Went to the Carnegie Museum of Art today and spent a short time in the "Fierce Friends" exhibit. I got intrigued by a painting of a father-son naturalist team who had accompanied Captain Cook on the round-the-world voyage beginning in 1772. By John Francis Rigaud, it shows the son about to draw a picture of a bird held by his father. The docent pointed out to children that the men were not in a studio or classroom, but in a landscape outside. I found myself thinking about the fact that Rigaud had probably painted this in his studio, so that after a point the idea of painting from life began to be at a level of remove from the direct observation.
Then I began to look around to see what I could observe directly: someone else drawing. I also drew the stuffed skin of one of the birds shown in the painting.
My notes on the drawing:
Painting of an artist drawing on Captain Cook's expedition - shows artist working in the field - palm trees and bay in background - looking at so[m]e bird spe[cimens, incl]uding a tui. Presumably the painting was done in the studio. I draw it here.
Someone else drawing - who moved - so I just have a note of it.
Artist using a field drawing tool - looks like pencil on one end and brush on the other.
(Artist scientist stitched up some invented birds as well.)
This is a skin of a tui - a real bird.