Friday, June 24, 2011

butterflies

I think everyone has a romanticized version of themselves. Like if you had to define yourself as a person - the words that you would choose are a projection of the qualities that you desire... and to some extent every person thinks: I defy labels. Really, we don't, but we all think that.

Labels, of course, are subjective.

So, what I know is that I probably have little use for "the rules," whatever those might be. If you've visited this blog semi-regularly, you may have noticed that there is a lack of format (which, unless you have OCD and you check here daily) is due largely to the fact that I do a blog entry when I actually have something to share, as opposed to having a format.

I don't desire to abide by a format in my free time, which I consider this blog to be. Formats are just like rules, and usually they're kind of arbitrary and eventually they get boring or feel like an obligation. Obligations come with expectations and guilt, particularly when expectations aren't met... and I like to avoid that. Formats also involve a time table and repetition. I'm not really a format kind of girl.

When I was a child I had a lot of toys, particularly Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids. And one day I was downstairs playing in the Barbie Section (that was the name of the area in the basement that had been apportioned to me & my sister as a play area) and realized that I had no desire to be a doctor or a lawyer or an astronaut (or whatever the third rung of that analogy is supposed to be). My childhood ambition was either to be a princess or a hairdresser...

I mean, I styled a lot of doll hair, and I had all the latest dolls from Herself the Elf, Rose Petal, Hot Looks dolls, Strawberry Shortcake, She-Ra dolls, Golden Girls (not the sitcom), Barbies, Maxie dolls (like Barbie), Jem and the Holograms... some of those probably also account for my princess aspirations (besides the fact that princesses had pretty dresses)... Anyway, I am neither a princess or a hairdresser.

I'm not a goal-obsessed person. That's probably why I got that art degree.

So, every now and then an idea for a 'thing' will pop into my head. And I may write it down or draw it in the back of my sketchbook, or I might not. And if I just remember it - that's fine.

So, for a long long time I had this idea about a project with butterflies, and really, I didn't sit down and meticulously plan out the details... I just finally did it. So, one Saturday morning one of the showtime channels was playing "Ripple Effect" and I sat there and sketched out butterfly wings... and realized that I think that Forest Whitaker plays phenomenally annoying characters (yes, I've seen the Criminal Minds spin-off).

And eventually, I scanned those and inked them, and scanned those, and made a 'body' and then 'antenna'... and piece by piece, slowly, and perhaps organically the project finally came together. And I realize that I tend to think of my work in process terms - like I scanned that, inked that, etc — because generally, those are the givens. The colors, the shape, the composition — I think of those as simply being inherent and I suppose, beyond explanation...

And sometimes I think things have amusing and unintentional parallels and connections. Because to 'colorize' the butterflies — I used scans of my watercolor paintings. And perhaps, when you were a child you had a watercolor set and made a butterfly by painting half and then folding the paper in half and pressing it together. I don't remember ever having done that at home — I actually only remember doing it in the fourth grade...

But then, I paint watercolors that don't follow "the rules." According to the rules - if you use some sort of gimmick - like salt on watercolor - you should do it sparingly, just in an area or something. Oh, pfft to that thinking.

When I paint with watercolors, other than knowing that I will be using paint, salt, water, paper, and a brush — I don't plan my compositions — they happen. It is what it is, which must be very wrong to the people who will tell you that there are rules...

So, I finally finished* the butterfly project that I've been thinking about for about a year now.
*finished is a relative term.


morning dew fairywing

rose madder majestic

morning aurora swallowtail

You can see the rest of them at my sarahkdesigns shop as they trickle into the butterfly section.
I suppose if I had planned it and put it on a time table - it would have been done a long time ago. But, that's just not how I work.

Now, since this is the last day of my 'vacation' — let's see which new project gets my last day of vacation, so I'm relaxed and focused attention. Will it be the calendar graphics, the bird project, the dancers, the 'portraits,' the watercolor over photographs, or the girls? Or, maybe I'll finish cleaning the living room. Okay, yeah, the living room probably isn't going to win that one.

Have a lovely weekend, and do whatever is going to make you happy : )

15 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

I love these, your own discovery of species.When I see one flitting around I have to get close and watch them.

CountryDew said...

Very nice. Thanks for visiting me at Blue Country Magic!

Bob Bushell said...

What a lovely pictures, thanks.

R. J. said...

All three are beautiful, but I think my favorite is the first butterfly, Morning Dew Fairywing. I like the simplicity and it seems a bit transparent. I envy those who have artistic abilities. Your work is so creative.

I can relate to your thoughts on labels and formats. I'm insecure and wouldn't want to know what anyone would say about me or my thoughts. I do whatever I do because it appeals to me at the moment.

Sandra said...

the b flys are beautiful. you are very talented with photos and painting. i played with paper dolls and paint by number since i was a child in the fifties way before barbies.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Your butterflies are gorgeous! congrats on wrapping up a project!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Sarah. It's interesting to hear how other people think about their processes -- whether it's work, or blogging, or art, or...

I'm not sure I have it all figured out yet. Like your butterflies, I kind of flit from one flower to the other with no apparent rhyme or reason... :)

Michael and Hanne said...

Thanks for visiting Hanne and Michael!
You certainly make some great creative images. It is fun combining different media and ideas. I just mess with software and photos, e.g. Art Rage, different kinds on the Apple iMac and on the iPad. I switched from watercolors a few years ago. Cheers from Penticton!

Nikki said...

I love that you know this about yourself and break free of those obligations. I think I'll flag this post and come back to it to subdue the random guilt trips I take myself on.

Beautiful water colors!

Montanagirl said...

I LOVE the butterflies! Have a great weekend.

Tabor said...

I think that we must be whatever our inner song tells us we are. You have created some lovely art...glad you were listening to the song.

S. Etole said...

Those are delightful butterflies!!!

lisa said...

This is a great post Sarah, and those butterflies are truly magnificent. I have never seen anything quite like them!

Dave said...

Whatever lights your fire Sarah :-)
We are all individuals and operate in our own ways. Personally I prefer to be organised - makes life easier.I admired your butterflies - Dave

Catherine said...

Your butterflies are so beautiful Sarah! It's so wonderful when you can see your ideas come to life.

I hope 'cleaning the living room' was last on your list and that you enjoyed your last day of vacation. ;)
xo Catherine