Lepidoptera: The “Painted Lady” Butterfly

It has been almost a year since my last post. Time flies. We are now back in BC, and very much enjoying it! Life has been busy, settling in to our new place, but now I feel I have some time to devote to this blog. My Lepidoptera series remains a work in progress…

The Painted Lady butterfly, or Vanessa cardui is one of the most wide-spread butterflies in the world, found on every continent except for Antarctica and South America. Indeed, the Painted Lady butterfly is so common, that many preschool and elementary classrooms to demonstrate the life-cycle of a butterfly. Naturally, this is one reason they are so popular amongst children. In fact, the painting pictured above was inspired by my son’s science project. The butterfly in the painting is actually an American Painted Lady, or Vanessa virginiensis.  I quite prefer the pink on the undersides of its wings to that of the orange found on the Vanessa cardui. I have been playing with texture and color, gloss and matte. Below is another painting in my Lepidoptera series, “Scarlet Migration”. The background wasn’t meant to turn out the way it did, but I think the painting evolved into exactly what it was meant to be.

Now that we are all settled in the new city, my next task is to join an art club, and find a new place to display and show my art…wish me luck!


2 thoughts on “Lepidoptera: The “Painted Lady” Butterfly

  1. Hi there. Welcome back to BC. I live in Comox. I found your site while doing research on how to marble with acrylic on canvas. Your floral paintings are spectacular. Like yourself, I am a painter and working on trying to use marbled backgrounds in my paintings.. I use Golden High Flow and Airbrush acrylics as my marbling paints. I found that painting my canvas with Golden Absorbent medium, followed by a coat of alum worked very well and resulted in bright, clear colours more in the Turkish marbling style. However, I would like to put a basecoat of colour on my canvas before marbling and found that the Absorbent medium obscured the base coat. Did you ever find a solution to the “adherence problem”? If you would like to share experiences and solutions just send me an email. I have included my website address but there isn’t much on there. Unlike you, I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

    • Thank you so much, Channing! Sorry I haven’t replied until now…September seems to be a very busy time of year with school starting for the children! Yes there seems to be quite an adherence problem with the paints, and then cracking once it’s dried. The Golden High Flow and Airbrush acrylics are a really good idea. I’ve often wondered about using these, with raw canvas and an alum mordant, or just switching to inks, with raw canvas and an alum mordant. Using Golden Absorbent medium also sounds like a great idea. I used a basic cornstarch recipe to float the paints – do you use the methyl cellulose? It was hard for me to find enough of that stuff to float paints for larger canvases. Could you tint the absorbent medium to the color of your base coat?

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