Marianne Morris | Artist

Living Life in Full Colour

Like a Moth to a Flame

Abstract mixed media painting in blue and brown on a neutral background

“Like a Moth to a Flame”, 10×10″ mixed media on wood panel.

This panel was one of my first forays into collage with this series. I’ve used collage before as part of a painting, but for the most part, it adds texture and is completely covered with paint by the end. This little moth was added near the end of the process when I realized I needed something dark in that area. I like that it isn’t blended in and you can still see the edges of the torn paper. It’s evidence of the process.

I’ve got printouts of bugs on my work table. All different sorts… bees, dragonflies, beetles, spiders. I’ve had a fascination with various types of bugs since I was a kid. I don’t like them so much when they’re alive… they kind of creep me out actually. But they are interesting.

The ancient Egyptians used a scarab beetle to represent Khepri, or Ra the sun-god. It symbolized self-creation or rebirth. (As the story goes, Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it, again, the next day). They viewed these bugs as good luck and buried them with their dead. Ick. But still, interesting. I often use this imagery in my visual journals. This is the first time I’ve used any kind of insect on a painting where you can still see it when I’m finished.

I see the moth and butterfly as much the same… a symbol of renewal or rebirth. It’s the stages… the caterpillar, chrysalis, and ultimately, a rebirth into an entirely new being. It’s symbolic and adds some layer of meaning to an image that is otherwise just colour and shape.

This painting is number 18 in my 100 Square Project. I’m a long way from the end. I’ve started a few more that should be finished for my Studio Sale next weekend. My goal is to sell enough to set up an e-commerce store so I can step up to the next level. I know art sells online, I’m just not set up to do it yet. I’m hopeful an online store and selling prints alongside original works will allow me to make enough income to cut back my hours at my day job. I know I’ve learned a lot in my work life that is serving me well now.  I can do things on my own that other artists have to pay people to do for them. My technical skill is useful. But it’s not everything. The time has come for me to become the artist I was meant to be. 

2 Comments

  1. “My goal is to sell enough to set up an e-commerce store so I can step up to the next level. I know art sells online, I’m just not set up to do it yet. ”

    You might want to look at Daily Paintworks (I have recently joined). It seems ideal for small works although prints are not accepted. You could still link to a print site, though.

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