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Chasing Butterflies: Starting Point

I started the "Chasing Butterflies" series back in 2016 as I was preparing for an upcoming overseas trip to Europe. The initial idea was to create images on location while traveling, inspired by the symbolism of butterflies. I launched the series with the first image "Gathering of the Army", which was created in my home studio a few days before I left on my travels. The idea for this first image was that travel starts at home with a gathering of ideas. While I did proceed to create a number of images for the series on location as I travelled, I also ended up creating a number of images in this studio/butterfly style when I returned from my travels. These seemed to form their own series instead that I found I was more drawn to...

It has been quite a while since I created images for the "Chasing Butterflies" series. The lack of being able to travel in this strange COVID time has made me very nostalgic for travel, which has inspired a way to travel without actually going anywhere... I felt this would make for a good place to start 💜🦋

Collaboration with Niki McQueen...

This image also introduces a collaboration with my friend and fellow artist, Niki McQueen, aka "Life Beyond Reason"!

I have known Niki for a number of years through my previous work, where we always worked really well together. We reconnected towards the end of 2020 when I contacted her about her artwork and invited her to take part in the Deep South Community Art Exhibition that I host annually. This was the first time Niki took part in an exhibition. It has been such a joy to have given her a bit of a nudge and to see where this has taken her.

As our country went into lockdown in March 2020 and the COVID pandemic swept the globe, she rediscovered and developed an old technique of making art using solvent printing and mixed media that she learned at school. Under the psychological and emotional pressure of a world gone mad, she found a way of staying sane through making art. This art is a manifestation of an urgent, unquenchable need for the expression of years of unspoken truths.

While done in completely different mediums, there is a definite overlap between our work. We both create fine art work that is conceptual and deeply emotional, using compositing techniques in Photoshop to create our stories.

We have an exciting project coming up (so watch this space for more details), but in the meantime we wanted to take this a step further and create a piece that was a direct overlap of our work. Here Niki has used one of my images to create an artwork using her technique. I feel so honoured to be included in her portfolio!

Here is Niki's version of "Starting Point" that she has named "Scorched Earth". She felt that her take on the image spoke to her about water shortages and climate change....

Note: This is an artist proof and the butterfly will be done in copperleaf.

Before and after...

It has been a long time since I have done a before and after progression video, but as per my mission to get better at creating video content, I thought it would be a good idea to revive this habit! As per usual, if you have any questions (about my process, the editing, or anything really), then please send me a message and I will assist.

For those wanting to know how I created the torn neck, this is photograph I took as a stock image to start the neck conversion.

The rest of the

"Chasing Butterflies" series...


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