This week in my studio, we found the tiniest mouse I’ve ever seen. After letting it run all over the place for a day and then have a good rest (it chose to sleep under my husband’s desk for the night), I managed to put it in a jar and release it in the backyard. It predictably broke back into our house a few hours later, so I caught it again and drove it down the road to a more appropriate spot (ie: very far away from our house). I placed it near a mountain of kudzu, thinking that would be a good place for a mouse to go on an adventure.
It made me think of one of my favorite childhood books: Comment la souris reçoit une pierre sur la tête et découvre le monde… I don’t know that it was ever published in English, but the title roughly translates to How the mouse gets hit in the head with a rock and discovers the world!
In the book, a young mouse who lives with her parents underground decides to dig a room of her own. As she digs and digs, she eventually breaks surface and sees the outside for the first time! She goes on an adventure and meets new friends: the sun, the moon, stars, wind, clouds… all sorts of natural phenomena. In the end they all give her a little piece of themselves in a little backpack with compartments for everything. She then continues on her way with the sun so they can make new friends together. As you can imagine, I love her backpack loaded up with all sorts of natural ephemera with a neat little spot for everything. That image has always stayed with me.
You can watch a short video where I share this and show some of the beautiful watercolor illustrations in the book on either Facebook or Instagram.
If you live in the Winston-Salem, NC area, Aperture Cinema is featuring my work all month. Before every screening, you’ll see an interview where I talk about my work and what it’s like to work as an artist in this area. Thanks Aperture!