Ryno Swart's masterclass for figurative artistsArtistVision. Seeing; feeling; painting.
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A lesson
from butterflies

The lesson
of the eagle

Attention and the
choice of knowing

The conventions
of bad art




The greatest thing an artist can say, is: This I love.

A lesson from the butterflies.

Nature speaks to us. It is up to us to learn the language and to read the messages.
This morning, taking Jean to school, we drove round a corner, and a flight of three butterflies was caught dead in front of our car. To my distress, we struck them, and one was lodged under our windscreen wiper. "Oh no", my thought was, "have I killed some aspect of beauty in my life?" "Rest in peace, butterfly," I said.
Then I saw that we had driven into a host of butterflies. There were hundreds, drawing their sensitive patterns across the air currents, and I realised that beauty lives on. That beauty is not something that we can create, but something we just have to tune in to. Still, under the windscreen wiper, the one poor butterfly remained lodged.
We stopped to pick up Jean's schoolfriend, and as they got into the car, I asked them just to take in the swirling beauty of the moment. "This is not something you'll see often," I told them. So we sat quietly for a moment or two, absorbing the scene.
"This is nature, talking to us of beauty," I said as I put the car into reverse and started off. And the butterfly under the wiper, released by the reversed pressure of the air, dislodged itself and flew away.
"Look! look!" I called, "It is alive. It is alive. Beauty transcends death!"
And turning back into the coastal road towards their school, I said to the two boys...
"Nature talks to us. It is up to us to learn the language and to read the messages."

See also Butterfly vision.