• Jaci Presley

Working the Bugs Out

Insects. I love them. I post photos of them on my Instagram account @thejacidawn. I get obsessed with looking them up and keying them out.

Several years ago, my youngest snapped a photo of a dead moth on a windowsill and asked me if I thought I could paint it. It was a very poor quality flip phone photo but the subject was intriguing. It was most likely a white tiger moth, but I will never know for certain. I painted two paintings of it in gouache, leaving the legs as I could see them in the tiny, grainy photo.

The first incarnation was a tap-dancing moth on an old-fashioned stage (8x10" canvas board).

The second incarnation became Burlesque Moth on 10x14" watercolor paper.

I moved on to Ladybird in a Scarf, something of a 1960's tip of the hat to my mother (who wore scarves throughout that decade). The Clown-faced Tiger Moth (idalus herois) needed no anthropomorphic details as it supplied its own. The close-up of the Bald-Faced Hornet looks (to me) rather like a Storm Trooper (if you've ever me a bald-faced hornet, that could be a decent description of one - rather ruthless in attack, but peaceful until you swat at it)(or step in a nest). 3x3" gouache on canvas (all above).

I found even tinier canvases for the rest: these are all 2x2" acrylics on canvas with magnetic backs.

221b (Sherlock Holmes) is SOLD

Drone #54 Hard at Work is a little static. (Honeybee)

Hortense Went Shopping is a 1950'shousewife in a cloche hat matching purse and heels. No identification - she's about 1cm long in real life).

Flame Skipper with Power Pack is a Steampunk dragonfly (Flame Skipper is the ID).

Gangster Yellow Jacket - exactly how all of us see yellowjacket wasps in the late summer: armed and dangerous!

Gladys the Green Lacewing is Ready for the New Year


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