Judith Utter

Natural Art & Design

April in the Studio

- April 2020 -

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

It’s been a very rainy month here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I finally started painting an Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus floridanus. I began researching this rabbit back in New York. I love the coloring of the fur that kind of rusty Burnt Sienna look with a mix of various browns and grays. The eyes are especially intriguing some are two tone others a darker more uniform look. I spent a lot of time working on the eye which for me gets right to the soul of the animal.

Cottontail Rabbit

So before I go any further I must tell you a true story about our resident Cottontail. She has been living for quite some time under my husbands music studio and occasionally is seen scampering about the backyard in the morning or evening. I have been admiring her beauty and tried leaving some celery and chinese cabbage thinnings near the studio. After all the rain our lawn had gotten quite high. My husband mowed and began trimming. When he was trimming around the back deck two bunnies ran out from under the deck. Apparently their mother made a nest there and the two bunnies were startled by the loud noise of the trimmer. I was on the side of the house washing the spiders from the stone with a hose. All of a sudden I see a tiny rabbit move out of a hole along the side of the house and it was totally drenched and shivering. The bunny crept up real close to the stone wall and just sat kind of hunched over facing the wall. It was definitely scared, wet, cold and traumatized. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point. I looked around the perimeter of the house and soon found the sibling sitting in a corner between the side of the front steps and the front of the house. This bunny was sitting up looking braver than the other and made eye contact with me. They were both so cute I quickly got my camera and took a shot of each. I was concerned about them because we had disturbed the nest. That evening the Mother came out from under the studio looking around the yard and couldn’t find her babies. My husband went out and noticed the bunny in the front was gone but the one on the side was still sitting in the same spot looking cold and scared. He picked the bunny up and carefully brought it to the nest. Later that evening I saw the Mother Rabbit sitting on the nest. The next morning we noticed the hay that was partially covering it had changed position so we knew all was well.

Cottontail Rabbit 2

In summation, it was an interesting first April for me. When my painting of an Eastern Cottontail is complete I will post it on my website in the meantime here are the bunny photos and the beginnings of my painting – the rabbit eye.

See you in May “In The Studio.”