Because Monarch Butterflies are among the most beautiful of all butterflies, they are considered by many to be the ‘king’ of butterflies – hence the name ‘monarch’. Much like the butterfly transitions through its various stages, from egg to caterpillar to pupa to finally an adult butterfly, this expressive painting of a gorgeous monarch butterfly on a vibrant blue field came together through a series of transitions. I had been on a roll letting the paint drop creating dots. But I missed the line. A thick or thin line falling with no hope of stopping, is immediate. A line hits and it is done. Final. The only thing I can do is lay another line over it or add dots of color.” The end result of this artistic merging of lines and dots is the stunning painting you see here.
The dark divisions within the butterfly’s wings combined with the sections filled with bright colors mimics the beauty of stained glass. Close inspection of the painting brings to mind the silkiness of the butterfly’s body and paper thin delicateness of its wings. The blue background helps the butterfly pop off of the surface. Add this artwork to any room in your home where you want to add a splash of color.
I decided to paint a monarch butterfly because I have so many fond memories of them. The majority of my paintings begin with a positive idea, feeling or memory. I start by creating a series of drawings which I then recreate in several stages and pencil in on a primed canvas. Once this prep work is complete, the paint is applied using a variety of techniques by dropping, throwing or dragging it. My tools include everything from brushes, twigs and screwdrivers, to bamboo, spoons and forks.
As I was progressing through the stages of this painting, working with the thick and thin lines and dots of color, I was so worried the final product would come out looking like a wicker collectable figurine you would see at a flea market. However upon completion of the piece, that worry was gone. When I step a few feet away from this painting, I get a sense of movement – nervous energy. There is also this weird effect of the dark lines imitating stained glass framed in a fire. The complimenting cool colors make the warm colors glow. Balancing this effect, I see intense energy in the lines.
Title: Monarch on Blue
Dominant Colors: blue, red, orange, yellow, black
Method: Abstract expressionism
Original Artwork Size: 26”x48”
Artist: Michael Glass