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? www.artfulcreations.etsy.com