I took a bit of a break from art in the past couple of weeks. I tried a little bit of digital painting (I’ll post some of it in the future), but other than that I haven’t been doing much of anything creative. I try to draw or paint every day, and usually I do, but every so often I cease to be productive and instead become very frustrated with what I’m trying to do and a short break seems to help. I’ve been painting quite a bit over the past few months with both success and failure. I like painting more and more as I learn new techniques and try different things but I’m not at a point where I can really relax and enjoy it. All seemed to be going well with it and then suddenly, it wasn’t. I didn’t have the desire I usually do. I would look at the canvas and just wasn’t excited to paint, and worse, started to wonder if all this effort was worth it in the end. So I took a little break.
This happens to me, and I imagine most other artists from time to time. I guess it’s an artist’s block. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal, and it really shouldn’t be, but every time it happens I wonder if this is the time I lose total interest and quit altogether. For a few days I actually thought this might be the case and I was getting a bit worried. I mean, what if I never felt like making art again? Fortunately, I became aware of the fact that although I had been painting quite a bit, I hadn’t been drawing. In fact I hadn’t drawn anything for a few weeks. You may wonder what the difference is. Well, apparently, A LOT! At least in my case. Yesterday I started this drawing and things were good again. I still don’t feel like painting, but I’m not worried. Drawing feels like home.
The drawing, as you can see, is of two types of butterflies. The butterflies on the top and bottom are, I believe, Heliconius Sara, or Sara Longwing. The four in the middle are Cithaerias Aurorina, or Rosey Posey Wings. I’m never positive that my identification of the butterflies I draw is correct because often times I take reference photos without knowing what kind of butterfly I’m looking at (I don’t normally use reference images that are not my own). I then have to search the internet for the name of it with search terms such as “black butterfly with blue and white on wings”.
Why do I like to draw butterflies? I’m not sure. I enjoy learning about what the butterfly symbolizes in different cultures, but that isn’t what interests me about them. I don’t use a whole lot of symbolism in my work (at least not intentionally). Not that I never will, but right now I just depict what I see and that’s enough for me. Boring? Maybe. But I don’t care. I think the main reason I like to draw butterflies is because, really, what’s more beautiful in the summer than these little bursts of colour fluttering around just doing their thing? How can nature be more perfect? Well I’m sure someone will have an answer to that question with something even more perfect but whatever. I just enjoy them.