My local library has a Book to Art Book Club. Every other month we read a book and then produce a piece of art inspired by the book. At our meetings we discuss the book and share our artwork. A few months ago, we read the children’s book, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and I created a set of watercolor butterfly paintings for the meeting. I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian concept of “Cabinets of Curiosities” and the natural collections that many Victorians put together and that was the basis of my paintings.
To create the paintings, I used a watercolor technique that gave me very little control over the pieces or the results. I “painted” butterflies onto watercolor paper with water then immediately dropped paint into the water “drawings”. I allowed the paint to flow where it wanted. The technique was very freeing to me and reflects how I am trying to my live. While I can lay down a loose plan of how I want my life to go, there is a point where I must just let go and see where it takes me. Butterflies were an apt subject to display this philosophy as they are symbols of change and emergence.
I’m very excited to announce that two framed pieces from my Cabinet of Curiosities collection will be exhibited at The Attic Gallery in Camas, WA, in July! The local artists exhibit runs from July 7-29. If you are local, I hope you will come and see my work and the work of my fellow Clark County artists. It feels great to know they will be hanging in a gallery that is just down the street from the library where the inspiration for the pieces was born. If you do decide to come to the show, be sure to get in touch with me. Maybe we can meet for coffee before or after your visit and I can show you around town.
If you are interested in using your local library for you creative inspiration, I highly recommend getting these books: The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide (Books in Action) and BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects