Sock Buffalo

© Mikayla Butchart
Here are some things I know about buffalo: they have beards and front pants and they're shaped like socks. This (a) makes me want to snuggle them (but because they're also full of muscles and horns and danger, instead I just visit the bison paddock in Golden Gate Park quite a bit and use them in my art a lot) and (b) makes them well suited to sock sculpture.

I made this sock buffalo out of new hiking socks and old towels based on my own design. Admittedly I made him a long while ago, but the towels that give him his wooliness also make him unravelly, so he's fresh from a tune-up. If I had my way, the actual species would sit like dogs, too.

Around here he's known as Mark of the Beasts. Here's a better look at his button nostrils and the forest where he dwells.

© Mikayla Butchart



gouache painting of a coin purse, still life, mikayla butchart, watercolor
© Mikayla Butchart

The difficulty in being a freelancer, at least in my industries, is that you're not paid right away; you have to wait patiently for your invoices to process through the great accounting machine we're all beholden to while you slowly starve to death. So while I was worrying about the rent that is due this coming weekend and calculating how many days in a row I can have hot cocoa for dinner, I found some forgotten-about, folded-up bills in my coin purse, and it has my affection for the afternoon. Of course I spent all of this modest windfall right away taking my friends out for coffee, so I've been eyeing other inanimate objects in my house, hoping one will come forward with some mislaid cash in exchange for me painting its portrait. I'm looking at you, couch cushions!



© Mikayla Butchart
My extended family lost a person last night. Inyata was the boyfriend of my stepsister, to use a shorthand we don't use in real life, and the father of their nineteen-month-old daughter, Chloe. I didn't get to know him very well, but I see him and his little family a few times a year when I go north to my dad's for the holidays. Inyata was sweet and vibrant, an enthusiastic, binding member of our extended family with all its growing pains, and he was a smitten and doting new parent. He collapsed suddenly after a basketball game and could not be revived. He was 27.