Picture Profile: 1508 Border Skirmish (British Native Dormice in Hedgerow)

1508 Border Skirmish (Dormice in a Hedgerow)

1508 Border Skirmish (Dormice in a Hedgerow)

Artist Code: 1508. Completed 23 May 2016. Original available. Water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% Hot Pressed cotton rag paper. Unframed size 9” x 12”.

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The inspiration for this painting came whilst I was on a nature walk along the old railway line at Comberton, near the Bourn Brook where there was dense hedgerow and many berries. I am sure that years ago Dormice would have been in this ancient hedge, as it contains all the habitat and food which Dormice love. The sun was just going down which highlighted some of the glistening berries, and I imagined two little dormice coming upon one another in their hunt for food in order to fatten up for a long, sleepy winter in hibernation. The work is entitled “Border Skirmish” because dormice are very territorial loners (except when searching for a mate), and this could be a scary moment for both of them.

I attended a Dormouse Workshop day in September 2015 to learn about these cuties. We only saw photographs of the little beasts as the field trip did not turn up any in the flesh. But it was a great day and I learned a lot about them – like they have four fingers at the front and five toes at the back, and their ankles are like those of the squirrel in that they can hold on backwards and climb downwards head first very easily.

This little artwork was pre-selected for the National Society of Wildlife Art open exhibition at the Mall Galleries, 2016. So I paid to have it framed and duly sent it by courier to the Galleries in the hope that it might get selected for the actual exhibition. It did not get selected and if you are minded to learn how much it cost me to enter such a prestigious competition and what an artist gets out of it at the end of the day, please click here and read my diary entry about it (I had quite a shock when I worked it all out, so will have to think very cautiously before entering such exhibitions again).

I also submitted this work to the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art 2016, but sadly it did not get selected for that – although my Gooey Gannets was selected!

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