This is a doodlewash of a peacock butterfly, because I was thinking it might be cool to sketch a peacock and these came up as well while I was searching for reference. I’m rather easily distracted. I hadn’t really known there were butterflies called this, but it looked sort of cool so I thought I’d try to make one.
I always remembered my mother collecting butterfly pins when I was growing up. This was handy as it was always a good starting point for a gift – a necessity when you’re both young and a guy. I’m not really sure if she intended to collect them or whether observant people simply noticed one she was wearing once and started the trend.
But my mother’s butterfly pin collection is really quite extraordinary and I think it’s wonderful. Over the years, she’s acquired all sorts of beautiful and bejeweled pins and selects a new one each time she goes out to dinner or a show. No matter what she chooses to wear, there’s always a butterfly perfect for completing the look.
I had a friend who “collected” ornamental frog sculptures, but later I found out that she didn’t even like frogs. People had just started giving them to her after two close family members had gifted her the first two. After seeing them in her house, simply because she’d forgotten to hide them after said family members had finished their visit, she continued to receive more until she was forced to become a frog collector.
I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a “thing” that you collected, but my attention span issues left me always looking for new things right after my collection started. And after I had acquired the first few treasures, I was immediately bothered by the fact that I didn’t know what to do with them and it all just felt like stuff I didn’t need.
Perhaps that’s why I enjoy “collecting” things in a sketchbook. Not only can I collect anything that comes to mind for free, I immediately have a place to put it. When I’m done with this current sketchbook, for example, I’ll have collected 60 things! Weirdly random things, sure, that would be bizarre if they all managed to sit on a shelf together. But in my tiny book, they fit together just fine.
So this little peacock butterfly has managed to fly into my collection and landed directly across from a stuffed duck toy. The only thing they have in common is that they suddenly came into my mind. And finally, I have a way to collect things. Not in the traditional way, but in a way that works like my crazy mind works – spontaneous, unplanned, and one page at a time.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!