Artist Magdalena shows her ‘collection’ of butterfly paintings.
For our honeymoon ten years ago, Michael and I travelled together with a female Shaman to Machu Picchu in Peru. During this journey, I had several profound inner and outer experiences that were very inspirational and illuminating for me.
Upon checking in at the airport for our return journey to the US, the airline refused to let me board the plane because I only had my new Swiss passport with me and not the expired one that held my US entry visa. Hence Michael and I were stranded in Peru while I had to go through the bureaucratic channels at the US Embassy to get the situation sorted out.
With time on hand, we decided to visit a butterfly farm nearby Lima; we enjoyed the abundance of butterflies, their colours and shapes very much. On another day, while strolling through a market, I discovered a large, beautifully-made wooden butterfly box at one of the stands, displaying most stunning and exquisite butterflies mounted inside. I was totally blown away. This was the inspiration for me to paint butterflies for my next art show at the Art21 gallery in Palo Alto.
The paintings are large, from 3 to 7 foot wide. I glue canvas onto hollow core doors and paint directly onto that. Hence the finished painting does not require any frame, as that can sometimes distract from the painting itself.
On the photographs, the paintings look necessarily a bit flat. However, in life size – depending from which angle one looks at them – the brush strokes are visible and the butterflies appear almost three-dimensional due to the fact that I also use metallic paint in places.
As an example, the four round markings on the tips of the butterfly shown on Johann S Bach’s sheet music were painted with metallic paint and make the butterfly appear almost alive.
My most favourite butterfly painting is the last one in the slide show, the black-blue-white butterfly crowned by a golden Om (note the little heart on top) on an azure blue background. It is not for sale!
For me, butterflies are a reflection of an inner process, of the love for transformation, and the expression of the beauty of life in a grateful heart.
Anand Magdalena (aka Anna Coulter) grew up in the Swiss Alps, studied art and how to become an art teacher in Zurich. She took sannyas in 1977. In the Pune commune she was a weaver, graphic designer, bookbinder and in Oregon a construction worker. After the Ranch she studied architecture in Saratoga, California. At the current time she lives in Silicon Valley promoting good nutrition, organizing wellness events, and selling wellness products from AnnaCoulterStore.com