Month: June 2015

Tropical Saltwater Fish Sketchbook: Bellus Angelfish!

Bellus Angelfish, © 2015 Liz Vitale

Bellus Angelfish, © 2015 Liz Vitale

I thought, well, what the heck, why not learn about saltwater tropical fish, too? Going slightly in ABC order, I decided to pick out a member of the angelfish family first.

These fish are amazing in that they not only exhibit some intense sexual dimorphism (male and female are colored differently) but they are also Protogynous Hermaphrodites. This term refers to organisms that are born female and at some point in their lifespan change sex to male(Protandrous hermaphrodites are organisms that are born male and at some point in their lifespan change sex to female). But, the Bellus can even change back from male to female, their original sex.
What is the benefit of this behavior?

Protogynous hermaphrodites are most often fish that form harems– one male overseeing numerous females for life.  The two main roles of the male are to defend its territory against other males, and to court and fertilize his females.  If the male dies, either from natural causes or combat-related injuries, the harem’s dominant female will undergo a sex change from female to male, which can take as little as 5 days. The new male takes over all responsibilities of the previous male until his own passing.

Halloween Sketchbook: Spare Ribs!

Spare Ribs, © 2015 Liz Vitale

Spare Ribs, © 2015 Liz Vitale

When I was in high school,I was not in the band, but I was friends with band members and someone convinced me I should help with their Trail of Terror fundraiser during Halloween on year. I did and loved it, and I participated every year until we graduated.
One year I had a particularly ambitious project to make a ghost horse that I would strap onto my body and ride, with false legs hanging over the sides. Named Spare Ribs, the horse was made of a cardboard box for his body and I sculpted a foam head and covered him with I think about 2 miles worth of shredded sheet pieces. In the end, since I was dressed as a sort of ghoul anyway,I didn’t need the legs..Spare RIbs and I ended up being sort of an enormous shredded-looking ghostly blob out in the woods in the darkness, and that worked pretty well. 🙂

Carousel Art: Walt Disney World Carousel Indian Brave Mount!

I’ve been scanning some old photos, and one of them led me to start some posts and artwork dealing with carousels. If an amusement park has a carousel, no matter how big, small, how long the line, etc., I am going to ride it or bust. I love them. Such is the case with the Carousel at  Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando.

Liz Brave Horse 2014 sm

2014. 😀

My absolute favorite horse on this carousel is one with an Indian brave theme. Having both Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, that might be the reason I am always drawn to it. It is the only one like it I have ever seen on the carousel at a time. Sometimes it can get ugly for me to get this horse when I’m ready to ride..:)

The horses are regularly removed and freshened up with new paint jobs and any repairs needed; after all the years of continuous use, the horses look so pristine because they are regularly being swapped out. Spare horses are always behind the scenes as the horses go through a refinishing and repainting process.The craftswoman who supervised and maintained the Walt Disney World carousel for more than 20 years was a talented craftswoman named Isle Voght. Disney removed her from that responsibility eventually, but she managed to put in writing much of the history of the carousel.


Monster Monday: Old Engraving, “Demon Summoned by a Witch”

“Demon Summoned by a Witch”, from an old engraving, © 2015 Liz Vitale

While looking through Google results of “monster engravings”,I came upon this wonder. There was a witch kneeling in front of the three-headed creature, but I left her off. This is one of the strangest conjunctions of heads I have ever seen on a monster; a bird’s head with a forked tongue, a man-like head, and a head that looks quite like an otter’s.
it’s been a lot of fun drawing like the old engravings; it really makes me focus on just how many small lines go into shadowing a particular area.

The Cosmographia Unaversalis is an amazing compilation of books by Sebastian Munster; he and I would have gotten along swimmingly, judging by our interests. Not only is the Cosmographia Unaversalis full of maps of faraway places, but the books are loaded with a wide variety of subjects: “portraits of kings and princes, costumes and occupations, habits and customs, flora and fauna, monsters, wonders, and horrors”.