Tropical Butterflies of the World Card
Size: 297mm x 210mm
Original Painting Medium: Oil on canvas
Scientific Name: Lepidoptera
Region: The Tropics
As I child I can remember being mesmerised as I watched butterflies feeding on a buddleia in our garden. They looked so fragile and beautiful as they fluttered from one flower to another searching for nectar and probing their probosces (a thin tubular tongue), delicately and precisely into each tiny flower head.
I have since learned that they are in fact quite tough little critters. Some species flying 1,000s of miles, across mountains and oceans - treacherous terrain, in order to reach breeding and feeding grounds. The seed for my fascination with butterflies had been sown.
It never ceases to amaze me that a plump hairy caterpillar tucked inside a hard chrysalis, will emerge months later transformed into a large, colourful, exquisitely patterned butterfly or moth. It is an incredible process.
Whilst preparing for my butterfly painting I read a number of books on butterflies and their habitats and was amazed at the number of butterfly species in the world. I was also intrigued by the range of shapes, sizes, variety of markings and rainbow of colours that each species of butterfly uses; either for display, warning, camouflage or disguise.
In order to portray my butterfly artwork accurately I visited Worldwide Butterflies in Sherborne, Dorset. With the help of the proprietor, Mr. Robert Goodden, I learned a great deal, including how to hand-rear certain species. During my studies I also learned that throughout the world, due to habitat destruction and changing farming methods, butterflies and moths are becoming scarce. During the summer months I am involved in 'moth counts' and 'butterfly surveys'. The surveys help to ascertain the numbers of certain species and record rarities that may occur.
I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure into the butterfly world and painting such colourful, delicate creatures was a joy. At some point in the not too distant future I hope to portray moths in a similar style to complement my 'Tropical Butterflies of the World' painting.
Various designs of Butterfly Greetings Cards and Fine Art Prints are available from my Nature in Art online Gallery Shop or from Larmer Tree Studio, Tollard Royal.