It’s spring, and little creatures are just about everywhere you look, hiding under piles of leaves, and resting under rocks and trees. Insects alone outnumber us, with an estimated 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quintillion) of them worldwide, making them the most successful life form on the planet. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by coming up with a few imaginary ones of our own, inspired by the work of artist Jerome Couëlle .

Couëlle is a french born artist, who lives in both Toronto and Vermont. He uses the word suranimals to describe the wonderfully imaginative creatures that inhabit his surreal paintings. You’ll find fish strolling about on legs, smiling holstein cats, and multi-coloured insects with hats. I invite you to discover his magical world, which will surely inspire you to create some whimsical creatures of your own.

“My paintings are dedicated to the animals whom I call ‘suranimals’ for they are all knowing, to the children, to the artists, to the poets, the writers, the musicians who refuse to be chained to what used to be, and do not accept the world as their reason has taught them, but have freed their eyes to be the true window to peer into infinity.” Jerome Couëlle


  • pencil and paper
  • acrylic paints
  • dried piece of wood from your garden or park
1. Have a look at Jerome Couëlle’s website and view his paintings, where you’ll see many of his imaginary creatures. Then grab a pencil and paper, and start sketching some of your own, and select a few you would like to paint.
2. Use a piece of wood for your canvas. This can easily be found scavenging about in your back yard or in a park. It can be a branch stripped of bark, or the underside of a thick piece of bark that has fallen from a tree. Whatever you choose, make sure you bring it indoors to allow it to dry thoroughly before painting. If the surface is rough, use sand paper to make it smooth.
3. Draw your creatures on to the wood with a pencil. Mix the colours you need, and paint away.


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Filed under Art and Nature, Artists, Jerome Couëlle, painting

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