• Emerging Dragonfly
Size: 40 x 30
Media: Watercolor and Acrylic on Paper
Painting Type: Matted Print
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Regional Exhibition. “Emerging Dragonfly.” Manito Art League. Manitowish Waters, WI.
A statement from the artist on the moments that inspired this painting:
Quiet – not a sound other than the birds and the wind through the trees and a plunking sound when my fishing line hits and forms a circle of rings on the glassy water before the weighted jig begins to sink. The boat slowly moving past walls of granite and mossy slopes. We are on a remote lake in the middle of no-where in northern Ontario Canada. The quiet is glorious.
Looking out watching my line my eye catches a jerky movement of a drowning dragonfly. As the boat inches forward I lean over the edge to rescue the dragonfly from it’s plight. Scooping him up I placed him on the bow rope to dry his wings and journey on and went back to daydreaming and reflections.
Late when I glanced back the dragonfly was still there – why hadn’t he flown away? Perhaps a broken wing perhaps sitting there was enough for him like it was for me – savoring the sun. For the next couple of hours I reflected on all kinds of things including the dragonfly and why he hadn’t left. Perhaps a broken wing – one actually looked askew and awkward. Yes that was it – he had a broken wing.
I thought to myself what have I done here. Altered this dragonflies fate yet at the same time just what was his fate with a broken wing. I personally had scooped in trying be the savior of this poor dragonfly and give him another chance when all I did was prolong his death. What to do? Finally I thought when I reach shore I will jump out and place the dragonfly with the broken wing on a tree at least he could catch bugs there and survive a little longer.
Then suddenly a gust of wind took the dragonfly away I gasped as I watched it drift in the wind – gone. I remembered the time when my daughter and I sat down on the shore and watched dragonflies climb on shore from the lake – crawl to something they felt secure about and began to change from a water bug to a flying land bug.
Did you know that dragonflies actually lived under water during the beginning of their lives and then when their life cycle in water was done they emerged and became land insects. They emerge and change from their hard water skins to something completely different full of color and softness. The wings oh the dragonfly wings were so full of rainbow colors – so transparent so beautiful.
Dragonflies symbolize change and one’s ability to adjust to change. I reflect again at the dragonfly I rescued and who was eventually caught in the wind – and that time on the shore watching dragonflies change. For both I ask myself – why did I feel the need to rescue that dragonfly – was it my good heart. Was the rescue for me or for the dragonfly? Was it to make me feel good or to make the dragonfly feel good? Perhaps both – but I can remember when on the shore with my daughter coming to the conclusion that it was best not to be impatient with this process of change, not to give help to the newly emerging dragonflies, not to give them aid to rush the process of emerging and changing. Perhaps I felt I wanted to help because I was so used to a fast modern pace, perhaps I wanted to help because I was impatient to see the ending of their emergence and not sit on the shore all day. But in the end we chose to sit there and just watch. Not help and enjoy life and the day. Let the dragonfly figure out what he was supposed to figure out and what happened to them naturally. To interfere would upset the cycle of life.
The same holds true with the arts – one cannot change and be something one is not – becoming an artist is a life style – and there is a cycle – it does not include others – just the self and the development of the self. The willingness to explore, discover and change. That cannot happen until one builds the foundations for that to happen. Like the water dragonfly that cycle needed to happen first and then the rest happens. The same holds true with whatever one takes on in life– it is a cycle – it is a journey – live it experience it for yourself and don’t let anyone steal that from you if you do let that happen to you then you have lost a very important part of life’s journey and life’s cycle.