Friday, November 19, 2010

Illustration Friday. Topic: Sneaky. Other Ramblings: Suburban Wildlife and Raccoons

This week's illustration Friday theme is "Sneaky," which is great fun.

I am submitting this piece called "Ignorance is Bliss," which features a pirate ship sneaking up on a Girl (a Mermaid, I guess) and her little animal friends, some of whom realize the attack-- but many of whom are being successfully snuck up on.

While many people I know are not fans of mice or possums, especially, I hope the little guys in this picture are friendly and furry enough to not make anyone cringe. I actually think possums are quite cute, especially with little ones on their backs-- hence my drawing them in this piece. I'm more afraid of, say, a scorpion carrying little ones on her back than a fuzzy possum. But that probably has much to do with the big poison stinger always hovering about.

In any event, to see this at the site, as well more illustrations on this week's topic of "Sneaky" (and last week's topic of "Burning") go to

On a side note...

Since the topic is "sneaky," it occurs to me I wish I had an illo to submit with raccoons in it.

Seeing as they have masked faces, they are often drawn in cartoons as bandits, and they are constantly sneaking through garbage cans for a snack.

I find them quite cute, although they are pesky when they take up residence in attics, and it becomes a big mess when trying to get them out of rooftops and houses when you refuse to hurt them, or worse :-(. "Over the Hedge" was right, since the East Coast suburbs have sprawled too much into the land of animals, which is why they are constantly burrowing into people's houses and gardens and such-- the houses are too on top of each other and there's nowhere for squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, mice, even skunks, etc. to go.

I guess it's a problem in the L.A. area too... speaking of sprawl, people's houses encroaching on animal's lands, and so forth. Although, I hear more about skunks (and have only ever seen) skunks and squirrels and coyotes, even, in the residential parts of L.A. But never raccoons.

In general, it can be quite the Mishigas (yes, being from New York, I know some Yiddish) when woodland animals and people are so on top of each other that:

A) People get territorial and/or violent when keeping animals out of their space, either out of overwrought irritation at the animals or at terror that the wildlife could have disease/physically harm them, their children, their pets, etc.


B) The wildlife is so accustomed to having humans around, and in their space, that even without being infected with Rabies (which is known to make animals not afraid and even aggressive around people), they get too comfortable around people and may even attack them for food, territory, etc. I know in Rye (not where I'm from, but a nearby suburb to where I grew up that's also just north of NYC) there is currently a pretty big problem of Raccoons attacking schoolchildren in that area. Subsequently, some people are shooting at the raccoons. I'm unclear as to whether or not that's people who own firearms personally, or if that's a governmental strategy. Either way, I wish the city was able to really figure out a way to safely tranquilize and trap the raccoons and drive them farther upstate to real foresty areas (which the suburbs aren't, a few trees does not a proper woods make), where they could properly exist, have a real habitat (where garbage wouldn't be a three course meal), in turn they couldn't threaten people, and so on. Shooting them is likely cheaper, but not right :-( I don't make the rules, but I can make sad faces at them.

I myself would like for people and critters to all be friends, but unfortunately, real life is not necessarily like the parts of "Snow White" or "Enchanted" where the animals and a human are all BFF. Things like extermination, animal attacks, and human encroachment on habitats have kind of prevented that. Sigh.

I remember when I was very little, one night, a tree fell outside my house.

I sat in a room of my house that had bushes up against it where I could see Con-Ed trying to clean everything up, face pressed against the glass, squinting to see exactly what they were doing.

I quickly forgot about them and the big lights and the truck, because a little raccoon scampered through the bush and was directly on the other side of the glass to my face. I don't know if that meant it was Rabid or not because it wasn't scared of me, but I remember vaguely it was tiny, so I think it was just not full-grown and therefore not knowledgeable enough to "know" to be afraid of a person. The raccoon possibly could have come out of the fallen tree, I guess.

We had a staring contest for a little while, and it was pretty cool. We were mutually fascinated with one another's very different faces.

Eventually, the little guy got bored and wandered off. I probably went back to watching the tree-clean up, but I remember the raccoon, and not much of anything else.

In any event, this blog has gotten rambly and long. Possibly because I have been feverish and headachey for days and am not entirely in my right mind. Oh well. I do know that right mind or not, animals are cute and the bestest.

Happy Friday!


Alina Chau said...

Nice intricate painting!

Kerry Schofield said...

Very nice painting. I love the little critters. Nice theme! Very original artwork

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