Butterfly Mural

If you read my “Sunflower Mural” post, you may recall I mentioned there were more sides of the house to use as canvass. As you can see by the picture of the front of the house, anything would be an improvement.

It had been over 6 years or so that the walls on the exterior had any fresh coat of paint, and after plastering that massive sunflower on the exterior of the North wall my dear husband I would safely say that he had recovered from the shock… and I was ready to keep going.

After adding a butterfly to the North wall I was inspired to add a few to the front wall of the house, nothing too big. With that concept in mind I thought of the variety of butterflies that I’d seen in our garden and decided that those would be the ones I’d showcase: Monarch, Zebra (the Florida state butterfly), Yellow Sulfur (we see them almost all times of the year mostly in Spring and yellow is my mom’s favorite color), Fliterary, and the Tigertail butterfly.

The most sweetest thing happened while I was doing this project. A Monarch caterpillar anchored it’s chrysalis to the front exterior wall… so I painted around it, making sure that I’d save some paint so that I can paint that little area when it emerged as a butterfly.

I began having a heightened awareness of all the butterflies, dragonflies, and bees in the garden. I imagine that is how we are wired… we attract what we focus on, or… has it always been there and we notice because we are aware? ah, the philosopher in me awakens.

I figured why not add a big Orange, since we have several orange trees in the garden. George then chimed in and wanted me to add a Bumble bee so I figured to incorporate the Orange Blossoms from the garden and make the bumble bee look like it’s diving in for some pollen. If you look real close at the picture, you will even notice a real life Bumble Bee admiring the artwork or saying: Wowzee, that’s one big Orange Blossom!

I was on a roll, so with the other sections of the front exterior I decided to throw in a small cluster of bumble bees and on another section I added some dragonflies.

Pretty much I felt that adding any more would be overkill… and it was time to step back and allow it to sink in. I struggled with the blue background. Initially I was attempting to mix the color myself to create a mosaic sky background – but that blue was not working they way I had it in my mind.

The tone of blue looked different under different lighting during the sunny, cloudy and night skies. It didn’t matter what light reflected on it… it was NOT working. And to add more injury, my Zebra Butterfly looked like a helicopter coming in for a landing. I had scaled it too large.

Keep in mind this is my brain child project… and I did not take into consideration that not only was I “creating” artistic work on a wall, but I also was painting the exterior of the house. I had to use primer paint to “erase” (paint over) the original zebra and after some researching I decided I’d make it look like it was flying sideways and I’d show off the contrasting color of the bottom of the wing.

Another painstaking process while repainting over the dark blue with the sky blue was I needed to be cautious with the existing butterfly art and delicately paint around the edges… that was so time consuming!

Would like to say that there was a lesson in this project, the thing is… it’s art. There is no right or wrong, even though I decided to apply that coat of light sky blue… it was worth it.

It gave it a sweet look and that was what I was after… to feel that the painted artwork was floating through the air in the garden. Now let’s talk about that orange… doesn’t that look like a commercial for: Welcome to Florida.

Loved the final look and already thinking about the exterior wall behind the house… ah the possibilities.