventually I put the mosquito curtain back up and that solves everything.

Now that you've brought it up, I think I'll post some hand drawings. It makes me wonder, too, which old master's hand drawings I like best - oh, I know. Everyone thinks of Michelangelo's Adam reaching up to touch God's finger - and that IS a lovely hand - but the one I like best is Titian's "Man with a glove". It's in the Louvre. I sat and looked at it all afternoon one day - amazing - it's in a room opposite the Mona Lisa, so everyone who came through crowded around that and no one even came close to the Titian - about a thousand times better in my book. I'm not fond of Da Vinci at all though, there's something coarse and show-offish about his work that I just can't get into. I would rather have one look at any Titian than to own any Da Vinci. Ha! Not that that's likely!

Cathy said...

These are amazing!

I like bats. The little ones in the studio looked so sweet hanging upside down.

Dan Dutton said...

I'm really proud that bats moved into my studio. The few people that they freak out really don't need to be in my place anyway - cuz the bats may be the least freaky thing living there... The bats are only there during part of the summer - so they have digs somewhere else the rest of the year - probably in a cave where the temperature is more controlled than it is in my place!

Apifera Farm said...

If one is sleeping in daytime, you can just tap it into a brown bag to move it. A bat expert taught me that. One thing about finding the babies,is you can closely examine them. Once you look at the wing, like you did, that I believe for me anyway, is when you fall in love with them.

I know all the benefits of them - but that swish sound, I still have to really focus no to squish down in my chair. Martyn just sits as usual.

Apifera Farm said...

yes, post hands! But then I need to do my part and practice.

Dan Dutton said...

I'll be yer ole master, honey, any day! Hands are up...