Thursday, August 18, 2011
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The house and land I currently own was in sad shape when my wife and I purchased it years ago. Part of the clean up process included moving and disposing of a huge mound of limbs and other yard waste which was next to an old shed on the property. As I tore into the pile, I began to experience a wonderful discovery. From under the pile emerged an old flower garden from one of the previous residents. Some of the treasures I found included rose bushes, Iris, pyracantha, lilac bushes, hollyhocks, and three butterfly bushes. One deep purple, one lavender, and one white. All of the plants were in pretty bad shape, but with a little care judicious pruning they revived and were healthy and beautiful the following year.
Not only do I enjoy the beauty of the bush but they also provide an amazing sight each year as they draw an gathering of beautiful butterflies and moths. "Buddleja" is the genus of the butterfly bush and "Davidii" is the white flowering form of the bush. This is the time of the year when I see the most butterflies around the bushes. And for some reason, they seem to enjoy the white bush more than the others. Maybe some of my more knowledgeable friends can comment on this. All types of butterflies and moths are drawn to the plants and it is truly a glorious sight to see the plants hanging full of different colors and sizes of the insects.
The 5"x7" study above is a sprig of blooms from the white bush. I have used all of the different bushes in still life and other paintings in the past and I will keep doing so. The painting above was a challenge as the sprig started to droop quickly as it was not in water. This forced me to work quickly which is actually a good thing as it keeps your image somewhat loose and fresh. You might say it is the same concept we use in life drawing when we start out with 1 minuet, 3 minuet, 7 minuet, etc. poses. Your aim is to reproduce the most important and obvious visual information and not worry about the small details. The viewers mind will fill in the details. The resulting quick sketches can be quite beautiful in their simplicity.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing the painting and my butterfly pictures and will return often!
Thanks - Ralph