Friday, August 19, 2011


i'm the kind of artist who needs a source for my inspiration. i can get and develop ideas in my head, but in order for me to produce a drawing or painting that i'm really happy with, i require images or objects in front of me to act as my model. i can draw from my imagination, but if i want the finer details, i must have a model, be it real or a photograph.

now, there are not always mice available, so i must rely upon the internet in order to be able to create my version of the Dormouse from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". and then there is this little issue of copyright, so it just makes my job a little more difficult, and increases the time i spend on each drawing. enough of the boring details: this here mouse, the Dormouse, who is seen here taking his own photograph in the mirror of the bathroom backstage, is a combination of many images. and the hand holding the phone which is attached to the scantily clad figure (much hair was applied and belly shortened and fattened of course, to make it more mouse-like) belongs to a dear friend of mine. yes, it has come to this. be careful when you send de Shan any photos, she may use them in her artwork!! :)

so this mouse, the Dormouse is native to several regions in the world, but the one referred to in Lewis Carroll's novel, is the one that inhabits the british isles. they are known primarily for their particularly long periods of hibernation - thus the sleepiness of the Dormouse character in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". and in this drawing, i have portrayed him as being a little bit naughty and very much awake and on the prowl...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


well, after a little research, i found out that the Mock Turtle in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was named so after a popular victorian dish - Mock Turtle Soup! how odd

so here is the recipe:

Mrs. Fowle's Mock Turtle Soup: "Take a large calf's head. Scald off the hair. Boil it until the horn is tender, then cut it into slices about the size of your finger, with as little lean as possible. Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine, half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chop't very small. A ¼ of a pint of oysters chop't very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the brains chop't. Stand all these together for about an hour, and send it up to the table with the forcemeat balls made small and the yolks of hard eggs."*

and i've never actually had mock turtle soup, but it really sounds rather nasty! no wonder he was always crying...

as Lewis Carroll's character goes, however, the mock turtle was upset because he used to be a real turtle, but now he is a fake turtle. this is why he was illustrated by John Tenniel as an assemblage of the cow head, hooves and tail, the traditional off-cuts of the beast and the non-muscular parts to imitate turtle meat in the soup.

poor thing...

* courtesy wikipedia

Monday, August 15, 2011


well i've definitely decided that G.I. Joe made a nice little cameo appearance and then he stole Blythe away. but now it's fairytale time
and in keeping with the whole Alice's Adventures in Wonderland theme, the writing of this particular blog today might be a tad bit peculiar...
so the white rabbit has been a thing of fascination for me since i first read the story of alice and her follies with all the m y s t i c a l creatures in her mind. now, we all have these when we're ren-child, and that's pretty normal, but to continue with them as an adult is
so normal (see the movie "drop dead fred" - one of my all-time favorites!!) and so, in my quest to appear normal (well...), i've tried to channel all of the inexplicable, extraordinary and downright unbelievable critters and traffic in my mind into my paintings and drawings... and it works most of the time...
Lewis Caroll's character of the White Rabbit was deemed to be of a nervous type, but arrogant with his underlings, and obsequious with his superiors:
"I think the White Rabbit should wear spectacles. I'm sure his voice should quaver, and his knees quiver, and his whole air suggest a total inability to say 'Boo' to a goose!"*
how very apt this all was... until he decided to steal the Dodo's clothing instead of his own ridiculous costume. and i think he looks rather dapper...

* from martin gardner's 'the annotated alice', p.37

so, how do you feel since reading this blog?