Continued from HOMEPAGE……
Humankind has had a long relationship with plants, both practical and ceremonial: as food, medicine, adornment, and vehicles to altered states of consciousness. Historically, people have risked their lives and lost their fortunes over the beauty of a flower — the taste of a spice. I wonder who is in charge? Plants have inhabited this planet much longer than we have.
As my actual experience of world travel does not fill the first page of my passport, I spend much of my research time at orchid greenhouses, studying each flower’s anatomy. Through the internet I travel the world in my imagination and glimpse the diverse places that these flowers grow. Making these paintings involves taking a journey where the unfamiliar becomes familiar. These wild places on earth are like the wild places in the unconscious. The direction of the paintings springs from that rich place.
Where life was more intimately lived with the natural world, the question of how butterflies were born may have been answered long in the past. But in Western European civilization, the discovery of the butterfly’s life cycle took many centuries to understand and is still being fully understood.
The butterfly series shows the different life phases of each butterfly. The original paintings were made on Douglas fir panels and painted with watercolor. The challenge for this series was in learning about each butterflies life phases. The documentation is comprehensive for some species, and very limited for others. My research was done in field guides, the internet, direct observation in raising butterflies and study of preserved specimens. After the individual paintings were sold, they became a collection of butterflies prints showed as a group; a contemporary play on field guide illustrations.