Monarch butterflies

Watercolor pencil drawing of two monarch butterflies

inspiration: in January 2015, I saw the movie Flight of the Butterflies. In one of my more manic moments, I conceived of a fundraiser for monarchs and MS that would involve artists drawing/painting monarch butterflies, selling the art and sending the proceeds either to the MS Society or to an organization dedicated saving monarchs. I created a webpage describing my ambition and sent some email to the MS Society. I got no response. I made a few butterfly drawings, but the balance had gone from my bungee,

At the end of November 2017, I got an email from Henlee Phillips on behalf of her son Elliott. Elliott is a member of his school’s bug club. He found the webpage and Henlee helped him send email suggesting I add a link to this Butterflies In Your Playground page. There was great temptation to beat myself up about having given up on the project or having not taken down the webpage… Instead, I forgive myself (with wild abandon), updated the old webpage and made some promises I intend to keep about rethinking the project.

As a start, I chose a butterfly photograph and began to draw.

Monarch reference photograph

Creation: Monarchs are pretty complicated to draw, but I am fairly happy with these two. I am less happy with the flower. The petals go down where they should go up. I forgot all about drawing wireframes.


  • next time remind me of the wireframe idea
  • a bigger drawing would make it easier to capture monarch detail
  • I want to spend more time drawing. That way I could make two drawings every month. How could I do that? First step is getting a reliable morning PCA. No small feat, apparently. Sigh.
  • I’d like to get help with the monarch project. How can I do that? I mentioned it to a few artist friends and they said “yeah, sounds great. Let me know when you get it going and I might contribute.” More sighs. I have made eight butterflies in three years. Doing the math, it will take me 18 years to make 100 butterflies. I don’t think I – or the butterflies – have that much time…
  • Suggestions?

Posted on

December 26, 2017

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