I just completed a new art piece, “Butterfly wings”.
Art Piece Name: Butterfly wings
Completion Date: March 20, 2022
Artist: Denise Holguin, McKinney, Texas
Little tentative one, make haste and take flight with your shiny, gilded wings. While you may damage the wings along your journey you have what it takes to be courageous as a lion yet delicate and beautiful as a rose.
About this piece:
I surrendered to the creative process to make this piece. I took my time and let the ideas float about in my head until all the pieces came together as if they were always meant to be.
- Black & white photo: (bashful girl who later becomes butterfly girl) I bought the original photo from Curiosities in Dallas, Texas. It is one of my favorites. The little girl looks at the camera in a bashful, tentative manner. No matter the age, I think everyone has stood awkwardly in front of a camera.
- Butterfly wings: real butterfly wings I found in nature. I added gold paint to the edges for added interest. (Actual wings are not in the final art piece, read on for details).
I recently viewed the “homemade stories: 2020-2021” exhibition by Nic Nicosia at the Erin Cluley Gallery in Dallas, Texas. His technique was fascinating. He printed photos and then embellished the photos with collage, drawings and painted elements. Then he took photos of this new work.
For my piece, I used an original black and white photo and added 3D elements to the photo: real butterfly wings and plastic gold stars. I photographed this new composition and then printed it. The outcome makes it possible to size the photo to my specifications and I solve the problem of how to add butterfly wings that won’t fall apart. Bashful girl becomes butterfly girl. The wings become permanently “embedded” in the photo (because they are a photo).
- Gold corner bracket on photo: Found object in downtown Pilot Point, Texas. I had no idea what I’d do with it but it is clearly meant to adorn the butterfly girl photo.
- Triangle shape on top of box: It’s shiplap! If you watch any home remodeling shows on television, shiplap is quite popular in some parts of the United States. I picked some up at the hardware store and chuckled to myself. “THIS is shiplap? This is what people like?” I didn’t see the attraction and decided to transform it into something hopefully unrecognizable. I cut a triangular shape, sanded and stained the wood. I added dye and a glossy finish. It has been sitting in my pile of materials for months – waiting to be used as the backdrop of butterfly girl.
- Journal entry: I collect autograph books because I love ephemera and enjoy researching them. It has been my long-term goal to incorporate the autograph pages into my art. I was finally able to do so with this piece. I photographed the autographed page and resized it to fit my specifications.
The page itself is from an autograph book that was given to a girl named Emma on December 25, 1889 from her mother. Her friend Ella Roberts signed the page on January 4th, 1890. Her message to Emma is below:
Dear Emma, What’s the use of always fretting at the trials we shall find ever strewn along our pathway. Travel on, and never mind. Your true friend, Ella Roberts. January 4th.
The message is appropriate for bashful girl and certainly relevant for anyone!
- Yellow rosebud: It was a cold day in January 2022 as I was walking through the parking lot at church. I noticed random bits of flower buds in the grass. I assumed a funeral had happened and someone dropped the flowers. But when I walked in to church I saw fresh flower arrangements at the altar. Whoever carried the arrangements dropped these blooms. After church I collected them from the grass and let them dry for art projects. Things of beauty are everywhere.
- Clock face: Object from my stash of items from my mom. It’s included in the piece to signify the passing of time – from Ella Roberts & Emma from 1890 to the little bashful girl from 1941. It is also meant to suggest the importance of not losing time. Spread those wings and fly. Plus it is an interesting way to show how objects from different time periods including the present are intertwined in this piece.
- Wooden toy block: I chose the lion image to reaffirm the theme for the piece. It also fits the theme of childhood.
- Background: “B”. I purchased a penmanship book from an Instagram friend, 3granniesquares. I chose the page with the letter “B” for butterfly wings. I photographed the page to make it work for my specifications. The penmanship page fits the theme of childhood. It’s something Emma, Ella or the little bashful girl would have written. Depending on your age, you may also remember doing the same (I know I do!)
- Metal ‘butterfly’ in bottom left corner: I am always looking for art objects and this piece was found on Dragon Street in Dallas, Texas! This is the popular street in the Design District where there are countless high end art galleries and showrooms. There’s so much inspiration and talent represented in the area. I cannot afford any art there but I can certainly put found objects from the parking lots to creative use. I added the dates from the two focal pieces to the metal piece. 1941 is the date that was on the back of bashful girl and 1890 is from the autographed page. The wings are resized versions of the original butterfly wings.
- Outer Box: Cigar box from my aunt and uncle who are supportive with my art projects. I sanded it but left enough of the paper still visible. I stained the exposed areas and then sealed it.
For fun, I entered the places in Google Maps to show where the components for this piece came from. Quite a journey of objects that came together for this art piece.
1890, 1941 and 2022 (the date the art piece was completed) spans: 132 years!
I am hoping to display this piece in an art exhibit later this year and will be putting it in my Etsy shop. More information to come. In the event you love the piece and cannot live without it for another moment, I am ready to sell.