As I am about two months out from my Mongolia trip, I’ve decided to consolidate my blog posts to Monday and then do quick updates as needed on other days of the week. For the next few months, most posts are going to have Mongolia content as I share my preparations and, with luck, the trip itself.
I have my plane tickets and will be leaving on July 5, staying overnight in Seoul, Korea and arriving in Ulaanbaatar on the afternoon of the 7th. I’ll be taking the local United Express flight to San Francisco, Asiana to Seoul and MIAT to UB, and doing it in reverse without the overnight for my return on July 30. My current plan is to attend the National Naadam celebration in UB and then, in some order still to be determined, spend a day or two at Hustai seeing the takhi, travel to the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve and the Baga Gazariin area to explore the argali habitat in those places, with hopes that I will be able to see and photograph them.
The one “appointment” that I have is to be at Ikh Nartiin Chuluu the week of the 20th for three days of meetings with the herder women to discuss their ideas for a crafts cooperative, which I plan to support. For this purpose, and for other projects that might come up in the future, I have established a non-profit association, Art Partnerships for Mongolian Conservation (APMC). Our mission will be to use the arts to promote conservation in Mongolia. My 501(c)3 sponsor is the Denver Zoological Foundation, which has set up an account for me so that donations made to APMC are tax-deductible. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SKETCHING VS. DRAWING
Last week I said that I would do a book review of an excellent “drawing” book. I got it out recently to use as a guide for honing my field sketching techniques for the upcoming Mongolia trip (see how it’s all dovetailing?). It’s called “Fast Sketching Techniques” by David Rankin, who, as it happens, won an AFC Flag Expedition Grant a couple of years ago to travel to the source of the Ganges River in India, one of his most favorite countries. He, dare I say it, draws a very useful distinction between drawing and sketching and does it in a way that I think encourages people to pick up a pencil and paper and give it a go.
Here’s where you can find it on Amazon, but it looks like it has gone out print, so you might end up with a good used copy. I highly recommend it. Here are a few pages to give you an idea of David’s approach. He is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, has been in every major wildlife art show multiple times and is an excellent teacher and “critiquer”. In short, he knows his stuff.
Next week, I’ll have post some of the sketch work I’ve been doing in order to get up to speed for the real thing.