Sunday, May 29, 2011

Butterfly Photos, Inspirations & Nature Scape Paintings

I was just speaking with someone recently about how ideas and inspirations for paintings come along. The kind of ideas that take seed in your mind, even through the course of years and end up being something you feel, as an artist, you have to paint, you cannot help yourself. That got me focused on butterflies and this lead me to think of the different inspirations for some of my favorite butterfly paintings that I've done.
I started getting fascinated by butterflies, I think, when I first took this series of photos back in the fall of 2009. We were at Mohonk Mountain House for our anniversary and these gorgeous Monarchs (I admit, they are my favorite butterfly) were drawn to the Verbena patch and I in turn, was drawn to them.
I took so many photos of these beauties over the course of the couple of days that we were there and then, like so many other photos, I filed them away for possible use in the future.
Fast forward to the summer of 2010 (at least, that is about when I think it was) that patch chuck full of butterflies from the year before , became the painting above "Monarch".
Believe it or not, those photos inspired these paintings as well. True, for these I left the Verbena behind and instead wanted to incorporate my favorite butterflies into my new obsession, trees. I was particularly fascinated with Apple Blossoms at the time and so, I created "Monarchy" above.
When Monarchy left my house, believe it or not, I was a bit sad, as it cheered me up each day that I looked at it. I had hung it in my studio and so, I could see it while I was working and really enjoyed it's happy presence . Because I missed that painting, I wanted another one with my favorite butterflies and Apples Blossoms but this time, with a bit of a different background and I wanted a multi-canvas piece and ended so up creating "Monarchs Emerging". This one hung in my dining room until it flew away so at least I did get to see it for a while.
Back in 2007, I spent quite a lot of time photographing this Swallowtail that was hanging around the front of my house to be near my Impatiens. I was out there constantly because pretty much every afternoon that I walked the dogs, there he was, back again, waiting for me to photograph him.
Actually, this particular butterfly was not very cooperative and did lead me on a merry chase throughout the yard. For this reason, I ended up with lots of blurry photos but, I did get some that came out well, the few times I could get him to sit still that is.
In 2008 I took photos of one of my spring time favorites....Lilacs. They grow on the side of my house and I love cutting them to bring inside each year.
A couple of months ago, I was on the phone with someone and for whatever reason, the idea came to me like a light bulb going on, I wanted to paint lilacs and a Swallowtail butterfly together. I'm not sure why this idea occured to me at the time it did but I immediately wanted to get started on "Awakening" below.
With 3 new paintings that I've just finished, now is the hard tiime for me, deciding what to do next. Last night I was awake for some time trying to think of the next subject for the next painting. I think I know what I"ll do but I'm never totally sure until I start work on the next piece. I'm wondering, what inspires you?? What kind of thought process goes into creating some beauty in your life?


Fairy Cardmaker said...

Monarch's Emerging is tremendously captivating. I'm sure it is the purple and orange combination that is so mesmerizing. Those two colours really compliment each other well and you really capture it in your photo and reproduced it well in your paintings.

Sher said...

What great inspirations for your beautiful paintings!

I carry my camera with me everywhere I go and you never know when that picture you take today will become some kind of project later.

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Ruth,
Your paintings are stunning. I love them all!!
Thank you for stopping by to visit. I have tried to visit back so many times but blogger has been having troubles and many blogs I can not leave a comment. That seems to work today, but I still can not sign into my blog. I hope it gets fixed soon.

Hope you are enjoying a great weekend. Happy Memorial Day.
Hugs from Texas, Celestina Marie

Miss Val's Creations said...

These paintings are gorgeous! I adore the pairings of the monarch with the tree. We are so used to seeing the butterflies with flowers so these are quite unique!

I never quite figure out what inspires me. It feels like a combination of various stimulus that bring it on! ~Val

Catherine Holman said...

Your butterfly paintings are always beautiful and it's great to see what inspires you to paint. Considering I paint cupcakes, I hate to tell you what inspires me. My villages are scenes of places that I would love to live and I'm inspired by the past.

Nancy Medina said...

Ruth these are WONDERFUL - when I see your art, I see the art reaching out of the regular boundaries, even your triptychs defy the old stale rules and place themselves corner to corner, rather than side by side. It's like they are the butterflies themselves, flitting upward. I think I am a bit like you, I embrace a bit of spontaneity when it comes to what I will paint next. I think that is the little spark we should embrace! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work. many hugs from afar!

Archie and Melissa said...

hi ruth!
oh what a wonderful post!
you always inspire me!
you are not only an amazing painter, but a fabulous photographer too!
thank you for sharing your art with us!

NeereAnDear said...

Ruth ... not only such gorgeous photos .. but your paintings are starting to have a life of their own .... so gorgeous and each with their own story ...

I wish I could say what inspires me right now ... my surroundings ... the beauty of nature ... a bird I see ... a leaf ... a flower ... ... beauty ... beauty inspires me

Cant wait to see what you come up with next


The Painted Garden said...

Hi Ruth,

What beautiful photographs of the inspiration for your lovely paintings.
Have a wonderful week.

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Ruth,
Hope you are enjoying your break and inspired with new ideas. I have been inspired by my garden and beachy ideas lately. It has become very hot here now and the temp today 100 degrees.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you do try that recipe, we had the last two pieces tonight for dessert.
Have a great weekend.
Hugs from Texas,
Celestina Marie

Gail McCormack said...

Oh Ruth what beautiful wonder they inspired you to create your gorgeous Original Paintings!
Isn't it hard to constantly come up with new inspirations?
I'll look forward to seeing what pops into your mind next