When I lived on a farm, I enjoyed going down to the pond to watch the turtles sunbathe on rocks that scattered the edge of the water. Whenever I approached they would slip into the water, and I would quietly wait until they allowed their heads to surface, eyes cautiously scanning the shoreline. Inspired by these interactions, I decided to make a series of illustrations about a clever turtle who refuses to give up while attempting to climb a great big rock.
The first illustration shows the perspective of a turtle, making the rock appear more like a mountain, forcing the red-eared slider to come up with a creative solution to get to the top. After researching rock-climbing gear, I decided to outfit this turtle with all the equipment necessary to safely reach her goal. Made in 2014, the Red-Eared Slider story contains a series of six hand-stitched appliqué fabric illustrations.