A botanical tour of The Altai Mountains of Kazakhstan in June 2015 was made more fascinating by the wealth of butterflies, some familiar, others excitingly new. I came to a new appreciation of white butterflies, most notably the Apollo with its lovely markings and translucent wings. Many will enter my art, but enjoy them first in this short introduction to the butterflies of this corner of Kazakhstan.
The garden has some stunning blue flowers at present and I see them as perfect companions for the white Romneya in my latest collage. The Love-on-the mist are particularly intriguing and each flower has an extraordinary number of parts.
Romneya poppies, with their crinkled petals and intensely golden stamens have always been a favourite of mine, but not until this year have I had success in bringing them to flowering in the garden. Now they have entered the studio too, and another white poppy collage has begun; it will be interesting to see how it takes on its own personality, they always do.
Balance is essential to any piece of art and butterflies are flying into my current collage to bring just the needed light and shade and colour as 'Yellow Lilies with Campanula (and butterflies)' nears completion.
My yellow lilies are in need of a Painted Lady. I took the camera into the garden to stalk the butterflies and a Painted Lady landed on the Knapweed, a favoured flower with many insects.
The campanula is filling out, becoming richer and more complex as I work. This is all the under layer onto which I shall put the satin flowers that are more precisely formed.
Having arranged the yellow lilies I am building up the campanula around them.
You can see how the campanula flowers will interact with the suggested campanula in the velvet that will make up part of the background. When finally placed, I shall add the linking stems to create the feel of big heads of flowers.
This Campanula lactiflora is the companion to the yellow lilies and I have dyed both velvet and satin for the flowers and leaves.