Flashy Little Bugger, 6"x9", Oil on Birch Panel, 2010
Each year our local arts org has an invitational small works show with a theme, this year it is "The Sky is the Limit". I have participated each time that I am invited because it's always a fun theme plus it's a great chance to stretch out and do something different.
At first I was thinking black paintings, with some random stars, lights, etc. but then one evening in the garden I was swatting bugs away and it occurred to me that I should use the bugs as subject matter. They qualified, what with all that flying in the sky and dive bombing me, hehe.
Flying In From New Guinea, 6"x9", Oil on Birch Panel, 2010
And actually, I have done some paintings of insects before. During the first year that I had started painting again, I was playing around with different imagery, having not conclusively decided to focus on landscapes. I did several bug paintings and one or two were kind of interesting but the rest were pretty dreary. I was still experimenting with the color of the underpaintings and how to get the glazes to work with the underpainting instead of against it. I also recall being unsure about how technically correct to get with the insects, I didn't want them to look like scientific illustrations yet I did feel that some accuracy was important. In general, I was still searching for the balance then, between accuracy and expression (actually that is an ongoing search) and insects were maybe not quite the place to explore that. In addition, my painting skills were just plain out rusty, so I gravitated back towards more simplistic subject matter in order to relearn my process and skills.
After looking through my jpegs, this seems to be the only bug painting that qualified for photography AND inclusion in the 2004 image folder. I believe it is painted on hardboard and is about 6 inches square. I guess the painting didn't qualify as one to keep either, because I can't find it anywhere!
Anyway, I am not so sure that all those issues are resolved concerning the bug paintings here although I think my painting skills have improved, and my color sense has certainly evolved too. But whatever! Mostly it was just a lot of FUN to paint these bugs! I would like to do more; for now though, they have been a lovely diversion for me before I settle down to prepare for an upcoming solo show.
I've Spotted You, 6"x9", Oil on Birch Panel, 2010
Anyway, after posting a few of these images on my Facebook page, I had a number of requests for more info, like prices and availability, so I am going to include all that here, even though I rarely post prices on this blog. I have six bug paintings (the firefly crashed and burned, unfortunately;)) and only four of them will be included in the show. I have not decided which ones yet, but if anyone is interested in ANY of the 6 paintings, I am going to support my local arts org here and they will be handling the sales for all of them.
Fluttering Moths, 6"x9", Oil on Birch Panel, 2010
Cooperstown Art Association
Exhibition Dates: June 11-July 9
Opening Reception: Friday, June 11 5-7pm
Each panel is 6"x9" and are priced at $225.
If you are interested in buying one please contact CAA AFTER Saturday, June 5th. I have to deliver them first!
And PS. I will post the last two here on Saturday, not quite finished with them, oops!