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Butterflies in the Studio

Bark Basking Butterfly

Bark Basking Butterfly


It will be a few weeks before the earliest of our butterflies here will be flying, so here is a little preview of summer. This is a second version of the red-spotted purple I painted last summer. I hope this summer I can capture an image of this beauty’s underwing, with its red spots.

18 thoughts on “Butterflies in the Studio

  1. Looking forward to seeing the butterflies again. Last week we were in Florida near Orlando, Epcot, and the Space Center for a launch. At Epcot there was a butterfly tent. We went in and saw many fluttering around us. There were also many ready to hatch.

    1. I love those butterfly tents. There is a butterfly house in Chicago and at first we hoped to have native butterflies in there, but it didn’t work. They don’t take to domestication!

  2. I too am watching my Lantana plant looking for blooms. The Fliteraries sp) love it. I hope it revives. It always looks like it has died in winter.

    I hope you get a photo of those red spots too!

    1. The fritillaries are definitely fliteraries! I really love that! Thanks Deborah.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these “in the wild.” It’s lovely

    1. Thank you Robert. They really are beautiful butterflies. I used to see them more often. I’m not sure what is diminishing their numbers.

  4. Lovely painting. A variable species, they can have red spots on the upperside as well as the underside.

    1. Seriously?! I had no idea. Thank you Tom.

  5. It’s beautiful Melissa. I especially like your rendition of the tree bark.

    1. Thank you so much, Robyn. I’m so pleased, because I wrestled with that bark. I kept wanting to make it realistic but that killed the energy of the painting. A frustrated slash of color put me on the right track 🙂

      1. This is a challenge I wrestle with Melissa. Allowing a looseness in my work so that the creative process can have free rein. Well, I thought you achieved it.

  6. That’s a real beauty. We have had butterflies out for a couple of weeks now but nothing so spectacular as yours.

    1. Thank you, you’re very kind Andrew! The photos you have been sharing make me long to grab my brush and hop a plane to join you on your jaunts.

  7. I have a vague memory of a red-spotted purple, and it must be from your blog, because I’m sure I’ve never come across one here. The red-and-purple combination reminds me of the Red Hat ladies, who are perfectly nice, but (ahem) not as elegant as your butterfly.

    I’ve started seeing butterflies now. Last week I saw a giant swallowtail, and yesterday I saw some sort of skipper. I’ve seen two damselflies, too, so the season is beginning to move beyond just flowers. You’ll soon have live models to work with.

  8. Yes, you’re right, I did paint another version of this same butterfly a year ago. I wasn’t as happy with the first one, hence this second one which I like better. It is indeed an elegant butterfly but you’ve gotta love the red-hat ladies!

  9. It is gorgeous, Melissa!

    1. Thank you Tanja!

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