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16 Stunning Paintings Of Stoats & Weasels
For US readers: In my blogs, a weasel refers to your ‘least weasel’ and stoat is your ‘short-tailed weasel’. For more on ID and definitions: CLICK HERE
This collection of 16 paintings of both species follows a five-year intensive study of these animals in my garden… Read about these studies here.
Scroll down to see the paintings in the collection and read all about the wildlife sightings that gave me inspiration.
Title: Crackle: Standing Proud
Medium: Acrylic Painting
Image Size: 29″x20″
Inspiration: This is a portrait of Crackle, a stoat born in my Yorkshire, UK, garden in 2019. Despite her mother trying to push her out of the territory, she went on to raise five kits of her own here. I wanted to capture her inquisitive, cheeky character in this painting. … Read more
Inspiration: Weasels are tiny – a female can fit through a wedding ring – but tenacious. I chose to paint this weasel carrying its prey because the scene gives you a sense of scale. Even a mouse is a mouthful for a weasel! It was the sight of this weasel making off with a wood mouse more than twice her size through my garden shrubbery, which inspired me to begin my intensive garden studies of weasels….Read more
3. Kits Branching Out
Title: Two Weasel Kits Branching Out
Medium: Gouache, acrylic & pencil
Image Size: 11″ x 8.5″
Inspiration: In this painting, I wanted to capture the playful nature of weasels – as well as their phenomenal climbing skills. I had seen these two kits chase one another along an impossibly thin twig, and it made me laugh when they reached the end because all of a sudden there was a squabble! I hadn’t realised what incredible poise and balance weasels had until I started watching them closely…. Read more
4. Standing to Attention
Title: Fidget Standing to Attention
Medium: Gouache, acrylic & pencil
Size: 8.25″ x 10.25″
This is Fidget, an abandoned weasel I reared by hand. He was a character. I had asked a friend to hold up a titbit to encourage him onto his hind legs so that I could photograph him. But Fidget was too clever. He jumped onto a sideboard, then leaped onto her shoulder and ran down her arm to snatch the morsel right out of her hand… Read more.
5. Weasel’s Secret Chase
Title: The Weasel’s Secret Chase
Medium: acrylic painting
Image Size: 9.75″ x 7″
Inspiration: The way that weasels can manoeuvre their long thin bodies through tight spaces has always fascinated me. I built a perspex maze for Fidget, a weasel I kept as a pet. I was intrigued by how his body became almost fluid as he negotiated the twists and turns. The studies I made of him became the inspiration for this imagined underground vole chase…. Read more.
6. Stoat’s Trio
Title: Bandita’s Trio
Medium: Acrylic, gouache & pencil
Image Size: 14″ x 11″
Inspiration: This is Bandita, a stoat that is due to become a TV star. The story of how she raised a litter of kits in my garden. In this painting, I wanted to capture how protective she was as a mother. She would move her kits whenever she sensed danger – making it a challenge to film her….. Read more.
7. Inquisitive Stoat
Title: Fleck The Inquisitive Stoat
Medium: Original Acrylic, Gouache & Pencil
Image Size: 12″ x 9″
Inspiration: Fleck is Bandita’s brother. He gets his name from the white flecks between his eyes. It was a joy to watch him as he scampered through my garden. He wasn’t afraid of the camera and would often pose for his photograph. I was able to get some great shots of him to paint from…. Read more.
8. Run Rabbit Run
Inspiration: As a boy growing up on a farm on the Yorkshire Wolds, I’ve watched stoats take on rabbits twice their size. After witnessing their fearlessness during my latest studies of stoats in the garden at Fotherdale Farm, I felt inspired to paint this scene from memory…. Read more.
9. Climbing Stoat
Inspiration: I painted the above stoat picture after setting out a series of climbing and agility challenges for the stoats and weasels in my garden. I was amazed at how athletic they were and after watching a family of stoats scamper nimbly up a fence, balancing along the wire, I decided to test their skills further. The agility course I made included a climbing frame, a slalom and even a perspex maze to test their intelligence. I chose to pose the stoat in the above painting as it clambered up a log and paused to look back at me as if to say ‘there’s nothing I can’t do! ……Read more.
This painting is available as a limited edition print | Click here for more info
10. Sitting Pretty
Inspiration: I have built nest boxes and feeding boxes inside old tree stumps in order to provide attractive backdrops for my paintings. It means that when a stoat emerges from a nest box, I can photograph the scene. I then paint directly from my photographs. This was my first stoat painting and it features one of the first stoats to appear in my garden right at the start of my five-year-long research project.
This painting is available as a limited edition print | Click here for more information
11. On Alert
Title: Stoat on the Alert
Image size: 11.5 x 6.25″
Inspiration: The stoats always look very alert as they approach the area where I leave food out for them. This is close to my living room, and when they pause to check the coast is clear – a pose that is perfect for my paintings.
12. Stoats at Play
Title: Stoats at Play
Medium: Acrylic and pencil
Image Size: 12″ x 6.25″
Inspiration: The two stoat paintings above were developed from sketches of the stoats in the garden. I used acrylic paint and pencil, sketching the background in lightly. I wanted to capture the playful nature of the kits I had watched. These mammals have a reputation for sheer brutality and although they are undoubtedly ferocious, they can also be great fun and behave like excited puppies at times.
13. Stoat in the Balance
Title: Stoat in the Balance
Image Size: 4.25″ x 9.5″
Inspiration: The stoat in the painting above was one of a second litter of eight kits born here in the garden in 2016. I was able to watch this litter as the individuals grew to maturity and I had names for them all. This male was called ‘Cough-ee’ because of a persistent cough. Like his siblings he was remarkably nimble and quick. I decided to portray him balanced nonchalantly on an impossibly slim stick.
Title: Run Rabbit
Image size: 8″ x 21.25″
Inspiration: This pencil drawing is taken from my memories of watching stoats chase rabbits on my parents’ farm as a boy. I later developed it into a painting.
15. Snow Stoat
Title: Snow Stoat
Image Size: 16″ x 11″
Inspiration: I painted the stoat above leaping across a fresh fall of snow after being asked to come up with my vision of a fantastical animal or an animal of the future on BBC Springwatch: Unsprung in 2017. This was my vision: a ‘Super Stoat’ that could live in Antarctica to attack that rats that are threatening the future of the penguins there…..Read more
Title: Weasel Wall
Image Size: 18″ x 26″
Inspiration: This painting represents the start of my garden mustelid studies in 2015. After spotting a small female weasel slip through a flower bed in the garden I set upon trying to follow her and photograph her for a painting. I built miniature design ‘sets’ in the garden borders, including dry stone walls and even small reflection pools to create attractive backdrops for my paintings. This painting comes from the moment the weasel appeared at the entrance of a dry stone wall behind which was a nest box… Read more
Want to learn more about my stoat and weasel studies?
Click on the links below to find out how I researched these secret animals and what I learned.