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Moths of Summer



In the scheme of biological classification, butterflies and moths fall into the Order we call Lepidoptera. Typically speaking, butterflies are brightly colored diurnal creatures. Moths are nocturnal and lackluster. But there are some exceptions. Leave it to Van Gogh to lend his artistic curiosity to the Great Peacock Moth that began with a sketch, and ended in a painting.

We began with a close observation of the artists palate, imitating each color with acrylic paint. We stored the colors in pint-sized mason jars knowing that the paintings could not be accomplished in one sitting.

The apprentice painters began by lightly sketching the composition in pencil on canvas, all the while marveling at Van Gogh’s marvelous composition.

Next came the brushes, the paint. The artists began with the lighter colors, blocking in the delightfully organic shapes, until layer upon layer, the moth began to emerge in its surroundings. The last colors to be painted were the deep blue-green outlines and the popping crimson accents.

I’d like to imagine Van Gogh smiling.

Metamorphosis is transformation.





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