© 2019 KATHLEEN PIERCEFIELD

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Creatures of the night

I'm presently embarked on a series of prints and paintings based on moths.  Ever since childhood I've been fascinated with these creatures, and they show up often in my work.  Like the dreams that flit through our sleeping minds, moths are only glimpsed, catching the light for an instant before disappearing again into darkness; their lives are brief and generally unnoticed, yet they are far greater in number and biological impact than their better-known cousins the butterflies.  On close examination, they are surprisingly beautiful -- their subtle colors and exquisitely complex patterns are far from the drab gray and brown that most people expect when they hear the word "moth."  To me they are intriguing in themselves, but also an apt symbol for transformation, for the inner workings of mind and imagination, for all things hidden and mysterious.

Virginia Creeper Sphinx, acrylic on canvas

Of a summer night, linoleum block print

My images of moths come from my own photos. For some years I've been "collecting" via photography; I put out a black light and a white sheet on warm summer nights, and capture the moths that are attracted.  After spending the night in my refrigerator, their metabolism has slowed enough that I can take them out and photograph them in the morning -- after which they are released to go on about their lives.