Dormice – Nature Illustration

November is not my favourite month of the year; being plunged into an hour’s extra darkness at the end of October makes me miss the sunlit days of spring and summer (well the ones that actually are sunlit).

On dark, dismal and dank November days, I very much envy the dormice who snuggle themselves away in the comparative warmth of nests, freshly lined with straw, soft grass, moss and downy bird feathers. I feel to sleep away the darker months would be a jolly good reason to become a dormouse, IF I had the chance that is.Dormice by Michael Quinlyn-NixonforblogThe line illustration, above, was drawn by me as a very young student at Cumbria Institute of the Arts, in Carlisle, for a book that someone was producing. They required a small picture of a dormouse or dormice for a nature book and they required it very quickly. I was very pleased to be the one that was chosen to illustrate it. Although the book and the client are now long forgotten in my memory, I do remember drawing the dormice amidst the bramble leaves and dead oak leaves that create the roof of their straw nest. I’m not quite sure why one of the dormice is cosy and warm in the nest – snuggled in the leaves – whilst the other seems to be fiddling around with a nut, but maybe he is bringing the other one a gift after a quarrel.

I suppose if I were to hibernate for the winter, I would not be awake for Christmas and for the usual hustle and bustle of one of the busiest times of the year; I WOULD miss the queues and the crowds and my bank balance would stay healthy. Oh, the more I think of it, the more I WANT to be a dormouse – the lucky wee things 🙂 .

Newsletter No: 3 – January 2015

Welcome to a few thoughts and some items of my work in this newsletter for January; I hope you enjoy it…  I’ve been doing some work at my previous workplace, so I have been splitting my time between there and my base at home.  It’s been great being back with some of my special friends and colleagues, but a bit awkward at times balancing work priorities on occasions.  I’m sure I’ll cope {sigh}.

I’ve also had a very interesting and fun-filled time at a local school on the 14th of January.  I was asked to go and talk about ‘my life as an artist’.  The teachers and the children were a pleasure to speak to, as they asked me all sorts of questions about my life and work.  I then showed them some work in my portfolio case and also did a live demonstration, sketching and colouring a ladybird with coloured-pencils.  I was amazed when the children went to draw their ladybird pictures; they had really listened and studied the techniques that I had shown them.  It was a very special morning and I enjoyed both their company and their enthusiasm.  Their parents must be extremely proud of them, I know I would be…QNA Newsletter(2)September2014