Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I have painted snowshoe hares before but always in their winter white coats. This one is still wearing her brown summer fur and is looking at the snowberries as if wondering when she should change her own color.
I love these fluffy characterful animals and find them even more interesting now that I am aware of how much they are affected by climate change. I recently read an article that described how some hares are changing their fur color to white in the winter even though their habitat doesn't become snowy any more. This leaves them uncamouflaged and even more vulnerable to predation. Sorry to describe something so sad here on the blog.
A funny story about this little painting might cheer us up. When it was freshly wet I brought it down to the house to prop it on the fireplace mantel to dry over night. As I was doing this is slipped out of my hand and landed face down on the hearth rug, where the cats sleep. When I picked it up it was so covered with cat fur that I spent half an hour with a scalple picking the hairs off my hare. Yes I know I should vacuum more often but there are so many paintings that I want to make and I hate vacuuming, don't you?
This little study is oil on canvas and measures 8"x10". If you visit the article about climate change here you can see the photograph that inspired this painting.