I find myself at a loss to explain why moths are both beautiful and fuzzy but alien and creepy. I think we may all feel tricked by the fuzziness. Most of the time we associate the word fuzzy with kit rabbits, kittens, puppies, chicks, and teddy bears (especially teddy bears featured in fabric softener ads – click only if you dare). It is uncomfortable for us to face that creatures other than mammals can have that cuddly feature we call fuzz, like tarantulas, wolf spiders, and moths.
Unlike butterflies their bodies are big enough that we can't just look at them as colorful floating baubles. We see their insect eyes.
I find myself drawn to their alien qualities. Because I don't instinctually understand them I can't stop staring, so I paint.
In this painting I wanted to capture the different surface textures. I like the differences between the brushwork on the surface the moth is perching on, the moth's fuzzy body, and the moth's wings. I also wanted the moth's unreadable face to be clearly noticeable, so that the viewer can't help but be drawn in to trying to understand it. Finally, I pushed the color for mood and visual interest.
I do wish I had met a muppet at some point in my life. If I had taken a photo of a muppet I'm sure I would have painted it tomorrow. I like the idea of a large lion puppet, a moth, and a muppet being the subject of three consecutive paintings.
As it stands I have no idea what is coming next, but I'm excited to start.