For one reason or another, I keep drawing mammals. The most recent series are these European rodents, small carnivores, and bats, which I made exclusively for a consulting agency.
They use my drawings in various environmental impact assessment reports and presentations, and also as illustrations at court cases. I feel honoured that, in this way, my artwork can contribute to the protection of important animal habitats!
Wild mammals are all around us, but it is not easy to see them. This is especially so in the place where I live in Slovenia. Only, today (when I write this text), it is a little different, because fresh snow covers the land. And, everywhere are the footprints of deer, foxes, and even bears and wolves!
With my drawings, I like to show you these mammals and tell you their stories!
The Dormouse house holiday cottage is a unique, 18th-century building that is kept as much as possible in its original state. We gave it this name because of the thick walls from natural rocks, which block out all sounds. Because of this, it is very quiet and you can sleep, well, like a dormouse.
Dormice are famous because they sleep the longest of all animals. In winter, they can sleep for more than 7 months! I made this drawing to show our guests how they look because it is not easy to see live dormice in the forest.
You can find more information on the house, and book it for your holidays at https://dormousehouse.eu/en/
Did you know that there is a small island in Croatia where Zebra’s, Zebu cattle, and even an Asian elephant live? The late president Tito of Yugoslavia had a private ZOO here. The animals he kept were gifts from state leaders from all over the world. The ZOO and Safari still exist and are even open to the public nowadays.
As a consultant, I helped with planning the future of the safari. For the covers of my reports, I drew the animals which we were debating about. Maybe one day, all these species will again live on the island? Even now, there are several exotic species, like Zebra’s and Zebu cattle, which are direct descendants of the late president’s animals.
More information about the Safari park: https://www.np-brijuni.hr/
Project Thuja was the first country-wide education project about invasive alien species in Slovenia. It ran in 2008-2009 and was followed up by project Thuja 2 in 2012-2013 and then project LIFE ARTEMIS in 2006-2020. For project Thuja, we made an exhibition with posters and interactive elements, which was shown at schools throughout the country.
Each poster explained different aspects of invasive alien species. Next to the title, I drew Nana the Muskrat, a cartoon-like animal that made fun of the subjects in a gentle way. Muskrats are themselves an invasive species in Slovenia.
The original project website has been adapted and updated many times and has been replaced by the website of project LIFE ARTEMIS later on.
By now, Nana the Muskrat is almost forgotten. But I still smile when I see my old drawings, which is why I like to show them here.
Close to the Kočevje primaeval forest, there is a small exhibit of posters that explain aspects of the forest. On one of the posters, there is a drawing of a domestic cat and a lynx sitting side-by-side. Originally, I made this drawing for a somewhat different exhibition, about the biology of lynx in Slovenia. I did this in the framework of project LIFE LYNX, which was later followed up by project DINARIS.
Only the drawing of the Lynx with the Domestic cat is still on display. Biba, my cat, who was the “model” for the drawing is 16 years old now, but alive and well!
I love identification guides! When the European Commission started to ban several potential invasive alien species, a need arose to identify them. It was a great honor to contribute drawings and part of the text to identification keys, which are still online on the website of the Slovene ministry (in Slovene language).
In retrospect, perhaps it was going a bit far to include all squirrel species which are possibly in trade, anywhere in Europe …