Friday, February 3, 2012

Flower Hill Farm BUTTERFLIES OF 2011 ~ American Painted Lady



American Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensis

The American Painted Lady or American Lady Vanessa virginiensis is another favorite butterfly of the family Brushfooted Butterflies Nymphalidae, donning large eyes. These painted beauties are most often sighted between late April and early October. They migrate south for the winter. 




If you look within the plants of Edelweiss or Pearly Everlasting in the summer you may find some of the caterpillars of the American Painted Lady
2011 was only the third year that I was able to capture one of these striking butterflies . . . so, it is rather a 'new acquaintance'. 
Sadly, I was not able to get this beauty to open its wings last year. 
I am including the photos below from my 2009 and 2010 gardens.



This American Painted Lady almost seems like a flower on this Verbena bonariensis. 
Painting in Progress

 Another 'new acquaintance' is this painting (Still in a pupa stage.) . . . that continues to grow as we come to know each other better.  You might remember it when it first began the end of November 2011 ~ A purple underpainting.

WORK IN PROGRESS


I was not able to paint most of December and January, but now I am happy to report that I am applying pigments to canvas again. Painting with vibrant colors helps keep joy alive, when outside all is white and gray with bits of dark evergreen . . . with exception to the sunrise and sunset skies. 
I have a good amount of work still left to do on this rather psychological painting. The trees are not really that close together . . . I have them placed a bit like bars . . . imprisoning the house and its occupants. The huge Rock Maples are both protectors and do appear to be somewhat threatening . . . foreboding . . . if you will. The tree's branches are intertwined . . . you can imagine the invisible roots that anchor them to the hillside are as well.




Here is a review of my favorite butterflies of 2011 so far. If you have not had the pleasure of meeting eye to eye ~ a Monarch, Eastern Black Swallowtail, a Buckeye or a American Painted Lady, I hope 2012 will be the year you make their acquaintance.  

Next time I will showcase Tiger Swallowtails. 

It is time again to fly towards Sweden and visit Katarina's Roses and Stuff . 
Much beauty and imagination awaits you there!



26 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Carol:
How perfectly apposite that you should post about the beautiful 'American Painted Lady' whilst heralding your own return to the canvas. We are delighted to read that you feel both well enough and inspired enough to take up your paintbrush once more.

We recognise that the picture you show is a work in progress but clearly there are a number of significant elements to the composition. The house and its landscape are central themes and the trees, as you say, can be seen to be both protecting and intimidating, caressing and suffocating, the colours both hot and cold. So many mixed emotions..... we shall watch its progress with interest.

Carol said...

Thank you! Thank you . . . dear Jane and Lance. I thought it a good time to sneak my painting back in too. I am afraid it is not beautiful as is the Painted Lady but my metamorphosis as a painter is not as refined yet. There are indeed many mixed emotions going on here. I am doing a series of my house and land with the trees somewhat exaggerated . . . making them seem more ominous than they really are. They are very powerful though, in their true form, standing solidly so near the small farmhouse. The prison metaphor is only me crying out to make a change in my life . . . to fly away with the butterflies into a new chapter of adventure . . . before time runs out. Freedom means letting go of something that holds me dearly. Painting is a creative process helping me . . . I think . . . to come to that choice.

Country Gal said...

Beautiful photos . I cant wait to photograph butterfly's and flowers again ! Have a wonderful day !

Leena said...

Such wonderful photos! I do love them! I just now found your beatiful blog and will look more around her. And your paintings - so beautiful! Thanks for letting me see, I'll come back!
The flower in my blog was Californian poppy. I think the most common colour is yellow, so mine was a little bit new - even for me.
Take care!
Leena

Elephant's Eye said...

step by step to moving, away?? (stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars, a cage). It is good to see you regain the vitality to paint!

Barbarapc said...

Carol,
I've been out of action for a bit and was both delighted to see your photos and concerned to learn that you're have a difficult time. I find that the creative process does seem to have the power to calm and put life in perspective. I too am looking forward to the delicious return of spring and all the colours and creatures that come with it.
Barbarapc

Gardeningbren said...

I always enjoy when you show your paintings. It will be an adventure now, seeing the progression.

Painted Lady...quite the beauty eh!

sandy said...

Wow, does this make me long for summer! For some reason, I see lots of these tidy, little butterflies.
I like the idea of brightening up your life with paint. Maybe, I will give it a try.

Carol said...

Thank you Country Gal!

Carol said...

Thank you so Leena! So glad you came for a visit.

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,
My favorite is the close up on the coneflower a sweet image. The rest are nearly as good, but I like close ups the best. You know American Painted Lady is not used much any more as it confuses people with the Painted Lady. Now days we call this butterfly simply American Lady.

Carol said...

Dreaming Diana . . . lessening my load. The trick is trying to figure out how to be here in a lighter way so as to be free to be elsewhere too. It is like an underpainting right now . . . when things are clearer I can share . . . right now I just do not know. Thanks so for stopping by and for your kind words. Truthfully my not being able to paint has more to do with discipline than vitality . . . blogging takes more drive.

Carol said...

Hi Barbara! Thanks for sharing and for your thoughtfulness. I hope all is going well for you now. Yes, Spring will not be too long now.

Carol said...

Thank you Bren! Painting sure can be an adventure with all the frustration and joy one can bring. A beauty indeed!

Carol said...

Hi Sandy, Thanks for stopping by. Lucky you . . . I really only ever see a few each year. Happy painting!

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful butterfly, such detail in these pictures.
It's funny I wasn't able to paint much in December or the begining of January either, now I am full of ideas and enthusiasm again. I think every now and again our creative side just needs a rest. Good luck with the painting.

Tammie Lee said...

I have never learned to tell one butterfly from another, well there are a few... maybe it is time. they are so lovely. thanks for the tip for where to find their catapillars.

i love seeing your WIP, lovely as can be. also fun to hear you talk about it and the trees....
lovely weekend to you.

Anja said...

Kära Carol!

It is easy to fall in love in your shots of butterflies. And, what a talent artist you are!

Have a good times and take care! Kram, Anja

Carol said...

Thanks much Randy! I know about the name and I am one who was confused. LOL I just put what was listed on Mass. Audubon and other sites I visit, as well as my field guide. I also like the word painted and tied it in with my own work. Ha! Somehow American Lady just does not work for me. Talk about confusing . . . we are looking at a butterfly. ;>)

Carol said...

Hi Gillian! Thank you so much! Would that I could give my creative side a rest! I so need a real vacation . . . away from camera, computers, and any work. It all takes tons of energy! Yes, there is a great deal of wisdom to the idea of a fallow field or mind and I am sure I would (like everyone) benefit from a complete break. Good luck with your painting too!- you are prolific. I love your work . . . especially the food and Echinacea! Wonderful colors.

Carol said...

Dear Tammie, Thank you for sharing! I would love to see your butterflies . . . as with all of your stunning work, I am sure your portraits would sparkle.

Carol said...

Kara Anja! Thank you, thank you for these kind supportive words! Kramar!

sweetbay said...

Ah, I love American Painted Ladies too! Such gorgeous shots!

Having a farm isn't the easiest thing. Rewarding in many ways and difficult in many ways too.

Carol said...

Thank you Sweetbay! I am always excited when I chance to see one of these beauties. So true . . . it is such a wonderful lifestyle but as one gets older . . . so much to take care of. Simplify and expand for my next chapter.

NHGarden said...

Wonderful photos! Love the contrast of the butterfly with the Rudbeckia! I will look forward to see your painting progress.

Katarina Holmström said...

The butterfly is a new acquaintance for me, Carol - and a very lovely one!
-And Carol - I love your painting!

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