Mouse flying on back of a cardinal

The Aviator

Mouse flying on back of a cardinal

When I started working on the murals at a day care center, one of the first sketches I made was a bird flying with a mouse on its back.  I gave the mouse goggles and a leather jacket, and made up a special saddle.
Whiskerland mice love to fly and have a special relationship with the birds.  Once a year the mice of Whiskerland celebrate this with a grand Aero-mouse Festival.  There are demonstrations and races to determine the fastest and most skilled flyers.  Acrobat mice exhibit feats of daring by lassoing  birds as they fly by.  They hurtle through the air and perform tricks on the end of the rope.
Many mice enjoy the hot-air balloons, or riding in a carriage pulled by a string of hummingbirds.  One popular attraction is the Sling-chute.  First a giant sling-shot hurtles the brave mice into the air. Then they open parachutes to gently settle to the ground.  There are also the military displays of soldier mice and their falcons.
Watch for more Aero-mouse participants in future posts.

Lovely parish church in England

Beatrix Potter

Lovely parish church in England

     In my first Inspirations category, I have to pay homage to the great Beatrix Potter.  In addition to her charming animal characters and stories, she was a terrific artist and illustrator.  Most people know that she based her stories, like Peter Rabbit, on her many pets.  There is a movie called Miss Potter starring Rene Zellweger.  It is a nice movie and is pretty accurate.
Scientific Work
     Beatrix Potter was very interested in Natural History, especially fungi (the science of mycology).  In addition to many beautiful illustrations of mushrooms, she wrote a scientific paper, On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae.  This was presented to the scientific Linnean Society by a professional mycologist.  (It is sad that in those days women were not allowed to attend the meetings.)
Later Life
     Potter spent much of her later life in the Lake District.  This is a very beautiful area in northwest England.  Her house is now a museum.  I visited it when I was there on vacation.
     Beatrix worked very hard to preserve this scenic area.  She used the earnings from her books to buy a lot of property.  This now forms a large part of the Lake District National Park.

Gypsy Fiddler

Today’s Character – the Fiddler

dancing mouse playing fiddle

     There are many characters in the Whiskerland family, and I would like to gradually introduce you to them here. The first has to be Marcus Mouse, the Gypsy Fiddler.  He is one of the first Whiskerland characters that I created as I started working on ideas for murals at a
day-care center in San Diego over thirty years ago.
     People have always connected to Marcus’ positive attitude which is contagious as he joyfully plays and dances across the land.  He loves playing the fiddle and the music is so engaging that even HE cannot help but dance to the music.
     Marcus belongs to a troupe of gypsy musicians, a rag-tag and eclectic collection of players.  They can be found playing at many Whiskerland events, but especially in the company of the gypsy caravan with its circus-like atmosphere with jugglers, dancing girls, and the dancing ground squirrel.  (Really – dancing BEAR? That would be much too large wouldn’t it.)  You can see early sketches of some of the other gypsy musicians (and the dancing ground squirrel too) on one of the Product pages.
     The Gypsy Fiddler is available as a Notecard.