Wednesday, April 29, 2015

All Things Considered: Sense of Wonder

A few weeks ago, I sat in a study group under artificial light in a darkly paneled room with no windows. 
The teacher pontificated, "We have all lost our sense of wonder."
He shook his head sadly and continued his lecture on ancient theological arcana. 
Speak for yourself, mister, and get a window. Better yet, get outside where all your senses can spark if you pay attention. One glorious place to breathe in and explore is right in the city.
I'll Fly Away- Saturniid Moth-- silk painting by Beth Surdut (sold)
 The butterfly house at the Tucson Botanical Gardens is a steamy world of small wonders.
It is also a kind of coming home for me.
Tucson Botanical Gardens
Orchid Society by Beth Surdut
The years I spent in the jungles and rivers in Hawaii and Florida
Butterfly islands design by Beth Surdut
Tucson Botanical  Gardens Butterfly House
TBG Butterfly House
Hibiscus Varietal-OOAK hand  painted silk woman's top by Beth Surdut
  introduced me to the mysteries of orchids, hibiscus, epiphytes,
Dendrobates ventriculatus @Tucson Botanical Gardens
 and dendrobates, tiny colorful frogs with a poisonous reputations and Latin names so satisfyingly  fun to say: ventriculatus, histrionicus, tinctorus.
Painting by Beth Surdut of dendrobates ventriculatus @Selby Gardens
After a volunteer checks to see that no butterflies are hitching a ride on me,  I stand in each realm of the botanical gardens, seeing what I have already painted and drawn, and planning what I want to do for a solo exhibition in the lovely gallery that was the home of people who absolutely delighted in nature's beauty. Every element extends an invitation to me as a visual storyteller and writer, illustrator and designer. In turn, what I create will, I hope, both please and inspire, and come full circle so that people will follow the path from my art to the fascinating beings and habitat that causes me to pick up pen and brush.
An otherwise shy lizard, big and handsome, flaunts his spiny blue back as he pauses in front of me and turns his head to give me a sideways look. I can tell you that his sense of wonder and mine are still intact.
Armored Chameleon (detail) painting by Beth Surdut (original and prints available)
I invite you to step inside my garden

No comments: