Picture Profile 1504: “The Forced Immigrant” (Grey Squirrels).

Artist Code 1504. “The Forced Immigrant” (Grey Squirrels). Oil on stretched canvas 18″ x 24″. Concept and drawing May 2015; painting begun May 2018; painting completed 15th May 2023!

This is one of four paintings to illustrate the different-coloured squirrels now roaming the UK:
1. “The Albinos” (white squirrels)
2. “The Rogue Gene” (black and ginger squirrels)
3. “The Forced Immigrant” (grey squirrels)
4. “The Native” (red squirrels)

I know some “Masters” of the past took several years to complete paintings and I never thought that I would be in that category – taking several years to complete a painting, not a “Master”! I started a series of four canvases depicting the different coloured squirrels that now live and thrive in the UK way back in 2015. I assigned my usual Artist Code to each canvas onto which I had done my drawing, thinking that I would soon get them finished. Click here to view the first blog on the series reported in February 2015.

However, by May 2018 I had not done any more to any of them! So at the end of May that year I started on the grey squirrels (Artist Code 1504) and got quite far, thinking I would complete it for my July Cambridge Open Studios – but not to be. Click here for the next blog reported on 30th April 2018

So, I put the canvases back in my picture cupboard and forgot all about them. But I received an invitation in April 2023 to re-join the Natural World Art Society in their exhibition at Becket’s Chapel. Rather than not enter, I suddenly thought about the squirrels. So the “Immigrants” came out of the cupboard and I started painting again. Click here for the latest update blog post of 3 May 2023.

During May I have continued to work on the painting which came about because at one time I had four greys pinching all the bird food from my feeders; they would often have a communal feed, especially early morning and I hoped to capture their little escapades in the painting. I took many resource photographs, and the design uses several of these.

Today, 15th May 2023, I have finished the grey squirrels,
so no more needs to be said!

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