... the past several weeks have been absolutely gorgeous here. The temperatures are comfortable, the sky is clear and blue, and most important, the sun is shining. It would be a sin to let these precious days go to waste so when I am not working, I am out on the new bicycle. When I go out riding during the day, I always have my backpack strapped on. It's sort of a "traveling studio" that I load with a sketchbook, a pencil pouch, a folder (containing a fresh legal pad), a digital camera, and something relevant to read.
... when I say "relevant reading material", I mean something related to the animation process. Usually, the subject matter is something tied to the "non-drawing" element of animation, such as storytelling or film making. I have several great reference books related to that subject and I'm devouring them in the cafes and parks along my route. It's not unusual for me, at some point during a ride, to end up on the campus of the University of Michigan to take advantage of the endless resources available there.
... The Museum of Natural History is a favorite destination and I visit often. Here is an interesting photo essay about a restoration project involving the Puma's that grace the museums entrance. In fact, I visit the museum so frequently that I was able to watch staff members put together a Mastadon skeleton on the first floor. Don't even try to get near the dinosaur exhibit on a weekday during the regular schoolyear. You will be fighting for a view with hoardes of schoolkids from all over the state! This is even more interesting because they recently uncovered another Mastadon skeleton in a field within walking distance of my childhood home.
... I also enjoy visiting the University of Michigan Museum of Art. It has become my habit to explore the exhibitions, become enamored and obsessed with the display and return to view it again. I discover something new on the next visit and it becomes my new obsession! There is enough inside this museum to keep me content while the Detroit Institute of the Arts undergoes a much needed renovation!