Thursday, March 24, 2011

Encaustic Painting: Missing Monarchs

"Missing Monarchs"
23” x 34” encaustic (beeswax) on wood

This painting was inspired by Milkweed blooming in my garden next to my outdoor studio. I often see Monarchs flutter past me while I paint. I have a lot of butterflies, so I was surprised to learn that in 2002, 270 million Monarch butterflies died due to freezing temperatures while they were wintering in Mexico.

A Boca Raton organization established in 1993 by Chris Singer, Live Monarch Foundation, offers Milkweed seeds for free in order to restore their habitat loss across North America. The Monarch butterflies migrate from the eastern seaboard to the mountains of central Mexico up to Canada and sometimes the butterflies do not survive due to weather, food and human encroachment.

Please consider planting Milkweed in your garden or in a pot on your patio. Each adult Monarch butterfly needs more than one plant to survive. Milkweed is native to Florida, so it will survive happily in your garden.

I have found that children learn to love the environment and its tiny creatures by participating. It's pretty easy to put a few seeds in your garden. I am sure everyone will love watching the Milkweeds grow and to see the Monarch's cycle from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly all in your own backyard.


  1. What a lovely painting. Thanks for posting about the milkweed plants -- butterflies of all kinds are facing increasing habitat destruction, but Monarchs do have one of the most interesting and complex life cylcles. I myself have nurtured several milkweed plants (as well as parsley and carrot for the Black Swallowtails) in my yard for many years now -- and yes, we love watching the caterpillars grow big and fat as they chow down, and then go on to metamorphasize. Mother Nature is amazing!

  2. Patience, thanks for your comment! I have parsley and carrot in my garden as well, but I haven't seen any caterpillars on them yet. I only have a few caterpillars on my milkweed right now, but I seem to have a lot of butterflies around. I guess I need to really look for them. I have become very interested in looking at tiny flowers, like the milkweed, and exploring them larger to really take a look at their shapes in a large magnified way.