Thursday, July 14, 2011

Zigzag Moth (watercolour 5 x 7 in.) Sold

July 7 finds me painting "in the lab". I have worked on this watercolour on and off throughout the two-week Bio-blitz on Caledonia Gorge Protected Natural Area.  It is a noctuid moth, Panthea acronyctoides collected by Anthony Thomas in an ultraviolet light trap at the eastern edge of the PNA on the night of 24 June.  Its caterpillar, which feeds on  conifers, is black with a white zigzag pattern along each side and its pupa overwinters in soil or debris.

I selected a licheny maple log from the stack of firewood in the building in which all of us are working (40 specialists and students altogether, but not all at once). I stuck the pin into the lichen, and the moth nearly disappeared into the zig-zaggy pattern! The moth in my painting is almost twice life-size, as I peer through a magnifier to get its zigzags right.
 Fred, Sophie and I are the last ones remaining after everyone else has packed up their temporary labs and departed to other parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and even a few back across the US border. Our delay is the completion of this painting, and I'm slow because I'm tired. I've been very active as the 'slug expert', as well as producing 5 oil paintings and three watercolours over the course of this two week all-taxon survey.  I've been picking up all kinds of knowledge from the micologists, the entomologists, the botanists, and mammalogists - and everybody brought slugs back to me from their excursions!

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What do you think of this painting, and what do you know about the subject that I have painted?