The Viceroy


Here is the painting I promised you.  Black oak savannas can be surprisingly rich, and I enjoy looking down at the tapestry at my feet in all seasons.  I wanted to indicate some of the species diversity you’ll find here.  All of this is on just a thin veneer of soil over sand, which has always seemed pretty remarkable to me.

It’s funny how life can change.  Usually I drift along, painting and playing with my little dog in the garden.  Suddenly I find myself leading a small group of artists!  We’re meeting today to discuss the possibilities of having monthly first Friday exhibits. Wow!  I hesitate to mention it as the whole thing could just blow over, but I’m hoping we can pull it off.  So much to consider…name for the group, event insurance, business license, sales tax, etc etc.  There has been a proliferation of artist groups in my little town.  We’ll be the fifth, I believe.  Each has its own purpose and scope.  What would be really good is if all the groups would coordinate efforts but that would be like a herd of cats all moving in the same direction.




Original Painting

30x40" canvas with wide gallery-wrap edges, painted black. This vibrant painting will take you to the savanna at the edge of Lake Michigan at the end of summer. Let your eye wander through, picking out the different textures and shades of color you see. The painting ships free in the continental US.



  1. You’ve got a happy diagonal there. The reddish leaves adjacent to the green ones is a nice touch. In addition, the lowest of the red leaves seem like butterflies to me, and they even share their color with the viceroy.


    1. I like to find decaying wood in the field, and when I can put it in a painting it provides instant structure. I’m so glad you like my reddish leaves and how they accent the butterfly. That was just a happy accident but I was happy with it too.


  2. Wow! I love how this painting turned. I love all the different shapes and colours and how you composed them and I’m jazzed about how perfectly you placed the Monarch.

    I once saw a Youtube video of a line of stray cats following each other into an open garage door. The videomaker set up a night camera and left his garage door open. So it happens!


    1. Oops! I thought the butterfly was a Mornach as I hadn’t heard of a Viceroy until I saw some comparison images on Instagram a few days ago. I think they co-occur in my area. I’ll have to take a closer look at their wing veins! Your Viceroy is lovely. 😊


      1. Thank you Myriam. They co-occur here as well. The Viceroy is a bit smaller and has a more flighty flight, while the Monarch sails regally along. Also I notice that I don’t see the Viceroys until later in the season but then, as far north as you are, I guess they would both be late season for you.


  3. It’s cool to see how this paining evolved. I like how the log became darker, the addition of new floral colors in the foreground, and the viceroy. A harmonious whole, a vivid scene.

    I’ve been in a largish art group, 300 members, for nine years. I’ve been leading the photography group in it for most of that time. I know all about herding cats! Fortunately, the larger group has been around for a long time as a non-profit corporation, has a building with a gallery, handles sales sales tax and finances, so I haven’t had to deal with that stuff. Good luck with your venture!


    1. Thanks! 🙂 That is so good to hear.
      Wow~ a 300 member group! That is impressive. The good numbers really spreads the work out. The one co-op I was a member of is probably on the point of collapse, because the remaining members are so few and everyone has already served for years in one capacity or another. I believe that is how they ended up with a board of bullies~they were the only ones willing to serve. Their nastiness has taken the heart out of the group, though.


  4. I especially like the way the blues and purples of the flowers and grasses pick up the colors in the log. It’s so nicely done that they help to hold the painting together, even while the Viceroy’s the focal point. I think it was a good decision to have them “spilling over the edges of the canvas.” It helps the eye to roam, just as it would in nature. There’s a lot implied outside the frame.


    1. Thank you! 🙂
      The group, I’m afraid, has come apart, starting with the guy who owns the building deciding he doesn’t want to rent it after all…seems to prefer paying for a big empty building. I’ll bet he didn’t share his blocks, either!


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