Purple Squirrels and Multi-colored Squirrels blend fact, fantasy, whimsy and weirdness.
As a Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian,I am always glad to see whimsy validated by actual, genuine fact-based reporting. Thank you, Smithsonian. Wandering your halls a child was one magical trip after another. Now that I live in Minnesota, I rely on the magazine and the web.
Purple Squirrels, as you may know (from reading my old blog post) are candidates whose qualifications make them impossible to find, let alone recruit. Consider searching for the patent attorney licensed in four states and three countries who speaks four languages and holds 14 patents. Good luck finding her.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Giant Multi-colored Squirrels (Malabar Giant Squirrel) roam the forests of Southern India. Is this a case of fact catching up with whimsy or the collision of fact and whimsy, or something else? Where is Charles Darwin when we need him?
What luck for a Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian to live on a well-traveled path and flyway through my living room studio in Saint Paul, MN.
Robert The Tap Dancing Rooster famously stopped by for a portrait and some career counseling before heading off to Broadway to become the World’s First Tap Dancing Rooster. (I am still waiting for backstage passes.) Robert’s original portrait and prints are available at ETSY. His tribute to his idols, The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, is a Mug-with-three-Roberts, available at zazzle.com.
Now visiting the studio: 3 Cats and 11 Flamingos: an acapella group in search of a name (and snazzy outfits)
The 3 Cats and 11 Flamingo’s first gig is on New Year’s Eve, and they are finally getting close to having costumes for the show.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Knowing that show-quality singing isn’t created in 15 minutes after someone says “Hey Kids, let’s do a show,” but from consistent and dedicated hard work, they have been rehearsing for months. They have spent most of that time in a conference room in a large nearby animal shelter. Although you might imagine that the sound of 3 Cats and 11 Flamingos working out complex harmonies might have been unpleasant enough for someone to call the Sound Police, no one minded the noise.
Name this group, please.
What they need — desperately need — is a name. They have persuaded me to give a signed print of their portrait to the winning submitter of the group’s new name. On their behalf, I thank you. Please leave your suggestions in the COMMENTS box below.
The Cat Panel documents some of the ancestors of present-day Saint Paul Cats, including the Russian Blue and Striped Cats. Digging through my shapes-and-templates archive, I found a cat that I had used for a needlepoint piece, and for two of my very earliest cat paintings. What better cat to honor the Ancestors?
Cats represented here in body but without cat faces painted yet: striped, dot, Russian Blue, gray, black, brown.Friends of the Cats
Like all of the panels, this one has both hummingbirds (across the top) and frogs (across the bottom).
What about the faces?
Rendering the cat faces is the next challenge, and I can’t do too much navel-gazing about it. Unlike the Great Cave Owl, who sat on my easel for six months while I practiced painting owl faces, this piece is for a show that opens in a few weeks. (Join us for the Celebration on Saturday October 18 from 6 to 9 at the Grain Belt Bottling House.)
A piggish experiment.
One thought is to make the faces even more 3D than the “cave gesso” provides. This pig is my first experiment. Using Golden Brand Light Molding Paste, is an interesting idea, but I am a 2-D artist who has always thought that sculpture was an inaccessible magical skill.