Wednesday, May 25, 2011
A Dray Of Squirrels by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
As some of you may already know, I've been working on a squirrel picture book in addition to my other projects. Yes, I know there are already squirrel picture books out there! But this is a book that I -have- to write. And illustrate, of course.
As I work on the story, I've been doing a lot of squirrel sketches. A "dray," by the way, is the term used for the collective noun. And no, I had no idea until I looked it up just before I wrote up this post.
Many of my friends know that I have a love-hate relationship with the neighborhood squirrels. Well...mostly hate, but still. It's inevitable that I'd eventually want to draw them.
One of the best-known squirrels in children's lit right now is the Scaredy Squirrel picture book series by Melanie Watt. As cute as Scaredy is, it's clear that Melanie has not encountered the type of squirrels that live in MY neighborhood!
We've lost power and Internet access because of squirrels. I'm sure they do it on purpose, wanting to foil my mission to warn the world about the Evil Of All Things Squirrelly.
They pull up seedlings I've lovingly nurtured through early spring, tossing them aside to shrivel in the sun. They nip the blooms off my bulbs. They dig deep holes all over the garden as their microscopic brains struggle to remember where they buried their nuts.
I've had squirrels invade my office space, skittering back and forth along the duct work in the ceiling above my head, chewing for hours on heavens-knows-what (though some kind of supporting structure, I'm sure).
Anyway, squirrels have certainly inspired much of my artwork. While 99.9% of my work is digital, I've actually been motivated to do an actual Real Life (*gasp*) acrylics mini-painting:
Squirrels have also infiltrated my webcomics! Here's a strip from my semi-autobiographical comic, My Life In A Nutshell:
And I think that's enough squirrel images for today.
Next time: a post from the fabulous Fred Koehler!
-- Debbie Ridpath Ohi
p.s. I started a Facebook Fan Page on the weekend! I'd be tickled and grateful if you'd consider adding it to your Facebook Likes list: Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Author & Illustrator.