I decided to crank out something made by hand in addition to my photos to submit to the fair. This ended up being a lot more than my original idea, but I guess that is how my artwork usually progresses. Somehow, my idea of wanting a minimalistic piece (kind of like a Japanese print) never stays that way, like it is too simple or I just didn’t work hard enough on it. I think the only reason it stopped here is because the deadline was a few hours away. All the butterflies are linoleum block prints. I cut 6 different plates and used them in a variety of ways. There are printed butterflies on rice paper, watercolor paintings, and chine-collé. Some of them were brushed with iridescent powdered pigments before drying. They were all hand cut and glued on top of watercolor on board. It is 20×30″. I am really happy with it. It still needs to be framed. If you are not familiar with chine-collé, it is a process in printmaking where additional thinner pieces of paper, sometimes hand cut to fit certain shapes, are added between the plate and the final piece of paper. Glue, paste, flour, or just pressure keep the papers attached.
Last year I had 1 milkweed plant grow in my garden. It is a really cool plant, very not “weedy”. This year, I have 9. They grow tall, with smooth leaves that stick out horizontally. Very graceful. The flowers are exciting and the seed pods are super cool. The plants are visited by lots of different bugs, but this morning I noticed something under one of the leaves. I found a cicada shell on one of the stalks a few weeks ago. Upon closer inspection it was a monarch caterpillar!!!!!!! The whole reason for leaving my friends the milkweed in my yard. YEA!!! I have a butterfly bush next to the milkweed. He is still out there hanging out (I just checked). I am so happy! My garden gets so many fun guests, but I am more than thrilled about this one. I hope the Monarch can survive the human race. I won’t go all melancholy here, but I do hope we can quell the extinction of so much flora and fauna. Anyway, below are: Milkweed flowers (a good example of the different stages), milkweed pods, my front yard (yes, it needs some TLC, but it has been too hot for me, and I refuse to hire weed people this year), 😉 and finally the cicada shell. I am still trying to photograph a live cicada, but they take off before I get a shot off.
Here is a butterfly emerging from its home, during the butterfly celebration at the Franklin Park Conservatory. Sorry though, I don’t know what kind it is. If you can see his face, it’s pretty darn cute. I wonder if he is thinking anything? All the chrysalises are as beautiful as gems! Those gold ones are actually metallic looking. I wonder what the purpose of that is? I would think it might attract predators, but perhaps it fools them somehow. I don’t know that either. The Conservatory releases butterflies every summer for a few months in one of the gardens. It is really amazing! I do know that!