Monday, May 7, 2012

Butterfly Metamorphosis

 Butterfly Metamorphosis!

Here is a wonderful video of a little girl named Greyson. She went to a butterfly enclosure and here is what she has to say about Metamorphosis! Check her out. She is awesome!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Butterfly Tile Art

Beautiful Butterfly Art Tiles at Affordable Prices!

Last year I painted 12 butterflies/moth paintings in graphite and gouache. I started with a dead specimen and observed it under the microscope. In graphite I drew the background to show the wing/scale structure of each one and then painted the butterfly/moth on top of the enlargement. The response to them have been super so I decided to create them in ceramic tile form. They are available in 4 x 4 coasters, 6 x 6 & 8 x 8 tiles. The larger size has a high quality easel backing that allows the tile to be displayed on a shelf and a clip so that it can hang on the wall.
These are the designs that are currently available in my Etsy Store. Please visit my shop and tell you friends and family about my work to help me grow my art business.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Monarch Butterfly Festival

I am happy to announce that I will be participating in the 1st Annual Florida Monarch Festival in Earleton, Florida on Saturday September 24, 2011. I discovered the GreatHouse Butterfly Farm just a few months ago when I was doing a search on google for butterfly farms. It turns out that I am within 30 minutes of 2 wonderful butterfly farmers; Greathouse Butterfly Farm and Shady Oak Butterfly Farm. Many people have asked me why Gainesville, Florida?  National Geographic named it #7 in the USA to retire to for nature in 2007. It has an abundance of things to see and do that are all nature related. This festival couldn't have come at a better time! I will be promoting and signing my book Mother Monarch at the festival, showing my paintings and selling my new greeting cards and tile art. If you live in the area it would be wonderful to see you at the festival.  For those who are not local I will be sure to post pics and a review of the festival. Keep your fingers crossed that we don't have rain. It is a rain or shine event. 

For more information about the festival click here.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fantastic Video by Ba Rae

I love the internet! I have been using Facebook and Twitter and have found so many fabulous groups that are butterfly fans! Here is a list of those groups that I think you will enjoy:

Here is a fantastic video that shows the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly. It describes the entire process from egg to adult.

This was made by Ba Rae and you can find more about her on her facebook page at:

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Monarch Butterflies can swim!

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to visit Shady Oak Butterfly Farm in Brooker, Florida. Edith Ellen Lee Smith is the owner of the farm along with her husband, children and grandchildren. They raise and supply butterflies for weddings, funerals, but mostly for live educational exhibits. They ship butterfly chrysalises all over the country. I went on a tour of the farm. They had a green house full of host plants to feed the caterpillars. There were sterilized boxes with munching caterpillars and more boxes of chrysalises. They had breeding cages for adult butterflies to mate along with host plants for the female to lay eggs on. They are very careful  keeping the place sanitary and use bleach to clean the eggs. I was shocked when she told me that! I thought that bleach would kill the egg for sure! We went into "the bleaching room" and watched Edith bleach the tiny caterpillar eggs. She used a diluted solution of bleach and water and rinsed the eggs for about 15 seconds and then she rinsed them with just water. Just this small amount of time reduces the risk of the disease. The newly hatched caterpillar often eats the shell of its egg upon emerging so the bleaching ensures a tasty, free of germs meal! Another surprise I encountered was that butterflies can survive being submerged into water and will actually use their wings to propel themselves to the surface. It almost looks like they are swimming. Maybe this is how the swim stroke was called "The Butterfly". Edith demonstrates this in the following video.

I have had many comments on Facebook and Twitter asking why anyone would submerge a butterfly in water. Some of you have said that it is cruel. It was not intended to and did not hurt the butterfly in any way. It was intended to show people just how strong butterflies are. In many ways they seem so fragile to us. A Monarch must travel great distances and be subjected to harsh weather, storms, wind, rain. They often have to fly over lakes, and streams. It was to demonstrate how awesome they are! Please know that the butterfly was not hurt during the making of this video. To learn more about butterflies and what Edith does visit her at Butterfly Fun Facts. She adds something amazing almost everyday!




Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nature's Wisdom Oracle Cards

I have the wonderful opportunity to announce that my Nature's wisdom Oracle cards from Schiffer Publisher is finally arrived. About a year ago my book, Mother Monarch was released and they offered me the opportunity to write and illustrate a deck of oracle cards. I had never embarked on a project of this kind so I needed to do some research.

According to Wikipedia "Oracle card decks claim to provide insight and positive outlooks to people. They are conceptually similar to divinatory tarot cards, but they are often not divided into playing card tarot cards. Unlike the Tarot, oracle cards are not known to be used for card games. Oracle decks often differ in the number of cards. Common themes used in oracle card decks involve the power of positive thought and metaphysical beings such as angels, fairies, mermaids and unicorns. These cards are sometimes called "fortune telling packs". They often lack what is often seen as the "darker" images of traditional Tarot Cards.

I have always related to nature and find that there is so much to be learned from Mother Nature. As I began to think more and more about my deck of cards I started to make a list of bugs, beasts and botanicals that had special meaning to me. I read lots of books and researched my way through the internet to come up with the imagery, symbolism and folklore that I felt would help others gain insights into their daily challenges, future aspirations and past decisions. I came up with 48 cards that I believe will help to guide people along the path as nature intended us to walk. I will periodically post each image and you can read the information I have in the book.  My first card is  

The Artichoke

The artichoke symbolizes value. It is a perennial plant belonging to the thistle family.  The flower or the head of the plant is commonly referred to as the heart. 

In Greek mythology Zeus fell in love with a beautiful woman named Cynara. She missed her family so much that she would sneak back to earth. When Zeus discovered this, he banished her to earth and turned her into an artichoke. 

In today’s cuisine, the artichoke is considered a delicacy.  The exterior is tough and only a tiny portion of the plant is edible. It takes a lot of preparation and cooking in order to make it tender. Each leaf is peeled off and must be scraped off the flesh of the plant.

Special message:
The artichoke challenges you to find the value of your present situation.  Look deep inside your heart and see if there is something special hidden within the harshness of the exterior. The work involved in the discovery may uncover something of great value to you.

If you are interested in your own deck of Nature's Wisdom Oracle cards you can purchase them from me here on this website:
 $24.99 + $4.95 shipping and handling fee

I hope that you enjoy them!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bradley Beach Elementary School- 6th Grade Art Class

Today I had the wonderful experience of going to the Bradley Beach Elementary School in Bradley Beach, NJ to teach 25 young artists how to draw a butterfly. I took my book, Mother Monarch with me. I read the book out loud to them and during the reading I had the original paintings and was able to hold them up for the children to see. I showed them how I drew the paintings and talked about all the research it took from raising the caterpillars and growing the milkweed. They learned what was involved in putting a book together and how I worked with my story to create each picture for the book. After the story was over I was able to use a digital visual projector named "Elmo" to draw a butterfly with the group. "Elmo" allowed me to draw a butterfly on a piece of paper while my hand was  under a camera. The camera enlarged the drawing and it projected it onto the wall so the students could draw with me step by step. It was loads of fun and everyone created a one of kind butterfly. Each one was unique!

Do you have a group of young artists that you would like a school presentation for? You can contact Mindy at for information on how you can have her visit your school too.