Monday, August 29, 2011

Chinese Mystery Snails (watercolour 5 x 7 in.) Sold

29 August finds me staring intently at the finely speckled tentacles and short, elephant-like snouts of three large Chinese Mystery Snails in a jar of water on my desk. Fred is busy measuring the last couple of lapfuls of 1260 snails collected from two sites in Winchester, and I have decided that I must paint these three in watercolour, along with one of the young ones that have hitch-hiked on the shells of the adults.

Being air breathers, these giant snails don't wander into deep water. Each snail must periodically climb up to break the surface with the edge of its mantle curled into a tube, to freshen the air in the large space inside its shell. On these snails I see two mantle flaps, one on each side of the head - but only the one on the right side forms a breathing tube, translucent and delicate like a little mushroom. The other is a simple flap of skin that may function as a gill.

2 comments:

  1. I don't know anything about the subject you have painted...all I know is they are beautiful!!! I love the colours...really, Aleta, so wonderful! I like your description of short, elephant-like snouts @;-)

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  2. Note that the small snail in the painting is a baby that one of the adults gave birth to (along with 9 others) as they were being painted.

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What do you think of this painting, and what do you know about the subject that I have painted?