Monday, January 26, 2009

Blue Morph Butterfly


Even with the 350 varieties of butterflies in Costa Rica, it's not difficult to understand why the Blue Morph is the most popular. Its incredible iridescent blue is hard to describe and impossible to visualize unless you've actually seen one up close and personal. The blue color comes not from a pigment, but from an enzyme that "interferes" with the transmission of light. This is why nature artists get ulcers and stress from trying to depict this butterfly on canvas.

To get to San Jose from where I live, it's necessary to go through Braulio Carillo National Park. Seldom do I make that trip without spotting one or two fluttering along the roadway. Next to avalanches and car wrecks, they're the leading traffic stoppers. Impossible to miss, they're like a treasured glimpse of a magical creature from another space and dimension.

Highly prized among collectors and souvenir hunters, they are, thankfully, plentiful...with no indications of serious threat to their existence. Additional, there are numerous butterfly farms that raise these little beauties. I painted this one with acrylics on canvas. The original and giclee prints are available.

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