Saturday, March 11, 2017

newest painting....

About 8 years ago on a beautiful morning I noticed a wonderful moth on one of our house windows. It just stayed there-hardly moving its wings. Of course I took a zillion photos, and thankfully-saved them on a disk. I'm so glad I have tons of my old photos to paint from. I actually much prefer to paint from photos than 'real life.' I think photos flatten out the scene for me and even when there's a lot going on in the photo-it's still less than in real life-where I feel distracted by details that might not even make it into the painting!
I was happy with a few things here-happy with the reflection of this moth in the window, and happy with the wood just under the moth.
I think I learned a lot. It took about 50 hours. There's lots of layers of paint!
My support for the painting is an American Easel cradled birch gesso panel, 6"x8" using soft body acrylics. These are wonderful to paint on-lovely to look at unpainted-with a deep solid wood cradle-doesn't need a frame, and you can just hang it from a nail on your wall.
More about the moth-it's a female Promethea moth. National Geographic Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders says the caterpillars feed on spicebush, wild cherry, and sassafras, and other trees and bushes.
While I was taking the moth's picture, the male flew in and was with her for hours. I noticed one of them sprayed something on the wood. Must have been the female, to attract the male. The male looks nothing like the female! They look like they must not be related at all. Perhaps I will paint his portrait too.
Thank You, thank You God for giving me this love for painting, and for helping me when I was at my wit's end about certain parts of this painting.
Just an odd P.S.-since the photo was taken-we had the house sided and replaced all the windows. I love the new windows for their air-tightness and ease of cleaning-but I miss that old worn out look!
(please be kind, and do not copy my art or photos without asking. It's the right thing to do-to ask)


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Your painting looks very 3-D. I'm not sure how the moth looks in real life, but the wood siding is magnificent. I know I have never watched a moth as long as you must have watched the one you painted. Interesting information given in your commentary. Love this post and your painting.
xx, Carol

Studio Maywyn said...

Very nice
The realism surprises me the way it gently blends into impressionism, like vision focusing.

Penny said...

Your painting is beautiful!! I love reading your thoughts on art and what you are doing with it and your sources of inspiration.

Barbara said...

I'm with Carol. I see the 3D effect of the moth against the woodwork. Such an interesting subject! I've seen some rather large moths like this, was it quite big? Well done, you should be very happy with this one!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

This painting is excellent! I think it is one of your best that I have seen thus far.
Beautiful work.

jenclair said...

Love the texture of the wood and the delicate reflection in the window! Moths are so interesting, softer, less crisp than butterflies, more dreamy and suited to the night they prefer to inhabit. Beautiful work, Debra!

Coral Cottage said...

Debra - I so enjoyed this post. I enjoyed learning about this moth and her mate. I was really drawn in by the peeling paint, I love that kind of patina. It is such a struggle with these old houses loving their original character, but wanting air tight, efficiency. Sigh our old house has a little of both. Also, thank you for sharing the process and techniques. I'm so in love with your work. Looking forward to seeing the osprey nest too and all those wires and the structure of those poles. Many hugs. xo kim

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Debra - this is just my kind of painting. You captured the texture on the building and the moth's reflection - love it - great composition and seems so real too. So glad you are painting and enjoying this wonderful gift God has given you. Hugs!