Jul 29, 2010

Where did I go wrong?

“Out on a limb”
6x8" watercolor

I’ve never been a parent. I can only imagine what a parent goes through when their kid(s) don’t turn out quite as they’d hoped.

Last year I found a dozen or more caterpillars devouring the fennel plant that grows on the south side of my house. I kept thinking, “I really need to photograph this.” Three days later when I finally remembered to do this, all the caterpillars were gone. I found a chrysalis in their place. This story and the paintings that illustrate it, can be found on my other blog, Hot Off the Easel.

This year, deciding to go through the same process of metamorphosis, but protecting the caterpillars from birds that may have eaten them last year, I went to the trouble to protect them with the kind of netting used on tomato plants. They walked right through it! They’d perch right on top of the netting. All of the seven caterpillars that were on my plant three days ago are gone now. Maybe I was being overly protective; maybe I shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Note : A mature caterpillar is faster than a young butterfly. They don’t look like they can move fast, but when an artist sets out to capture a caterpillar likeness, (s)he needs not to waste any time over it.

“Anise Butterfly”
6x6" watercolor