Friday, July 8, 2011

Tassel Eared Squirrel

The Conversationalist in a Contemplative Moment,
oil on panel, 10 x 8 inches.

Here's the latest piece in my Horizontal Brothers series.  Can you tell that I am slowly wending my way through John Muir's collected works?  This little guy is an Albert's Squirrel or Tassel-Eared Squirrel.  They shed their ear tassels in the summer.  The painting is a portrait of a being I see frequently in Bear Canyon, near the Randall Davey Audubon Center.  He lives pretty far back in the canyon, in a huge ponderosa pine.  When I run by, he makes a loud noise, usually by pushing something out of the tree, which always gets my attention.  Then he comes down and poses for me, often with hands on hips, giving me hell in squirrelspeak.   I placed him in a snowy setting to protect him from the forest fires that are still burning to the North and West.  I have begun work on another squirrel I see frequently at the Audubon Center, a ground squirrel who is much more shy.   

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