Painting My Butterfly for Flight 2023
Flight is a program designed to enhance beauty in the outdoor spaces and raise funds for school district art programs. Orchestrated by The Rotary Club of Colorado Springs, artists are encouraged to submit a proposal for a butterfly design and after a review process, artists are chosen to paint a butterfly for the auction which will take place on 9/23/23. To find out more about Flight and the live/online auction click here.
“Georgia On My Mind” was inspired by the iconic Georgia O’Keeffe. I love her art, the magnified blossoms she painted and desert visions. In 2015 I painted a butterfly for the Year of O’Keeffe for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The butterfly was entitled “Georgia’s Wings”. Fast forward to this year, and I was inspired to paint a butterfly once again. “Georgia’s Wings” landed in the courtyard at Penrose Main Hospital, and I am expectant about where “Georgia On My Mind” might land. For inspiration I chose a lesser-known painting by Ms. O’Keeffe, Apple Blossoms. She painted this in 1930 and the colors and shapes caught my eye. Also, the apple blossom theme for multiple reasons. Last year I planted an apple tree in my backyard to honor my deceased father because apple pie was his favorite. Growing apple trees in Colorado requires patience, and a lot of TLC! As summer comes to an end I am still waiting for the blossoms and apples. Painting this butterfly with apple blossoms was the perfect antidote to the wait.
The design rendering submitted to CS Flight.
The aluminum alloy butterfly is quite large, very sturdy and comes in two pieces. Finding a place to paint outside of my studio works better and I set up a place in my garage for the process. Many layers of acrylic paint are applied to create the images. The surface responds quite differently from canvas and requires controlled brush strokes with lots of paint. GOLDEN paints are my choice for this project because their pigments are very rich and of highest quality.
Painting the apple blossom side.
Both sides finished and ready for the high-quality clear coat by Status Symbol Auto Body to protect this outdoor art piece from the inclement weather elements.
The butterfly reveal was a wonderful Labor Day event where all of the painted butterflies are on display at The Pioneer Museum downtown Colorado Springs. Positioned on the front lawn of the museum with a string quartet playing music, family and friends browsing the display of butterflies, photographs being taken, encouraging remarks by patrons, a slight breeze in the air, many excited artists as folks meandered through the outdoor gallery; this event was an evening to remember.
Who knows where “Georgia On My Mind” will land or any of the other magnificent creations. One thing is certain, the outdoor spaces will be enriched by their presence, conversations will ensue regarding these creations, and Colorado Springs will benefit from this added beauty. When I think about Georgia O’Keeffe and her life, this is what comes to mind…”she blossomed in the cracked places”. My butterfly reflects this grit, a determination to move forward during tough times, and to always find time for chasing beauty.
Thanks for stopping by and best wishes for the last days of summer!
UPDATE – “GEORGIA ON MY MIND” – SOLD!!! SO HAPPY THIS WINGED TREASURE HAS A NEW HOME AND IS BRINGING BEAUTY TO THE OURDOOR SPACES.