When Mitchell stood up straight from weeding the garden, he accidentally hit his head on a plank that the house painters had placed between two ladders. It was quite a severe knock and Mitchell had concussion. He spent three days in hospital before returning home.
What amazed people, including specialists, was that the accident seemed to have activated a section of his brain hitherto dormant. Suddenly Mitchell discovered he could paint pictures of cute field mice; field mice in a corn field; field mice eating cheese; field mice taunting cats. He even painted a delightfully intricate picture of a mouse flying a de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft! These paintings sold for hefty prices; so hefty in fact that Mitchell and his wife were able to purchase a house free from debt.
“They’re not simply pictures of mice,” said the curator of the city museum, “it’s the thought processes behind it. Mitchell is able to convey feelings of beauty, insignificance, aloneness, grandeur. Even the sky above the mice conveys varying deep emotions. With one knock on the head he is able to portray scenes of incomparable exquisiteness.”
Unfortunately, Mitchell drove his wife to drink. He was totally nuts.