Friday, 11 March 2022

Black Squirrel

I've got very behind with blog posts recently as I've been so busy.  I've been working on some new designs and also experimenting with oil painting, which I'm really enjoying.  I'll begin by showing you this new card, which arrived today.  It features one of the melanistic black squirrel's that we have in our village of Milton, just north of Cambridge.

I've done a bit of research about them and they were first spotted in the wilds of Bedfordshire around 1912 and were believed to have been escapees from a private zoo, who had imported them as a curiosity from America.  They are in fact grey squirrels with a missing piece of DNA affecting their pigment gene.

They have gradually spread out as far as Cambridgeshire and we regularly have three visit our garden, now seeing them more frequently than the greys.  The card is a reproductions of my original drypoint print.  The texture of the fur was created using the à la poupée method, where one inks up the plate directly with the colour, almost like a mono-print.  The berries are chine collé; torn pieces of hand-coloured Japanese paper that adheres to the surface of the paper at the same time as printing.  The colour in the branches is straight forward watercolour!

Our village Post Office has been stocking my cards for almost a year now, so you can buy them there or directly from my shop.  Thanks to local photographer, David May, for the photo reference of the squirrel taken in Milton Country Park, which also featured on the cover of the Village View this month.