For the last day of the Art Challenge - butterflies. If you only know one thing about me, you should know that I like butterflies. I have butterfly necklaces and a ring from the Butterfly Conservatory at Niagara Falls Ontario during a trip to Canada in September 2012. What I love about butterflies are their free spirit. And just like a flower, a butterfly can brighten your day, even if it is for a brief moment. At times, they can be difficult to take photos of. If my camera is within reach - i have to try.
I created Exploring Wonderland from my original photograph Stay For Awhile of a monarch on a pink zinnia in my garden in 2009. I took the photo with my first digital camera. Two years later, using Adobe Photoshop I added 12 overlays over the photograph to highlight and bring out the details. This is also how the whimsical patterns where added along with a subtle canvas texture to the butterfly to give a painting texture. I have been asked several times if I have ever tried painting over my photos or prints. I started painting in acrylics two years ago. Now that I am more comfortable with acrylics, I would like to combine photography and digital art with my paintings - so this answer is: This butterfly will evolve again.
Butterfly Kiss is the first in this series. Taken on August 13th, 2010 near the Colorado-Kansas border just outside Kanorado, KS. We were traveling to Colorado on vacation when we noticed a sunflower field so we took the closest exit and headed towards the open field. The sunflowers definitely looked better from the highway than when I was standing in front of them. So after getting sandburs all over my jeans and plastic clod shoes. Just before I headed back to the Jeep, i noticed one single monarch going from sunflower to sunflower - I had to approach this butterfly slowly or he would relocate to another sunflower. I was actually getting to the point where I was having a hard time walking due to the sandburs in my shoes. I could of danced with this butterfly longer and finally had to walk away. I had to pick every last sticker off of my shoes and jeans before my husband would let me back in the Jeep. I have four images in the Butterfly Kiss series, they are currently on my site at this link: Sunflowers
Stay For Awhile is my favorite image I have captured of a butterfly, I took this image in July 2011. I was leaving town for the weekend. Before I left, I went in our backyard to take a few quick photos in the garden. I was so glad I took the time to take the photos because to my surprise, I came across this tiger swallowtail. I had never had the opportunity to see one this close, let alone take a photograph. Unlike my photograph Spread Your Wings, this butterfly was very calm enjoying a coneflower. I searched the pattern online and I believe it is a female eastern tiger swallowtail.
I have enjoyed doing this Art Challenge! I would like to journal more, of course as time allows. Until then I will leave you with this Irish Blessing...
May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.