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Blue Morpho Butterfly created 1864, artist unknown

My inspiration for the next art piece strikes me, usually, when I am concentrating on what I am struck by visually or emotionally.  Sometimes, however, a beautiful inspiration strikes when it is least expected.  It could be triggered by a song, a person, a moment or memory, a story, an object, or a conviction.

Chasing Butterflies, by Berthe Morisot, oil on canvas

Ballet Dancers in Butterfly Costumes, by Edgar Degas, 1880

 Recently, I’ve begun to think about different variations of the butterfly used with the figure.  It started when I was in a flower shop a few weeks ago, and came across the most beautiful replica butterflies, each handmade with beading, shimmer, and handpainted paper wings that glistened in the sunlight.  I have a few images in my mind that will no doubt turn into a painting or two by the Spring.  While researching the topic, I came across this beautiful poetry by Victor Hugo about the fanciful origin of the butterfly:
The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind’s playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies.
-The Genesis of The Butterfly

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