A New Drawing

“Cithaerias Aurorina (Rosey Posey Wings) and Heliconius Sara (Sara Longwing)”                  11×14 Coloured Pencil on Paper

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.



5 thoughts on “A New Drawing

  1. writingbolt says:

    Nice butterflies. I like the darker ones best. I’d use the two varieties separately to craft eye-catching compositions.

    I don’t know how anyone creates every day. That sounds taxing. Granted, my mind might be working and even thinking creatively every day, but it doesn’t always feel up to producing. I wouldn’t start a lawn mower every day. Nor would I try to draw or craft anything satisfactory each day.

    If you really want to relax and enjoy the art process, I suggest slowing down and letting “awen” guide your hand, let time and nature build up your creative energy until it overflows from your hands, demanding to make something already visualized in your mind. I get plenty of ideas flying through my head at random intervals. But, only certain ones fall down that special mail chute to my hands. The rest continue to fly, spin and toss around the ol’ brain tunnels, occasionally getting lost in the archives.

    I think the planets play a part in our drives/abilities, as well. And, someone who has not practiced much at all for decades can suddenly produce a masterpiece that rivals the one made by an artist who has been trying to create every day since they were a kid. Sometimes, it feels like the universe guides our hand(s). [Which is partly why I became hooked on astrology.]

    In my Greek studies, it seems butterflies are associated with Psyche, the love interest of Eros/Cupid. The pair are sometimes called “heart and soul,” with Psyche being the soul. I took a trip once that involved a gift shop with cameo pieces made from seashells. It was there I saw images of the bird-winged man and butterfly-winged woman.


    1. ange365 says:

      Thanks! I think I may use them separately as well.

      I think creating every day may be too much. I think I’m going by the common advice that it’s good to draw daily to keep (and improve) skills. However, I tend to make the mistake of thinking everything I do should be a perfect, finished piece. Instead I should be just having fun with it most of the time. It was good to take a break and I’ll try to figure out what a good balance is. Thanks for the advice, I think I’ll take it!

      I don’t believe I knew about the Greek association with Eros and Cupid. I’ll have to read about it.


      1. writingbolt says:

        If by common advice you mean the rampant gossip of people under the age of 20 on this website, then sure.

        I’ve also heard you’re supposed to read a book a day and write four pages of a novel each day. But, the more I think about that, the more I feel like Joe working the button factory. I’d be pulling strings and levers and pushing buttons til I was red-faced and white-haired.

        Me, too. I’m a terrible perfectionist. It would be nice if I had a good partner or audience to validate my work without either sounding too critical or too nice. [That’s hard to realize.] It would be nice if I didn’t hear the voices of family in my head every time I start a creative project, either telling me what I am doing is too weird, lewd or nonsensical.

        So, when I work on a piece, I am caught up in a hurricane of voices, including a few of my own which are thinking a bit deeper and more complex than anyone I know. I keep wanting to turn to my right and find someone who gets my logic, asking them what they think.

        Yep, lots of good cultural references. I just happen to be hung up on Greek myths and Japanese/Chinese ghost stories.


      2. ange365 says:

        Ha, no not any rampant gossip. Just the advice of instructors and such. I do think the problem with trying to create every day is the expectation that something great has to emerge from it.
        Perfectionism is probably my worst enemy, but also sometimes a great motivator.


      3. writingbolt says:

        And, if we don’t get something “great” out of our every-day effort, what then? What do we do with all of our efforts? How much paper, ink, etc. do we go through, trying to stay productive? I think of actual printing places and manufacturing centers that probably produce a certain amount of “oopses” and write it off. We don’t see any of that. It just gets shipped to landfills. And then we get urged to recycle and use less.

        I don’t think my perfectionism is a good motivator anymore. I think it just makes me stiffen up, sweat profusely, flick my fingers like butterfly wings and stall. I am dying to just loosen up and let the art flow from me without expectations and the voices of others.


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