How Canvasbutterfly took flight!
At the beginning of a year I set aside drawing and painting time to make additions to the Canvasbutterfly portfolio. I then have prints made from the original paintings and make them available to purchase through my Etsy shop Canvasbutterfly.
2012 was a turning point for me as from a serendipitous event Canvasbutterfly evolved.
I had been invited back up to the Outer Hebrides for a school reunion. I had not been back to Benbecula and The Uists since I left in the Spring of 1974, when I was twelve years old.
My father was an officer in the Army and every two to three years we had moved until at the age of fifteen we settled in the West Country in Corsham near Bath. As an adult aged nineteen I moved to Bath, it has been my adopted home town for more than 38 years.
Wanting to take the best possible photographs whilst we visited Skye, North and South Uist and Benbecula my husband Iain went about testing the pixels between two cameras. He had taken a shot of a canvas I had painted about three years previously which hung on our living room wall, that of 'Canvas I' a sepia toned background with a central coloured butterfly flanked above and below by two butterflies with the simplicity of just their outline and a small amount of penwork.
I saw the image on the computer screen and for the first time realised that this was what I should turn my hand to, creating more butterfly pictures. It was to become a hobby out of which Canvasbutterfly evolved.
I went along to a local Vintage market at the end of November that same year with a selection of framed pictures. Due to the interest that was generated that day I realised that there was a place for my style of image. Over time I increased the quantiy of my artwork adding not just more butterflies but dragonflies, bees and moths to my increasing collection of paintings.
Each new work starts with a pencil drawing. Then I use black ink pens of varying thicknesses to outline and define individual insect markings. The final stage, bringing the subject matter to life so to speak is painting. More often I use acrylics but sometimes both watercolours and acrylics are used. I also have created some mixed media compositions which encompass my photgraphy and artwork combined. The first of those was 'Dragonflies on Blue Water' which is my photograph of a Loch on North Uist with two of my artwork dragonflies overlaid.