Blanche, the white rabbit

Like many Australian children of my generation, I grew up on a diet of books handed down from my mother. Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter and other whimsical Eurocentric books featuring a wonderland of talking rabbits, owls that carried messages, fairies and goblins. I knew more about rabbits, weasels and owls then my own native animals. There was however, a fabulous television series, “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo”, made in the late 1960’s. Skippy could understand humans, open doors, collect mail, untie ropes, foil villains and even operate the radio!

My paintings have started to become more nostalgic lately, and the creatures who inhabited my childhood books are a strong influence. “Jumping and running” is a mixed media pieceΒ on vintage sheet music which was then mounted on to a canvas board. You can still see the pencil marks that a teacher and child wrote on it. It also has tiny pieces of a book for clouds. I used acrylic paints and pencil and then varnished it with three layers of satin varnish.

Rabbit 2 reduced quality for etsy

Blanche the white rabbit sits in a field of yellow daisies. She watches children jumping and running and thinks to herself, they are just like little rabbits in the spring.


37 thoughts on “Blanche, the white rabbit

  1. It is so beautiful. As a person who ran a primary school music program for several years I feel great pleasure in seeing a beginner piece of music presented this way. My world was once filled with little music concerts and now, although there are high school music concerts I feel nostalgia for a happy time that came and now is gone. πŸ™‚

    • I know what you mean about primary school concerts, just lots of joy and none of the pressure that seems present in high school music concerts. My youngest plays the flute so I get to see a lot. I’m very unmusical sadly, but I enjoy listening and watching. It must have been fun running the primary school program. I wish we had had you run our children’s music program. Our music coordinator was a little scary at times!

  2. this is such a cool idea…….. I love it. I used to collect old sheet music for the excellent cover page and mount them. I’ve still got a few that I kept after selling quite a few. These days they would be way to expensive but back then people were throwing them away.
    Love your work.

    • I love rescuing old sheet music from op shops. Some I can’t bear to pull apart, but others I like to play with. I especially like the ones that kids have drawn on or even coloured in. Thanks Terry, for your nice comment about my work. I can see why you you mounted the covers, some of them are fabulous.

  3. I love this piece! What a wonderful, whimsical joy to behold! I love your little people, your use of colors and of course, the bunny. I love and collect bunnies because I was born on Easter. Really, this is so lovely! Peace to your heart

    • I’ve started collecting some vintage bunnies, I can see why you collect them being born on Easter. Do you collect a particular sort of bunny or just whatever catches your eye and imagination? Thank you for your lovely words about my work πŸ™‚

      • I started my collection with a gift from my mom in my early 20’s with a unique adult stuffed bunny (no fake fur, thank you!). Then for a while I picked up lots of bunnies of different kinds that caught my eye…a regular stuffed bunny, little figurines, etc, but got way too many. I mostly look for vintage and/or very unique rabbits, something I don’t have anything like. A great addition was another rabbit, soft, that was my mother’s (she had a lovely gift shop for many years)…he is dressed including a hat that allows his ears to poke through. I’m going to have to take some pictures of my favorites for you! So, now I have a vintage rabbit cake mold, a vintage plastic “running” bunny on wheels, a few vintage/antique rabbit images and more. It’s really fun! Good luck with your collection!

      • I would love to see a photo of your collection! The rabbit cake mould sounds lovely, have you used it to bake with or do you just like to admire it?

      • I’m not a baker, so I just admire it πŸ™‚ I’ll try to remember to take some photos of some of my bunnies. Life is quite stressful right now and I haven’t been very good about following through with things, unfortunately.

  4. I really like your mixed media and the history associated with it. I had a similar upbringing, although in a couple of other South Pacific countries, and yet it wasn’t until I was an adult that I even saw a fox, a squirrel, etc, and I have yet to see a weasel, stoat, or badger despite them being such a large part of my childhood reading!

    • It’s funny isn’t it! I really think next, I have to attempt an Aussie animal. I’d like to try a wombat. The people who lived across the road were wildlife officers and often had baby animals in their kitchen. Once I got to carry a baby wombat to the park and let it have a roam around. It was surprisingly heavy for such a little creature.

  5. You always prickle my memory with your posts Jen . I go off into another poppytump world Lol . Makes me want to grab those Enid Blytons down from the bookshelf , find me a swing and dream of secret passages .. ginger beer and picnics …flashing mysterious lights .. treehouses and magic . aaah
    Lovely really lovely .
    He is *quite the most delightful bunny ever you have painted there among the grasses and little dandelions πŸ™‚

    • PT you are back? Have all your annoying wordpress issues been resolved? I’ll have to pop over to visit! Thank you for your lovely comment. I wish we lived a little closer, I think we would have lots in common…

  6. Lovely! This reminded me of a book I loved as child called Dot and The Kangaroo. I lost my copy and could never track down another one for my daughter. Heck, I don’t even know what the story was about anymore!

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