Butterfly Arising

 Kaethe Kauffman, Butterfly Rising, Ink, 2022, framed 23″x23″

With this ink drawing, I celebrate our precious pollinating insect world. In the middle of the composition, the butterfly drifts aloft amidst an energetic environment created by hundreds of small ink lines. 

As it flutters, I imagine the insect senses smells, temperature changes, airborne particles, visual indicators, sound vibrations, tastes, wind sensations, magnetic field resonances, aerial chemicals, spatial vectors and other sources of knowledge beyond my comprehension. The charged ink designs and differing colors symbolize the butterfly’s intense sensory world. The white spaces, free of color and ink lines, represent the insect’s abilities that I can’t fathom, for example, how the fragile Monarch can migrate thousands of miles. 

Why, according to the latest census, have ninety percent of them disappeared? One clue is that modern agricultural practices destroy their life source, Milkweed. Can humans change their behavior in order to save them?

I love looking at the intricate abstract lines that pull me into possible butterfly realities, while honoring the empty spaces in my knowledge where these tiny creatures have much to teach me.

Butterfly Arising is featured in the Walter Wickiser Gallery space within the Seattle Art Fair, July 27-30, 2023 at the Lumen Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Avenue S, Seattle, Washington.