squirrel 5

I have gone squirrel hunting, with the blue ball point pen and with other tools, stalking squirrels using notebooks of various sizes, hunting night and day.  I am training my squirrels for the hunt.  I cleaned the window near the favorite tree so clean that the glass disappears.  Such clarity unnerves the young squirrels, but they cannot refuse their noses, and they show up anyway.  I put food that squirrels find irresistible on the sill.

squirrel 4

I aim the camera and start snapping the pictures.  You might think the proximity would catch some wonderful close-ups, but they fidget quite a lot because they see me poised too close, so I must train them even more.  The best shots, for now, are the ones I get from the kitchen window where hungry squirrels sit patiently a few feet away, looking iconic-ally cute.

squirrel 1

I’m training them to associate the camera with such impossibly tasty food — pistachios!  Who can resist?  And I am learning their wonderful squirrel forms, the agile hands, the glistening fur, the sturdy rodent bodies, drawing them again and again.

squirrel 2

I have a very ancient fellow that some might recognize who helps me learn.

squirrel 3

In time I hope to draw some of them from life, when they will have gotten used to me, when nothing separates us but the empty air.  But I get ahead of myself.  You don’t count your squirrels before you’ve hunted and tamed them.

Here’s one of the models, himself.

squirrel model

Who knows what’s reflected in his beautiful eye?  Look closely and you might see me!


11 thoughts on “Squirrel Hunting

  1. Wow, your squirrel drawings are just fabuloso 🙂 and the real squirrel is adorable – pistachios indeed – spoilt squirrels who should reward you with the occasional still life pose 🙂

  2. So cute are they!
    How fortunate you are leaving in vecinity with squirrels.
    Your drawings are indeed fabulous. It seems that you have very experiented hand.
    I am curious how is possible to draw/paint an object in endless movement. For me it seems almost impossible to draw even my dogie; (she is hyper activ)

  3. Eva, the drawings posted here are from photographs. Right now the squirrels won’t let me get close enough to draw them. I have made a few little sketches of the ones that sit on the sill, but I would need many sessions of observation to make a finished looking drawing based upon life sketches. When you draw animals, at first you strive for the gesture — for a generalized sense of the animal’s form, picking up details as you can. Sometimes an animal will decide to sit still for a while, and then you just draw as much as you can, as fast as you can. Over time, you build up enough information to use. I drew animals often from life years ago, and then I got interested in other subjects. So, ironically, I used to do it most often in a period of my life when I had less experience. Life drawings of animals can vary a lot in character because of the unpredictability. But I always enjoyed doing it. A good way to get started using the family pet is to draw it when it sleeps. Aletha

  4. Thank you, Gabe, the real squirrels are super cute and now they “ask” for food. I guess I’ll have to start sewing them little sweaters! Aletha

  5. Peanut butter will tempt the squirrels. One day I was sitting at my computer, right by the window. I had placed 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich on the inside ledge. Within a minute, a baby squirrel had found its way to the outside ledge of my upstairs window. Fortunately, the screen was in place. They are cute, but take care, they are creatures of the wild. Love your drawings!

  6. Mehrlich125, Thank you for the kind words and the culinary advice. I had not thought of peanut butter. And I need to give them something besides pistachios. The squirrel was hurling himself against the door yesterday wanting pistachios. Never counted on pistachios having such a profound effect! My squirrels are going nuts! Aletha

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