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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Day 8 - Red Squirrel



Day 8 of the challenge is another of our favourites in the UK - the red squirrel.  Such beautiful animals, which I rarely see as they are non existent in many parts of the UK and certainly don't exist where I live in Wales.  I occasionally see them in Cumbria when I visit the Lake District where there is a local population of red squirrels.  They also survive on Anglesey.  The grey squirrel was introduced into this country about 130 years ago when a Victorian banker brought a pair back from a trip to America and decided to release them into the wild - there are now a few million of them compared to only 160,000 red squirrels. This is due to competition for food, the transmission of the squirrel pox virus which does not effect the greys but is fatal to the reds - and of course us humans have our part to play in their decline, loss of habitat, deforestation and persecution as they were considered as pests.  Greys are far more adaptable than reds and have thrived.    Although they are an alien species to the UK, they are now part of our wildlife, like rabbits (see last post) and I enjoy watching the grey squirrels doing acrobatics in the garden - the one I have in my garden is a cheeky little chappy but I would dearly love to see the red squirrel thrive again particularly where I live in Wales.  You can find more information about squirrels in the UK here and recommendations to help the red squirrel population here.

In the painting above I tried using salt effect again, and like the effect it has given on the tail but elsewhere didn't work as well!  I also struggled with the face area and ended up touching it up with a bit of pastel pencil so it's a bit overworked but I hope you like it or parts of it anyway!

I hope you're enjoying my little tour around our British Wildlife through these daily paintings - I'm certainly enjoying painting them and learning a bit more about each animal as I go, please feel free to leave your comments below.


To see what other artists are up to for their 30 day challenge take a look here

12 comments:

  1. I love your squirrel, I want to learn how to paint with watercolors someday :) for now,I just use acrylic. Happy Painting, Lynette

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  2. Love this red squirrel, his tail is lovely a fluffy. Just perfect. So enjoying your wildlife paintings and the stories behind them. Did you know there is a National Trust red squirrel reserve at Formby. They were threatened by the greys and some trees were chopped as a break. I believe there are more about now. Last time I went I saw only one. I must pop again in about November when there aren't many people about. They used to come and eat out of your hand. I loved that, though they did rather nip. Look forward to your next subject :)

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  3. Really sweet painting, love how it's real then unreal, well, you know, the mystery of those yummy soft edges. Brilliant! Found you on the 30 Day Challenge, have fun.

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  4. Fabulous! I like it very much.
    ;)

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  5. I love your beautiful colors and lovely handling of the paint . I am trying watercolor I was delighted to be reminded of using salt and pastel.

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  6. Great painting. this is a fantastic challenge for you and I am enjoying it

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  7. He's a cutie Sharon, so surprising how hit and miss the salt can be.

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  8. Too cute! I would not have noticed your "mistakes". I think the face is perfect, and the other bits of salt add to the feeling of ground, dirt, and nature. Very well done!

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  9. I would never have known there was anything 'wrong' with this painting, it looks lovely to me :) x

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  10. This is such a gorgeous painting Sharon! I have just been looking at your previous paintings and I love the quintessentially British creature and wildlife theme. They warm the cockles of this Anglophile's heart! I really hope the red squirrel will prevail, they are too cute for words.
    We've had similar things happen here, where some clueless soul thought how nice it would be to jolly up the local wildlife with a feral species only to have catastrophic ramifications for some of the native species.
    Enjoy the challenge! I look forward to seeing your subsequent paintings!
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  11. Dear Sharon - what a sweet fella...our squirrels in Ohio are mostly brown but we do have some black ones. I generally can catch them well on film because they come to my bird feeders and scamper along the deck gathering up what ever the birds leave behind. Take care - hope hubby is doing well.

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I love hearing from you, thank you so much for leaving a comment - I will always try to leave a reply and pop over to visit your blog if you have one - although sometimes I may be slower than others, have a wonderful day xx