Giant Silk Moths

Today I completed the first piece in my new “Lepidoptera” series, in which I plan to explore the beautiful moths and butterflies of North America. I am such a girly-girl in that I have been itching to do this – to capture the ethereal, sparkly iridescence of a moth or butterfly wing on canvas. Many people find that moths are the drabber, less interesting, and less beautiful counterparts of butterflies, but I couldn’t disagree with this more. For example, did you know that moths were ancient symbols of change, and were believed to be agents of revelation? In fact, moths symbolize many different things, most likely due to their nocturnal nature. They were believed to be good and/or bad luck, harbingers of death, and messengers of the spirit world.

So the first moth in my Lepidoptera series is Hyalophora cecropia from the family Saturnidae (Giant Silk Moth Family). It is the largest silk moth in North America, and can be found as far west as the Rockies. They are SO Canadian that their food of preference is the maple tree, and they are found in most Canadian provinces. The adult Hyalophora cecropia moths are LOVE machines – their only function is to reproduce so they lack functioning mouth parts and digestive systems!! Amazing little creatures. I decided to paint the moth on split canvases, and used acrylics, light modelling paste for texture and some beautiful iridescent medium.

Oh, and just as an aside, my Enchanted Forest did very well at the Root, most pieces selling as soon as they were hung on the walls! Here is an example of one that I completed last week.

While I did love creating these trees, I’m very happy to be moving on to moths and butterflies! My next painting will feature the beautiful Swallowtail butterfly!