Chasing a Monarch

One of my favorite things in life is a monarch butterfly.

They are magical to me, as are all butterflies really. And their survival is in jeopardy which makes them feel even more precious to me.

They can be hard to capture with my camera because they are always on the move, like most butterflies. So it was a joy to chase one in my garden this week and to photograph it while it explored the new coneflowers I added to my garden last summer. Note to self: plant more coneflowers!

A patch of milkweed appeared near my mailbox a couple years ago and it keeps getting bigger and bigger each year. It’s not the ideal spot but I’m afraid if I move it when it first comes up in spring, it might not be a successful move and then I won’t have any milkweed. So I’m just going to appreciate it no matter where it decides to flourish.

It’s always a treasure hunt to find a monarch caterpillar on the milkweed. And how amazing to realize that yellow, black and white striped caterpillar turns into a beautiful orange, black and white monarch!

It’s magic and magical! And it brings me great joy!

Week 22 Animal Art Series: Monarch Butterflies

In order to continue my mission to draw all the time and fill up more sketchbooks in 2016, I’m working on a new weekly theme to do daily drawings, while experimenting with watercolor. At the end of each week, it’s nice to have lots of new drawings and a full page illustration.

I finished my sketchbook page for week 22 in my animal art series with Monarch Butterflies.

week 22 animal art monarch butterfliesCan’t wait to turn this playful sketchbook page into fun new digital art! Happy drawing!


Click here to see my Weeks 1-16 illustrations, ranging from bears to owls to whales to saltwater fish

Click here to see Weeks 17-20: Backyard Birds, Flamingos, Peacock and Macaws

Click here to see Week 21: Neon Insects

Learning How to Screen Print

For one of my final projects for my interim summer class, we got the opportunity to learn how to do screen printing. I decided to capitalize on my current butterfly theme and try screen printing one of my other butterfly sketches –  this one is a swallow tail. I liked the idea of doing just black ink to make the butterfly look skeletal or like a silhouette.

I went a little crazy, trying it on all sorts of different papers. I also tried a few pieces of fabrics, thinking I could figure out what to make with them at a later date, maybe a shopping tote bag or a sketchbook cover.

I found a couple t-shirts I never wear, so I screen printed a butterfly in a random place on the back. Love how that turned out! Now I have two new t-shirts.

I do believe I have discovered a new art medium I could get obsessed with. I bought the supplies to do my own screen printing at home. Have I mentioned lately that I love graphic design? Oh yeah, I think I have.

PS – There’s a Summer Sale going on at my Patchwork Trails Etsy shop! Use the coupon code SUMMER40 to save 40% off everything currently listed.