Just to let you all know, there will be a short delay in the next 'Animal of the Week' (Like that's a surprise!) It's proving a tricky one to draw, and will probably be just as hard to paint, but I'll try to get it finished by next Monday.
In the meantime, here's a piece of old work which I started in 2013 or '14 (I can't even remember which), left unattended for several years and finally got round to finishing last week. It depicts a fanciful version of Norway lemmings during one of the big migrations they undergo from time to time, and the nagging thought that so often comes back to you when you're in no position to deal with it.
I've taken quite a few liberties with this piece, and not just with the suitcases and travel guides. For one thing, Norway lemmings are extremely intolerant of each other, and tend to go for each other's throats when they meet. This is actually one of the primary reasons for their migrations - in years with good weather conditions and an abundance of food, their population explodes. Faced with diminishing food sources and the desire to be as far away from each other as possible, the lemmings set out for pastures new. Also, although I love the idea of lemmings travelling en mass a la wildebeest, they actually travel individually. However, although they will cross obstacles such as rivers during their migration, there is no evidence that they deliberately attempt to cross the sea and, contrary to popular belief, they do NOT commit mass suicide by flinging themselves off cliffs. Even lemmings aren't that crazy.
Artwork is © me.
As much trouble as this piece gave me during its completion, especially during the painting stage, I can barely imagine how long it would have taken me to complete if this had been one of those massive scenes where you have to identify a particular character in a sea of other people. I have nothing but the utmost respect for people like Martin Handford (the creator of 'Where's Wally?'), who must be blessed with infinite patience to create such incredible pieces. Perhaps I'll have a try at drawing one myself some day, but for now, I'll return to 'Animal of the Week' and stick to a smaller cast of characters.