Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Butterfly in Watercolour 2016

 "On Angels Wings"
Butterfly in Watercolour

Yesterday was one of those days when the weather was perfect. I couldn't resist taking a walk in the early evening sunshine and decided to take my camera with me in case I saw any wildlife or flowers worth painting, and how lucky I was. 

There is a field near our cottage that at the moment is full of ragwort. I know this plant can be seen as a nuisance to some but it does attract so much wildlife. As I wandered through the field I felt a soft touch on my bare arm and was delighted to see it was a white butterfly that had brushed my skin. I followed it with my camera so that I could take photographs as it settled on many of the bright yellow ragwort flowers. I knew I would want to paint it straight away but time was passing and when I did finally return home it was already getting late. But I couldn't get the image of that butterfly out of my mind. I often believe if an image is so strong in your mind it is best to capture it immediately and so I did.

I took an oblong piece of paper that was already covered in green shades and began to paint around the negative shape of the wings of my "treasured sight". Next I added yellow to the top of the existing green section to make the ragwort come alive. By the time I added Cobalt Turquoise behind the butterfly wings and a few extra yellow flowers in the distance the subject was already there.

I love the saying that if you are touched by a butterfly you have been graced by an angel. Hence the title of this painting.

You can see the photograph I took that inspired this painting below. I do believe painting from your own resource photos of things that you have personally seen makes you a far better artist. In this case the inspiration was very high!


The butterfly I saw on my walk. 
My own photograph, captured in beautiful early evening light

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Artists Tips

1) Paint from your own photographs.
2) Go Out! Go somewhere you where will see subjects that appeal to you. Study what they look like in real life.
3) Paint something when the mood takes you. That special moment of enthusiasm is worth capturing while its' fresh and very much alive.

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3 comments:

Deborah Farber said...

Dear Jean,
You never know how your beautiful art touches someone. Your painting On Angel's Wings reached out across the Pond to me. You see, in January of 2008, I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer after a short four month battle. He was only 52. A month later, in the midst of a New England winter, a below zero February with two feet of snow on the ground, I was banging around my now so empty house. Walking through my dining room, I noticed something on the wall. Much to my surprise, it was a little cabbage white butterfly. There was no reason that little butterfly should have been there. It would be months before it would be warm enough for her to survive. I set up a little mesh enclosure for her and fed her fruits and nectar. She lived with me for two weeks. They say that butterflies are our loved ones sending a message. I don't know if that's true, but that little cabbage white butterfly came to me at a time when I needed a sign of something. Thank you for capturing that beautiful memory for me.

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Dear Deborah, thank you so much for sharing such a touching memory. We never know how our words across a computer screen can effect the reader of them. You touched my heart. I'm glad my painting touched yours. I'm sure that was a very
special sign. Best wishes to you, always. Jean

Deborah Farber said...

If this painting is ever available for sale, would you let me know the process? Thank you.

Deborah