Jumping Mouse with Lobaria (watercolour (5 x 6 in.) Sold

18 August finds me in the Lab, painting a Jumping Mouse (Napaeozapus insignis) brought in by the Bio-blitz mammal collectors from one of their traplines in the south part of the Caledonia Gorge Protected Natural Area. This is a very fast mouse, capable of jumping as much as 3 metres in a single bound. It is  active during daylight, with eyes smaller than those of the nocturnal Deer Mouse. Its hind feet are very long, like a miniature Kangaroo, and its hind legs and tail are stiff and muscular.

The "mammals crew" brought some rotting wood, moss, and lichens for me to paint with the Jumping Mouse, and I chose the Lung Lichen, Lobaria pulmonata, which is often found on the forest floor, having fallen from the trees. The lichen curls as it dries, and after I had it all drawn and ready to paint, its aspect had changed so much that I couldn't find my way around the landscape of the lichen! So I abandoned my plan and drew only two or three centimetres of lichen at a time before painting it, and playing the composition "by ear" as it were. I spent nearly as much time painting the lichen as I did painting the mouse!

This watercolour will be in the collection of the New Brunswick Museum.


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