I know that not everyone is into insects…but I once read the title of a book that described best how I feel: it’s from a quote by evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane (and sometimes credited to Charles Darwin), stating that because of the staggering number and variety on them earth, that whoever our creator is, they must have “An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles.” That pretty much sums up my own feelings.
I did a post on my beetle painting ages ago, describing how I once looked up at a mounted beetle in my room and wondered, “what might a beetle choose if it could customize it’s wings? Thus sprang my “Bad to the Exoskeleton” paint job.
I usually make my Christmas gifts, which usually stems from something I’m interested in at the time. Mom says when I try to hard to do what I THINK someone will like the WAY they like it, it never ends up as well as something I do for someone that’s in my own style, sort of INSPIRED by that person.
So this Christmas, my immediate family got beetles. (Sorry.)
I started working on this one for my niece, with the idea that it was a softer sort of custom, for a sweeter sort of beetle. Beetles would probably love flowers, in a dainty sort of way, right?
The next was for my other niece. The idea was that if beetles could customize their elytra (the hard wing shells), they may choose to elaborate on the idea that–if displayed openly–a set of angry human eyes may momentarily stun human predators, and enhance the beetle’s chance of escape. (While looking at reference, I found an interesting side note, which inspired the addition of the third eye: that the head and mandibles of stag beetles are often sold in some countries as good luck charms to ward off the “evil eye.”)
Next I worked on a double-mounted set for my parents, featuring a sort of Bavarian flower pattern for my mother’s and an Egyptian themed one for my dad, which I thought matched their personalities fairly well. My mom and dad are both artists, and mom loves Bavarian-style flowers, while dad loves anything related to Egyptology and archaeology.
Finally, I worked on the biggest one for my sister, who has a pair of steampunk wings tattooed on her own back. I tried to put as much detail as I could fit on this little guy, with small gears and painted screws.
So that was Christmas! A little weird, yes, but I hope they like them. While waiting for the beetles to arrive, I drew this little “born to be wild” doodle, to which Myla added on, surrounding him with little creatures helping him on his way, wishing him “good travels.”
(It now lives with artist Tyler Thrasher, who we met in Tulsa, who crystallizes insects using his extensive background in chemistry.)
So the holidays are over, and it’s time to start a new year.
I’ve never been one to push a year out the door–years are years through no fault of their own. But this year–from the accounts of my own family and my immediate friends and family–I feel like this year needs a good kick in the pants on its way out the door.
So here’s wishing that this next year is full of adventures and inspirations, of explorations both internal and external.
Here’s wishing for a great new year for all of us…