Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Butterfly Ball step 1

My newest colored pencil painting is a ball of Peacock butterflies!

Peacock butterflies are named after the large eye-like patterns on their wings, which are similar to the magnificent patterns on peacock tails. The peacock (bird) is unmistakable thanks to the “eyes” that are visible when the male bird displays its tail as part of its mating display. The peacock butterfly is similarly unmistakable, although the “eyes” have a different function, namely to frighten off predators when the butterfly opens its wings.

Peacock butterflies are a much-loved and welcome sight in Britain, when over-wintering adults emerge from hibernation in February and March. They are immediately recognizable due to their vibrant red wings, punctuated by four unmistakable false 'eyes', positioned in the corner of each wing.

The Peacock butterfly lives a relatively long life, up to one year. During the winter, Peacock butterflies hibernate in large groups. They can create a hissing sound by rubbing their wings together if disturbed or bothered.

I have just started the paining and the faint outline of the ball is hard to see. The piece is rather small, only 8" x 8".  I am using the Strathmore marbleized paper I like so well.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Loreena Mckennitt

McKennitt's music has generally been classified as World / Celtic music even though it contains aspects and characteristics of music from around the globe and is sometimes classified as Folk music in record stores.
Before McKennitt composes any music, she engages in considerable research on a specific subject which then forms the general concept of the album. Before creating Elemental and Parallel Dreams, she traveled to Ireland where she was born, for inspiration from the country's history, folklore, geography and culture. The album The Mask and Mirror was preceded by research in Spain where she engaged in studying Galicia, a Celtic section of Spain, along with its abundant Arabic roots. The result was an album that included elements of Celtic and Arabic music. According to the jacket notes, her album An Ancient Muse was inspired by travels among and reading about the various cultures along the Silk Road.

It is this mix of world cultures in her music that I love and why I decided to add her music to my blog. We are all on this beautiful blue planet we call Earth together. I hope you enjoy her music as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Humungus Fungus!

I have finished the "Turkey Tail Fungus" painting. In the final steps I worked to blend the edges of the painting into the surrounding background and make them interesting. It is important to keep the principles of design in mind and  move the viewers eyes around the painting slowly and allow them to discover the detail.

I think I will call it "Humungus Fungus". Did you know there is a Humungus Fungus Fest that takes place in August each year in the small town of Crystal Falls, Michigan. Several years ago a "humungus fungus" (a GIGANTIC mushroom) was discovered in the Crystal Falls area. It weighs roughly 11 tons and covers 37 acres. This makes it the largest mushroom (fungus) in the world. Based on the average rate of growth through the soil, the Humungus Fungus is probably more than 1,500 years old - imagine that!