Robustious Red Squirrels Acrylic on text on canvas, 6" x 6"

Acrylic painting by Leah Palmer Preiss of playful red squirrels in oak tree    What animal is more robustious than a squirrel? When Anu gave me this delightful word, I envisioned a playful pair climbing a tree together. Sketching it out took me back to the days when my twin boys were small. They loved roughhousing with each other, but even more with my husband, so I decided to make the pair a parent and child. I also made them red squirrels, for more “R” goodness, & the tree they’re climbing is a robur oak (which just happened to be on the same page of the dictionary). I loved the line in the definition of “robustious” that read “Now Chiefly Humorous,” so I echoed it in a hidden message in the oak bark. And then I painted lots & lots & lots of fur! By the way, if you enjoy seeing my work in process photos, the best place to go is my Instagram page, CuriousArtLab. If you follow me there, you’ll even see sneak peeks of my A.W.A.D. paintings before they’re published, though I never give away the words.

Thanks again, Anu, for another wonderful week of words to illustrate, & for bringing us so much linguistic loveliness all year round! And thanks to all of you A.W.A.D. fans who have commented, contacted me by email, & otherwise connected. It’s such a pleasure to meet other logophiles & hear your stories!

Acrylic painting in progress, red squirrels on oak branch by Leah Palmer Preiss


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