Blue Green Butterfly
6" x 9" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

I really enjoy drawing butterflies and expect to see a few more in the coming weeks.  One of my first dictionary drawings was a yellow butterfly and I've drawn many others since then but none with this color scheme.  When I am drawing these illustrations on the pages of discarded books, I don't strive to reproduce an exact replica of an actual butterfly.  My goal is to create whatever I want, however I want it, using the tools I have.  I doubt you will find this guy in any science book.

Because these old pages are so brittle and fragile, they will only endure so much mark making before they start to flake and dissolve.  I have experimented with all types of media to discover a "recipe" of particular dry and wet media that works.  For the most part, I use pretty subtle and neutral colors all combined with sepia ink outlines.  I think this combination contributes to the vintage look of the drawings.

I have only thrown out one drawing that crumbled into dust from too much drawing.  It's interesting, too, how different each book feels and reacts.  Even dictionaries from the same year and the same edition can feel different.  It shows that all have changed over time based on their environment and care - kinda like people.

This little guy is heading for a frame so he can shine at the Paseo Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City at the end of May.

Here's my first butterfly on a dictionary page -

5" x 5" Mixed Media Drawing on Distressed, Dictionary Page

Even though I am working away on a lengthy series of dictionary drawings, there has been an evolution of my work.  When I first began I cropped the pieces (sometimes actually cutting the pages down ((makes me cringe now)) - other times just digitally cropping on the computer for prints) into square formats.  I loved the look of the squared images - especially in square frames but I have discontinued that approach to now use a full page composition.

I also started out with an ancient scanner so earlier works that were scanned for prints or digital files all ended up with a yellow tint (blame the equipment - I know).  Since most of these original pieces are sold and long gone, I have no way to re-scan them to capture their true color.  You can identify earlier works because they are all very yellow. Thanks to better equipment, my prints and digital files are now much closer to the actual color of the original art work.


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