I wasn't sure what to do for the new Illustration Friday topic -Roots.
I wrote a poem recently exploring roots and what ties us to the land we grow up in and i was wanting to do something different. I also didn't want to do something with obvious roots like a plant.
I then thought painting a mole since they live among the roots -but I also thought this might be difficult from the point of view of everything being much the same colour underground.
After that , i thought of roots in terms of a verb - and so it made me think of new born babies who root for milk, and also pigs who spend lots of time rooting for interesting items of food [when they are allowed to roam free.
So this week i have painted a wild boar sow and two piglets. The piglets are learning to root for acorns left from the previous winter.
Wild boar are impressive animals very strong and robust -although apparently they can suffer from sunstroke so they will wallow in mud to keep cool and prevent sunburn.
Recently, wild boar have been reintroduced to Scotland [although they are not allowed to run completely free] since their rooting for food actually helps forest growth by keeping down invasive plants like bracken , the soil is turned by their feet and is fertilised by their manure making them very useful in reforestation projects.
Boar probably became extinct in Britain some time in the middle ages when the were hunted to extinction after their habitat was reduced by extensive clearing of the forest.
Wild boar have become very numerous in the south of France now, they are encouraged by the green corridors which link their traditional roaming areas almost to the sea. They often wreck gardens by eating produce and uprooting everything else so many people are not so keen to see them expanding their habitat.
A couple of years ago , a huge wild boar was found off the coast on top of a piece of wood- its thought the the boar made its way to the sea shore and was swept out to sea by a huge wave.
Then after swimming for a long time, the boar must have climbed thankfully on board the wood but sadly it was already dead when it was picked up by a fishing boat.