Friday, April 27, 2012

Feature of the Day #42: Metamorphosing

orange and pink butterfly
Orange and Pink Butterfly
Today's feature goes to Metamorphosing, aka, Anna McNeil and her Metamorphosis project.
McNeil is a painter who works in oil, and employs a unique technique that involves ink, bleach and watercolour. She received her BA in fine art from Bath Academy of art, UK, and has exhibited and sold widely in the UK and Europe. Her work can be found in many private collections.
To McNeil, art is, "a form of communication-a language that everyone should have the opportunity to understand and appreciate." She has an interest in bringing art "out into the streets" and desires to provide an opportunity for everyone to, "view and respond to my work, whether or not they are accustomed to visiting exhibitions or engaging in contemporary art discussion."
Whilst McNeil has captured a variety of subjects with her brush, this feature will be focusing on her "Metamorphosis" project. The project itself consists of 1,000 small paintings in ink, watercolour and bleach. The hope behind it is to sell original art individually at affordable prices, in order to share art with the world. Since the beginning of 2011, over a third of the butterflies have already fluttered their way to new homes across the world.
This is what McNeil has to say about her series, butterflies, and what it all means to her:
Turquoise Green And White Butterfly
Metamorphosis: an expanding series of butterflies, each unique, symbolizing the metamorphosis of each moment or thought in time. The butterfly has been represented in the art of many cultures both ancient and modern; from Egyptian hieroglyphics to Aztec, Mayan or other American Indian symbolism, Asian art and contemporary cultures.
The ancient Greek word for butterfly means soul or mind. In Japanese culture, the butterfly was seen as the personification of a person's soul and in many ancient cultures symbolized rebirth into a new life after a period of being cocooned inside for some time.

The inspiration for this project came as an unconscious meditative action and for me derives its significant personal symbolism from a combination of these interpretations.
As for the work itself, each butterfly is unique and special. Just as no two butterflies, people, or snowflakes are exactly the same, neither are her creations. Each image is a different blend of colors in individual patterns. The colors McNeil uses feel very natural: sky blue, moss green, rose red, earth brown, etc. They're soft yet bold, proudly sitting upon their small pieces of paper as though they had just landed there. The technique McNeil uses to paint the butterflies is very free-flowing and generally without borders. She allows the colors to spread naturally, like a butterfly being carried by a breeze. This creates a beautiful juxtaposition between the realm of reality, and the realm of the mind. Our imagination fills in the blanks, creating butterflies where there is only color and blurred edges; as though McNeil wants the viewer to experience the image on their own terms. The result is a personal feeling for each butterfly as we associate, imagine, and become inspired by the flutter of wings.
SPRING SALE deep red butterfly with white tipped wings
Deep Red Butterfly 
To see more of the "Metamorphosis" Project, stop by McNeil's Etsy store here:

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
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