The Alphapets Too pet portrait project this week is brought to you by the letters I, J, K and L. Here’s my abecedarian poem to go with these letters and artwork :
Itsy is happy to sit on a twig
Jojo jumps when trying to jig
Kane keels over when putting on pants
Libby looks sideways while hoping to glance
I did portraits of a green tree frog, a Pacific jumping mouse (also known as a western/woodland jumping mouse), a jerboa and a chameleon.
Tiny green tree frogs look like little living jewels to me. So as I painted Itsy I hung the letter “I” like a pendant.
My inspiration for Jojo was having seen the Pacific jumping mouse on my past woodland hikes in the Pacific Northwest. If I’m quick enough, on hikes, to freeze when I see movement out of the corner of my eye I’ll get to see more of the mouse. The mice can jump about 9 feet so when encountering one during a walk they give the impression of a tiny bird trying to fly up from the ground. If the mouse is jumping forward to travel it almost seems like someone trying to do a hopping dance.
While researching the Pacific jumping mouse I came across the jerboa. The jerboa is similar to the Pacific mouse – but very different too: larger ears, longer skinnier back feet and are a desert rat rather than a woodland one. The skinny back feet of the jerboa had me imagining, for my portrait of Kane, how difficult pulling pants over such feet would be.
Eyes are one of my interests. How humans percieve the world is part optical data driven and part cultural training/interpretation. (And the ways our brains function, stories we tell ourselves, did a whole book about that… but that’s not today’s topic) Humans tend to see only what we expect to see. So in my work as a biological illustrator- and as a fine artist I enjoy reading about animal eyes and scientific studies about eyesight. When creating the portrait of Libby I read this article about the chameleons ability to see in 360 degrees! Wow! A whole different way to “sideways glance” or see out of the corner of ones eyes.
Like my first series “Alphapets” this artwork, too, was created with ink, gouache and color pencil. I do these portraits on board, size 3.5 x 2.5 inches. The original art will be framed…eventually … and be a miniature art exhibit at the Aurora Gallery.
I will also be making an artist book titled Alphapets Too – in a format like “Alphapets by Clancy”. You can see print and ebook versions of “Alphapets” by clicking here.
And when I get it all done “Alphapets Too” will be available on Storyberries.com (Btw: there are two different stories by me currently on Storyberries.com- search the site by my name)
You can follow my progress during the week on my Instagram pages and see the details of my creative process here in my Monday blog posts.
Thanks again for your support and encouragement as I work on this project!