Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Redux: How to Make Courageous Butterflies

While making various more humorous Bug Party puppets recently, I hit upon the way I can create the more serious Courageous (formerly known as Handicapped*) Butterfly characters that had vexxed me so earlier.

Rima and everyone were right, I'll be much happier with these puppets when they aren't human forms with wings, which looked more like comical fairies to me. But rather more delicate insect-like suggestions of human limbs on decidedly more bug-like bodies.

Above you see the figure on the left that gave me the answer. I was building up the wires with matte medium when I noticed the legs in back were starting to gently suggest human-like legs, albeit with distorted/exaggerated proportions and positions.

Point is, after making several flies and bugs legs this week, I've gotten a certain new level of comfortableness with playing with these shapes and now feel much more confident that I can strike the right mixture/balance of bug to man. The answer I think will be in making the balance shift more toward the Insecta.

Thanks for watching and waiting while things emerge here.

*Still searching for the right name/term to describe these creatures in 1/2L. They will be missing limbs on their human aspect but yet there is nothing diminished about them in this world. They fly gracefully and are noble and elegant in every way. They are not disabled. There are not impaired. They are not hobbled, or gnarled, or handicapped. They are lopsided and misshapen but that doesn't convey their nature.

I'm trying to represent the attitude of individuals who are physically different from the norm, and yet towering over people with all their faculties intact, due to their inner strength and personal courage to be all they can.

Writing this post gave me the answer. Thank you. I love it. Courageous Butterflies, it is.


  1. It's all about simply trying things, and failing, and then trying it again until we'll succeed. At least this is my experience, and I see this confirmed in other people's projects as well.

    – This is what I like about reading your blog, for example, or why I love teaching: watching the progress people make while the little steps on this way emerge as artworks.

  2. bzzzzzzzzzzzz. bzzz... bzzzzzzzzzzz....

    cool bugs.

  3. Courage is something so wonderful to have. I want more of it in my own nature. The explanation of the process was delightful!


  4. Dood, the bees come later, Rich!

    Thanks, Bitter Betty, but I think you've got plenty courage and strength and wit and talent, so there.

  5. Best Whistle Sound!

    nice legs.....


  6. Anonymous5:16 AM

    i would have gone with "non-compliant butterflies" (to parody institutional terminology in solidarity with non-average people) or "belligerent butterflies" (for the alliteration)...
    but courage is a good thing, whether it's courage to become something you need to be, or courage to be what you are.
    oh i was linked to this blog by a doll collecting buddy.

    -- nataluna

  7. Thanks, Justin, big love to you up North.

    Welcome, Nataluna! I'd love an alliteration for these...

    how about Brave Butterflies?

    Gallant Gallynippers?

    Dauntless Danties?

    Lionhearted Lepodoptra?

    Mettlesome Moths?

    HA! First one's not bad actually. Will think on it.



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