Santa and His Flying Squirrels
“Santa Squirrel” came about because I wanted to create a Christmas card that was secular and fun, starring animals. I figured that flying squirrels had an advantage over reindeer, because at least these little nocturnal rodents can “fly”! Actually, they glide using flaps of skin which they stretch out before leaping from tree to tree. But still, they’re much lighter than reindeer.
When I drew santa squirrel in his tiny red sleigh, I had wanted a darker red to represent the Red Squirrel, native to Europe. But without visible tufts of fur on the ears (and thanks to a new colored pencil that turned out more orange than expected) this squirrel is hard to identify as any one particular species. The flying squirrels are modeled after the Northern Flying Squirrels in North America, since they’re larger and presumably closer to the north pole. I had lots of fun with this piece, trying to figure out where the rabbit’s hole and mailbox should go, and placing the tree-dwelling animals’ homes within the trunks. However, the overall outcome wasn’t what I wanted – I imagine that someday I’ll be starting from scratch and redoing this piece!