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  • annhemdahlowen

Dancing With Butterflies

This is a gleeful escape from our world so serious with grief from war and politics.

This is a world of fantasy. Sometimes, fantasy is an appropriate response in a crazy world.

It began with the exuberance that reminded me of when I was a child and my sisters and I spent summer nights catching Lightning Bugs in a glass jar. There were holes in the lid so the Lightening Bugs could breath. This painting is a fantasy with amazing butterflies from around the world that join in celebration.

The figures are now dancing in a circular movement relating with the butterflies instead of looking out at an audience. They were resized to create a middle ground and more space.

The sides of the painting were darkened and the center was highlighted. Adding light between the branches of the pines created more space. The figures remained blurred yet became unique by representing Black, White and Hispanic cultures. The butterflies come from the larger world and are the most detailed. They are sharply defined.


The butterflies represented are from around the world. I chose them because their colors and shapes seemed to work best with the figures. I like the combination of cultures and world locations combined. Only if we are open to the larger world can we come together to dance in peace.

This is a brief introduction to the four unique varieties of butterflies.

The Red Lacewing lives in India, China and tropical forests. The caterpillar has red, white and black stripes. Red indicates they are poisonous.

The Mourning Cloak, almost black is one of the earliest butterflies to emerge in the spring. It lives in Europe, Asia and North America.

The Swallowtail in the center is the largest of all butterflies in Africa from 8 to 12 inches. They are both hardy and poisonous. They live in the tallest trees. Unfortunately, they are now on the Threatened Species list because their habitat is disappearing.

The Painted Lady has many names because she is found everywhere on Earth. She migrates to her birth place in massive flocks so huge that it can be frightening for motorists when butterflies swoop over. Where she was born is where she lays eggs and dies. Yet, in the spring the new born somehow know how to return to the summer home.


I love butterflies. They seem so fragile yet travel huge distances. They symbolize transformation, new beginnings and opportunities.

Plant a butterfly garden! I did!

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