Sunday, September 20, 2009

Butterfly Festival, Butterflies Everywhere

Dahlia #1

Dahlia #2

I could write a book about my day today at the Butterfly Festival in Lake Katherine. But I'll keep it short (ha, ha, that won't happen) once I start writing, and add more later. I met a few of my art league friends at the nature preserve and took some early morning photos of the butterflies floating around in their butterfly net home. Yes, I felt like ripping holes in the netting and letting them fly free, but instead restrained myself and took photos of them perched on flowers here, there and everywhere. It was still rather peaceful, mind you, as the "crowds" had not descended yet for the 11:00 am opening time. So the butterflies still seemed in a rather zenlike mood to me and I meditated, with my camera, on each one of them. Hey, this is my idea of Sunday church, what can I say?

After I was done taking pictures, I grabbed my paints and watercolor paper and decided to attempt a little plein air painting. I'm pretty rusty, well actually two years rusty from painting with s group of plein air painters, but felt brave and wanted to step outside the box. So I plopped myself down off the beaten path of people swarming in droves everywhere, choosing to recapture the beauty of a peachy pink dahlia that was just bursting at the seams.

Dahlia 1 above is full of color. I got the basic outline down and then the creative zone grabbed me and every color I could get my hands on graced the paper. When I was done with Dahlia 1, I decided to recreate a more approximate image of what stood before me. Suddenly I had flashbacks of a Chinese brush painting class I took in Florida a while back and the painting strokes began to take on those characteristics I had learned way back when. So Dahlia 1 and Dahlia 2 are two impressions of the same flower that was bobbing in the wind nearby. They are so different, yet painted only within minutes of one another!

Anyway, a good exercise for me. I guess I'm not really very good at plein air painting. I get too distracted by the events and goings on around me, and today there were a million things to steal my attention. Still, I was proud of my attempt. But even in my hiding place away from humanity (or so I thought), several people stopped by. A few were friends of mine and that was fine. Another was a very elderly lady whose kids? dropped her off nearby so she could rest. Maybe they thought she would be okay with me. We struck up a conversation, I forgot her name but she said she lived with a bunch of old ladies, she had macular degenerative eye disease and couldn't see my painting very well but still liked it and was quite pleased when she remembered my name when she waved good-by.

All in all, a good day out in nature surrounded by butterflies, kids dressed in butterfly costumes and happy, excited energy. I'm glad I dabbled in photography and painting while at the fest. It seemed to keep my creative mood sustained for a longer period of time. I think next time, though, I'll seek a quiet refuge if I decide to paint outside again. As I was getting ready to leave the preserve, I noticed a stray butterfly hovering on a thistle nearby. An escapee, I thought, and silently wished him well as he took off, free from his net confines! I think that's all any of us want is freedom, freedom to be who we are!


Elena said...

Oh Bev, this is beautiful. And that lone escapee butterfly was so fitting at the end of the day. A message to you that you are free and right where you're meant to be. You sound like you're on a fast train of creativity-just bursting with creative energy. And I love the dahlias.

Suz said...

You sound so happy! that makes me feel happy too. I have been to that fest in is so nice....your flowers are quite quite nice. I love the painting of the leaf lady! Wow when did you do that one!
I think I would know your work anywhere....that's a good thing

butterfly woman said...

Hi Elena,
You know me, always looking for symbolism and the deeper meaning in everything that comes across my path.
Yes, I did have fun yesterday, good energy at the Butterfly place, good friends to connect with, and all my butterfly kin there too, ha, ha.

Hi Suz,
Yes, I am feeling happier these days. I realize I have a choice regarding my moods these days and happy and joyful feels really good. Leaf lady (I like that title) was done about a month ago. Kind of to herald in the Autumn season. She's got a bit of mystery to her, yet she's really connected to nature, it is her and she is it.

Thanks both of you for your nice comments. That makes me even happier.

Carol Anne Strange said...

Gorgeous work, Bev! And what an inspirational day at the Butterfly Festival. It sounds like you're in your creative element and I'm so happy for you. Your work is resonating magically. Much love. xx

Doris said...

I'm hoping for a nice butterfly day here soon! How lovely!

april said...

You surely took advantage of the day, Bev! I'm glad you got to enjoy the butterflies before the crowd came. And then on to painting. You did a wonderful job! And how good of you to befriend that elderly lady. You never know...she might have been a fairy in diguise.