Friday, July 20, 2007

Beautiful Butterflies & A New Watercolor

I've been really lucky lately with being able to capture lots of good butterfly photos. I've always been in the right place at the right time I suppose.

I saw this little guy resting on my coneflowers when I was just finishing up giving Dudley and Orchid their walk. I asked the butterfly not to move, rushed the two of them in the house and grabbed the camera and ran back outside.

He did fly around a bit but afterward, landed this time on my purple conflowers and I was able to get more photos.

I've also started a new watercolor, the progress of which I'll try to chart as I go along. My subject is going to be a large red Dahlia. I've taken lots of photos of the Dahlias that I have and finally narrowed it down after some zooming in and cropping, what portion of the flower I want to paint. I started with an 18" x 24" masonite board, applied several coats of gesso to the surface and then sketched on the design. I actually have my best luck drawing when I'm watching tv and sitting on my couch. Probably because I don't take it too seriously while doing that, I'm more relaxed. So Chris and I were watching the move "Crash" and I was drawing this out at the same time. I'm also doing this piece in watercolor as well. I wanted to see how the watercolor would look and feel on the masonite board. I have to say, I really like it. It is a forgiving surface that dries quickly and gives some very nice effects. Here you can see I've started the background and gotten halfway done with it. Although I'll probably go back and alter a few things, it gives you an idea.

In this photo, you may or may not at this point be able to see the center of the flower. It will however become more obvious though as I go along. I've made a decision over the last couple of weeks that I'm quite happy about. After discussing this with two online artist friends whose opionions I value and respect, I've decided in the next 2 years or so, to open a second website, this one will strictly be for watercolors and products made from those works. This will really give me a goal to work toward and a reason to get going on more watercolors. I really feel that for me, artistically anyway, something has been missing over the last few months. I want to get more into my watercolors and developing products made from them. If any of you have every visited Cafe Press, you know what I mean. You can have some super products made from your original artwork on that site. I've been testing their services out and have been very happy with what I've seen so far.
Georgia O'Keeffe is one of my favorite artists and a lot of what I'll but creating for this new site will be large, modern florals, along with other things I'm sure. I also want the paintings to be created on a very modern surface and that is why I've decided on masonite board. They can be hung directly on the wall without a frame as well, which I think will be a real plus.

So back to butterflies...... Although this little guy looks the same as the one above, this was a different day. Who knows, maybe he is the same or maybe not but they were both around at different times. I saw him on my way to the recycling bin.

This little butterfly looks really fascinating, he has a very lacy look to him. He didn't stay around that long but he did pose for me long enought to get some great photos of him on my Hibiscus leaves. Unfortunately for Dudley and Orchid, I spotted him when we were on our way out for a walk. Hey got hauled back in the house, told to cross their legs and wait for a few minutes while I ran back out to take some photos of this little butterfly. I didn't get happy looks when I said this but, there were no accidents on the floor either so it all worked out ok.


Carolyn said...

Ruth, I lovvvvve your butterfly photos! For them to have landed on daisies, and to have stayed there for you is a real dream come true, isn't it? LOL, though it doesn't sound as if your dogs could appreciate your zeal for getting these shots. Anyway, they are beautiful. As you said so well on my blog, there are "beautiful pieces" of nature all around. Thanks for sharing some wonderful pieces from your part of the world. Also, congrats on choosing to pursue your passion for watercolor more fully! Great to have you stop by. Have a great week-end! :-)

Naturegirl said...

Your butterflies are extremly obedient! Mine make me dance around..
teasing me!!
As Betty Jo would say ~these are images that feed the soul!~ hugs NG

Betty Jo said...

Ruth your butterfly photos are gorgeous, and yes they truly feed the soul! I've gotten so few butterfly photos this year, as the insects around here simply don't sit still for long! I think they were slower in the city where we were before! Perhaps it was the pollution. LOL I'm sure your watercolor is going to be beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the finished painting. xoxo

Dorothy said...

Ruth what beautiful photos you take with your camera. The butterflies posed for you!!! You must be magical.

I love that new painting you are starting. You are inspiring me to get out my watercolors and have a go at it. I can't wait to see your finished painting!!!