“Psyche” self portrait, from the Black Butterfly series. Oct 1, 2008, charcoal/pastel on mylar with under-drawing on grey pastel paper 26 × 22″ Mounted in a vintage frame.
The drafting film is translucent, so I have used a moonstone Canson pastel paper under the film for color. I work on the frosted side of the paper for tooth. The mylar lends a lovely soft effect, beautiful for rendering the translucence of skin. It is a tricky surface to work on, just a flick of the finger brings you back to the clean surface. I load my fingers with charcoal to get the soft gradations of tone.
The myths of the Greek goddess Psyche exemplify a woman’s search for authentic personal growth, a reminder that the integration of our experiences, however sad or frightening they may be, matures and transforms us, like the symbol of the butterfly emerging into the light from its dark cocoon.
The butterfly in the drawing is from the reference photo I captured in Ireland – the Irish peacock butterfly. Psyche is a personification of the soul and was represented in ancient Greek mythology as a butterfly.
The lily is my business logo symbol – for peace and annunciation. It also was inspired in this scale by Georgia O’Keefe’s flower paintings and their feminine connotations.