November 26, 2019

Harvest Mice

        Here is a little collection of harvest mice, which seem appropriate for Thanksgiving even though we don’t have harvest mice in the US.  (Or at least not the standard kind.  Apparently there are some other species in the New World.)  My favorite first: I love the detail in this wood engraving by Rosamund Fowler.  The mouse’s soft fur, delicate toes, and clinging tail are all carefully portrayed, and there’s a nice contrast with the graphic pattern of the seed heads, punctuated by those that are solid black.
        Lynda Durrant’s web site says that she makes her linoleum prints with separate blocks, one for each color.  Looking at these charming mice, I’m seeing three: pale yellow, an ombre of oranges, and brown, with the white being the paper.  Given the arrangement of colors, it could be a reduction print, too.  But in any case, the autumnal colors would be perfect for seasonal decor, and I hope these little mice get their harvest done in time for Thanksgiving.
        This precariously perched mouse by Colin Blanchard has three or four shades of beige/brown, plus a touch of blue in the background and eye.  It is done with screen printing for “additional color” (presumably background colors), with linoleum block printing on top.  Despite its wonderfully prehensile tail, this harvest mouse looks a little alarmed at being up so high.  There is a feast of seeds up there, though, so presumably it’s worth it.
        And finally a whole scene, much more stylized than the others.  The mice look downright cartoony, but all the background plants are accurate enough to recognize their species.  There are also a few insects, as well as a nest.  Harvest mice make wonderful little woven pockets for their nests, and this one is a room with a beautiful view.  I like the riot of pattern in this busy meadow.
        Let the harvest mice inspire you to work hard, take care of yourself and those around you, and be grateful for all the blessings to be gathered in.  Happy Thanksgiving!

[Pictures: Harvest Mouse, wood engraving by Rosamund Fowler (Image from the artist’s web site);
Harvest Mice, lino block print by Lynda Durant (Image from Full Circle Design);
Harvest Mouse, linocut and screenprint by Colin Blanchard (Image from the artist’s web site);
Yare Valley Harvest Mice, linocut print by rockhen (Image from the artist’s Etsy shop).]

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