For years, I’ve been bringing dead raccoons home to bury them in a makeshift pet cemetery. It is a nice thing to do for them, and it provides a safe way for me to interact with them.
I recently started a new taxidermy experiment. I’m not so interested in stuffing them at this point (although I would love to own some stuff raccoons), but I AM interested in their bones.
Instead of burying them and reclaiming the bones later, I am trying a new approach, which is to keep them in a cage above ground until they fully decompose.
The photo below is from a few weeks ago. Living in such a rural place has been a big advantage. There is a sad abundance of dead raccoons, and the nearest neighbors are far enough away that smell hasn’t been an issue.
I introduced meal worms to the bodies shown above. Once the bones are exposed, I’ll put them in a box with more meal worms, as they are supposed to rapidly clean the bones. My cage has successfully frustrated visiting vultures and other critters.
I will make 3D scans of my clean bones. I’ll process those scans into .stl files, which I can then print using a MakerBot or similar (as I do with action figures).
I’ll have new, plastic skeletons to use in my work. They can be armatures, charters or sculptures.
These plastic skeletons totally reminded me of Ray Harryhausen’s work. I “merged” several figures by melting them together. I’m still not sure what to do with them – below is a simple diorama test. I opted to NOT draw the details on the background. I think it would work better with that detail, and I may add it later.
Something new – I found this Tea Forté box (stainless steel, no less). The tea is nice, too – this is the Blueberry Merlot. My friend Jeanne gave me some small lights to experiment with – the inside of this is so bright. Once again, I don’t think I did a great job photographing it. But, you can see how it works. Looking through the coffins, you have a glimpse into the Land of the Dead.
So great! I’m very happy with this piece.
The Dance of Death unites us all. In the end, we are all bones. This scene takes place in a Trader Joes “Green Tea Mints” box. Paganini has made an appearance and is overseeing the festivities.
This is another exceedingly difficult scene to capture with a point-and-shoot camera.
Painting is the wilderness for me. It’s one of the things on this year’s TODO list. So far, I think I like acrylics more than watercolors. Here’s a gal out enjoying the wilderness (please scroll down to see the scale I’m working at):
Here she is with a dime, for scale:
And, in the spirit of “release, release, release,” here are some other things I worked on today.
Raise no more devils than you can lay down.
A room without a view:
Better The Devil You Know
I apologize for the low quality of my images. All of this stuff looks better in real life. I need to find a solution to my scanner, I think. Happy Illustration Friday.