"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Monday, 15 March 2010

Squirrel Sketches

Last week apart from one day the weather was pretty bad.. 2 whole days of continuous rain put paid to my sketching plans at Leu.  The best I could do was to sit and watch the squirrels through the sliding glass door, eating the peanuts we put out for them on the balcony.

Yes, here in the land of a trillion oak trees we feed the squirrels. In the hard frosts and driving rain that has been this Florida winter we have taken pity on them and now they are as bold as brass and will come into the apartment if we leave the door open.

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It is a fair trade off. We get hours of entertainment watching them and they get delicious roasted peanuts. I read that raw peanuts are not good for them, apparently they get addicted to them in the same way we become alcoholics, but plain roasted ones are OK.


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They certainly love them. If there are no peanuts they will come to the glass door and peer in holding their paws up anxiously.

 

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Instead of scampering over the roof our fat squirrels are now thundering overhead and the sound of  the door opening in the morning has all the nearby bushes twitching with anticipation. As a bonus, the beautiful red cardinals come too.

I sat on the sofa with a sketchbook looking out through the window and tried to capture something squirrely about them. 

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They are delightful and always make me smile.This week I am back to the bees..

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Squirrel Sketches:


ss squirrel sketch blog

14 comments:

Dan said...

I love the way you do these - just a few lines and shading and you have a squirrel - you make it look so easy!

John said...

Yeah! Another squirrel lover!

I too know the thunderous pounding of paws overhead and can attest that New England squirrels share the same love of roasted peanuts as their southern cousins. When they dominate the bird feeders, I leave piles of sunflower seed about--keeps the critters off the feeders and the chickadees, titmice, and cardinals very happy.

Love that eyeing look on your watercolor, the essence of squirrel.

sharp green pencil said...

Hi there Dan.. well its all about confidence..oh and knowing when to leave it alone!...If you can get the eye right though you are halfway there.
I really overworked the colour one as I am a bit out of practice with the big brushes.
I am so looking forward to getting back to something bigger than a double O!.

John: yes I know we feel the same about them. They are so funny, a mixture of playful,indignant and very wary.. Chris is not a great pet person but think he would have them all living in the house if he could!

Mark Wilkinson said...

You've captured their character beautifully. Greys this side of the pond are thought of by some as pests, having usurped our native Reds (which takes us back to Squirrel Nutkin and Beatrix Potter!). Close by to us a black form is occasionally seen. My understanding is they originate from Canada and are escapees from an estate in Bedfordshire.

Melanie said...

Valerie, What delightful sketches You are very talented.

Ellen Rathbone said...

>sigh< How I wish I could draw. These are great sketches, and you managed to capture some of those great squirrel expressions.

cindee said...

Hi Val,
You seemed to capture the little blighter's spirit in a minimum of pencil strokes.
We have squirrels, and also cats (and two dogs) that like to chase them. Luckily, the squirrels are far to clever for them (except for "Stub" who was a little too slow and now has only a little of his tail left!).
Good Job!
Cindee

Nichole Campbell said...

These are darling! Although my black lab does not share my fondness of them! They love our backyard-I have even caught them napping (yes, literally napping) on our wooden bench under the maple tree!

Denise Hall said...

Your artwork is awesome. You give such detail in your work. You rock!

sharp green pencil said...

Hi there and thank you all for your comments. I have been tied up this week with the slow bee and endless admin.

Mark : I do love the squirrels there are more here than I have ever seen anywhere in the UK. They seem to have an infinite capacity for fun... I know lots of people regard them as pests.I would love to see a black squirrel ..photo please! :)
Thank you Melanie: Believe me.. not so much talented as years and years and YEARS of trying.

Thank you Ellen: I try to capture that look sometimes it is more by accident than design!

Cindee and Nichole: I laughed because your comments dropped into my inbox at almost the same time. .. Stub .. giggle . I like that and Nichole you must try and get a photo..
re dogs, I used to have a whippet lurcher who was as fast as lightening..sometimes it was a close run thing! and didnt you just love Dug in "UP"!! "squirrels"!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Your drawings are both descriptive and delightful!

sharp green pencil said...

Lisa and Robb.. thank you so much its lovely to get your comment from your bee friendly blog!

Gabrielle said...

I'm a little late in joining the throngs applauding your wonderful squirrel sketches that capture their capers so well. For some reason my ability to access the comments sections of a lot of blogs disappeared for a little while there. Weird. Anyway, better late than never. I LOVE the squirrel painting and your use of color in it. Beautiful!

sharp green pencil said...

Oh Gabrielle if we could count up the hours we spend wrestling with blogs and internet setting and printers etc etc
Thank you so much for your comment. The squirrels give us endless laughs and are very naughty.I really want to do more sketches of them and maybe a nice painting.... eventually!