Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Dray Of Squirrels by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Daily Doodle: Demon Squirrel
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.
Demon squirrel strikes again!
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.

Bad Squirrel
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).
Daily Doodle: Squirrel Attack
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:
Bad Squirrel
Squirrels have also infiltrated my webcomics! Here's a strip from my semi-autobiographical comic, My Life In A Nutshell:
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.


  1. Dude, your squirrels and the squirrel cabal from my backyard are probably two arms of the same evil corp. It's serious ugly out there.

  2. I don't do Facebook. But I want a copy of that squirrel book when it comes out *g*...

    Did I tell you about the badger Mafia? And the squirrels which stole the nuts in the squirrel-proof cage AND the cage itself (obviously so they could work on it with power tools)?

  3. Luv it Debbie! However, I will keep in mind that if I DO happen to come back in another life as a squirrel to avoid your neighborhood. I find it much easier to love squirrel watching not owning a house or having a garden (apartment herb window garden...just let em try)! I may be the only one in the neighborhood who put birdseed out for the squirrels this last winter.

  4. I love the little acrylic painting! To cute ... but your bio strip is hilarious. When will it be syndicated??