palo verde beetle

I received an invitation to take part in – of all things – a Bugs in Art themed show.  I wouldn’t naturally do this sort of examination, but because it is so out of my comfort zone – why not. I enjoy studying life and maybe I enjoy overcoming fears.

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This Palo Verde Root Borer has been one interesting challenge. A friend gave me the creäture. I know it’s not alive but I am nervous the entire time I paint.

IMG_5930It is oddly beautiful in its larva stage – it is large, yellow with bright red dots – and can live for 3 years before emerging from the ground. The adult on the other hand – is black or brown in color, has long antenna’s, and spines on the thorax which form a collar around the “neck” of the beetle. They have wings and can fly. The mature beetle emerges in the humid summer months to mate and dies soon afterward; adult lifespan is about one month.

Derobrachus geminatus – this longhorn beetle is native to the American Southwest and northern Mexico. It derives its name from the Palo Verde tree. It is one of the largest beetles in North America and can reach up to three and a half inches in length. I met my first one soon after moving to Phoenix. I might never have come here if I’d known about this bug.

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Palo Verde Study – mixed media collage – 10″ x 10″

I’m not complete with the composition. After laying it out I decide to show the wings.  I photograph  and post at this stage only because I know the work is going to change again. This is an anatomy study, as best I can figure out the bugs insides, I take liberty especially with color. I add green because it should be verde even if only in my imagination. I will darken things up a bit more soon. Maybe.

After spending several days looking at it under a magnifying glass I decide the creepiest  thing about the bug are the antenna’s. Next bug I paint will be something less intimidating – I need the break.

 

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