Drawing elephants in Thailand

Monday, April 01, 2013

 I kicked off the trip with a visit to the Elephant Nature Park. The week I spent 2 years ago volunteering was the best week of my life so the expectations were high.

I couldn't commit to the full week so instead did 4 days/3 nights. Rather than treating me like a volunteer, I participated in the visitor activities like feedings, bathings, and taking walks. By the second day, I was itching to get my hands dirty, but they already had more than enough volunteers so there was no work for me to do. I found myself a little disappointed about how the visit was going. Then I bumped into Jodi! She's an American tattoo artist who visited the park 8-9 years ago and never left. She now lives and works in the park. I connected with her during my first visit to donate a painting to the park. I reintroduced myself and hot diggity, she remembered me! She asked if I'd been drawing much, and I said not as much as I'd like, and she invited me to a drawing date with her and the elephants tomorrow morning. So, for the next couple days, I spent my time out on the field with Jodi's guidance, just us, our painting supplies and the elephants. Here are the results:
It was a great experience! One elephant even started posing for us once she realized we were drawing them. So cute. On more than a few occasions, the elephants would wander over to us in search of food. I can't describe how tremendous it felt to put my pencil down to touch the trunk of a wandering, curious elephant or move my extended legs because it was in the way of an elephant's path. After 8 hours of sketching, my sketchbook was half-full.

On to the next stop, Chiang Mai & Phrao, Thailand.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...