Entomological Excavation

The Chichen Swallow-Itza-Tail butterfly, (Toltecia Olmecium), thrives in the Central American jungle and subsists primarily on maize. Its image chiseled into Meso-American artifacts represents warfare & sacrifice. Despite its jester like appearance this species will bite and is frequently spotted roosting on the backs of crocodiles in the watershed areas of Tikal National Park. Its natural predators are howler monkeys and archaeologists.


n Aztec mythology, Ītzpāpālōtl [iːt͡spaːˈpaːlot͡ɬ] (“Obsidian Butterfly”) was a fearsome skeletal warrior goddess who ruled over the paradise world of Tamoanchan, the paradise of victims of infant mortality and the place identified as where humans were created.[1] Shedownload (6).jpeg is the mother of Mixcoatl and is particularly associated with the moth Rothschildia orizaba from the family Saturniidae. Some of her associations are birds and fire.[2] Her nagual was a deer.

Violent butterflies!  Loved this blog post; first encounter with a butterfly that is symbolic of war and strength! :  https://thebutterflydiaries.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/meso-american-butterfly-patterns/


I love this guy; he’s a little on the cartoony side, not my usual style.  I think he’s wicked!  It is precisely my interest in Aztec/Miztec archeology & artifacts that really sparked my interest in Spanish language & culture.

And then onto Egypt…Nefertiti resplendent with Eye of Ra butterflies and and her standard adorned with scarab beetle.

“The butterflies were presumably one of the pleasures that awaited the deceased in the afterlife, reflecting the Egyptian belief in the immortality of the human soul.”


What I really LOVED about this quirky drawing, (again, a little cartoony derivation from my usual), was this fascinating geometric diagram of the bust of Nefertiti:


Egyptian butterflies do not make frequent appearances in ancient egyptian artifacts… Here is the most widely used example: ‘Neubaum Hunting in the Marshes’…

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Heart Healthy

This post is dedicated to my Uncle Charlie.

The Gemini Ladybug, (valentinium twinaticus), upon close examination proves that two hearts can beat as one. Thrives in sub-zero climates, lives among the folds tacky Hallmark cards and is attracted to the chocolates that are sampled and then put back in the box.


I know ’tis not the season for hearts and Valentines, but this post transcends all seasons and holidays…everyone needs to be heart smart, heart healthy.  Heart disease, heart aches, even broken ones.


If I were a tattoo artist like my grandfather was, I might do something like this; it’d look swell with a ‘Mom’ or a ‘Darlene’ written through it.

The next series, ‘Celtic Heart Mazes’, 1-4, is the beginning of my attempts to do some Art Deco/Micro String Tangle drawing.  There are many routes to get at the heart of the matter, so many ways to follow the heart, so many ways to let the heart lead the mind.





It’s not necessarily in the details, rather, the way you shift through the material.  These doodles however are all about the details.  There is, for the artist, the doodler, a necessary task of trying out patterns, focusing on the tiny marks, the repetitive.   The heart is intricate, but hopefully hopeful.

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Variegated Gift Options

Variegated Tulip Beetle (tepalium striateas), hibernates in its pupa stage inside the bulb throughout the winter months, comfortably. Emerging in the Spring, perfectly camouflaged as the tulip flower. When the plant begins to die, the adult coleoptera detaches itself. Be fairly warned, they will feast upon unprotected rose and rhododendron bushes; otherwise, a colorful addition to your garden!


Variegated anything, a variation on a theme, a species going out on a limb…all beautiful.  I had a very clear vision of this bouquet based my own tulip bulbs and the japanese beetles that seems to settle in on the prettiest thing in your garden.


beetlev16As always, I was almost a day late and a dollar short for Mother’s Day and my mum’s birthday and spent a good chunk of Mother’s Day watching this drawing come to life.  vrgbetle166.jpg



A Fleur-Lis of Activity

Beetle Belles Lettres‘, good luck charm for poets, writers, anthologists…a publishers favorite familiar.  A recurring cultural symbol en famille.  Back to more insect anatomy as well.  The fleur-de-lis is an incredibly majestic cultural symbol; in and that sense it is said to signify perfection, light, and life.   Warning:  Here’s what happens when you get a little to carried away with cultural identity.  Keep reading. fleurbetlclr



Over the course of this past year, my Mamam, Rhea Cote Robbins, in a fleur-de-lis of cumulative activity in her successful attempt to publish her work, ‘Heliotrope: French Heritage Women Create’, asked me to contribute some artwork to her publication.


Truly, my greatest desire for any of my drawing is that it will be Refrigerator Art, to be admired for a few weeks, hopes pinned on by magnets, contemplated for a few seconds as one reaches for the milk.   I sent along the following three pieces, with love, expecting the admiration and magnet approval that only a mother can bestow.  Oh no, instead this is what happens:


For all those who create, artists, writers, poets, the whole lovely, wacky band of you; you must have moments when your brain freezes, thinking, “What have I done?”.  Like parents sending their children out into the “real” world on their own; you can’t control it once it has left your house.  Panic, “Oh no, come back, you’re not ready yet…”.  I’m still beyond humbled; you see, this is not my trade, it’s just a passion-pastime that occasionally saves my life, keeps me sane, and is, a means of quiet self-worth.  ¡¿Book covers?!

Here are some of the other submissions/sketches that were JUST SUPPOSED TO BE REFRIGERATOR ART!




La Fierté‘, a modern-day patron sainte’ superheroine goddette.  Her habiliments, a quilt heliotrope-cover-640x400as cape and cloak.  She wields her implements, pen, needle, brush, book; as tightly as treasure.  Her familiar, the butterfly, Légèreté, implies metamorphosis and the eternity of the Cycle.  Stylized after Renee Falconcetti (‘La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc’, 1928) and Rosie the Riveter, La Fierté is resourceful, creative and passionate about her heritage and her craft.  Also moderne, with her fleur-de-lis tattoo and Zentangle quilted cape.  She holds onto simple tools; in perpetuity creates a nexus of art, literature, and textile.

Here is La Fierté “unadorned.  I think her fleur de lis tattoo is badass by the way.


And here’s her hair accessory/familiar/lucky charm, because that’s what ethic chicks do; they put shit in their hair because it’s smart & beautiful.



This is the illustration I was actually hoping Maman the rédactrice would select if she was going to include anything in ‘Heliotrope’, preferably on buried on page 162, anonymously.  usethis




Trademark Logos

Logos being ‘principle of divine reason and creative order’ or (in Jungian psychology) the principle of reason and judgment, associated with the animus, or can refer to a mode of persuasion used to convince audiences.  I’ll let the logic of the symbol speak for itself in the next four drawings.  As commissioned, one of the few things I actually spent time drawing this summer.  Let the insects speak for the corporate world…





You Are What You Read?!

As a [SPOILED] child, I grew up with a subscription to a magazine.  Hold on to that thought and I realize just how fortune I was…with a magazine subscription to:  Cricket.  What a wonderful thing to look forward every month.  Remember when getting things in the mail was an epic event, a ridiculous joy.  I read these cover to cover and it made perfect sense to me that insects should be animated and think excellent thoughts.



As I sit here today shifting through a years worth of insect doodles, I’m stunned by the connection.  Obviously I’m a girl of letters, books, words and languages, but why do I always feel that in another life time I was an entomologist.  My drawings are trying to tell me something.   Wise grasshopper, am not!  How wonderful to have a mum who supported this kind of learning and entertainment.  How grateful am I that some loving adult put a literary magazine for children in my hands and said, “Here, you will enjoy this”.  Think of all the things we put into our childrens’ minds today.   grhprrrrr

This past Spring I drew some beautiful crickets and grasshoppers.  Again back to basics;  I spent some time with a beginners insect anatomy drawing book.   I drew a pile of Cave Crickets and their antennae kept getting longer and longer…again, I gave most of the grasshoppers and the crickets away; here are the silly ones that remain.


The ‘Mustachioed Bull Whip Cricket’ was popular in turn of the century Paris and became a popular addition to Flea Circus and Monkey operated organ grinder shows.


A Testament to Industry and Productivity

Monday morning bee doodle; ‘No Money, No Honey‘. literally.


The insect world is all industry.  I love bees and their sense of purpose; they’re so overtly goal oriented.  Carry Water, Chop Wood. My new career as a substitute teacher afforded me some opportunity this past spring to re-orient my self with drawing and the actual anatomy of insect bodies.  I was fortune to find a rather scrappy copy of ‘Draw Insects’ by Doug DuBosque.  Back to basics.  I fell in love with the formulaic pattern of drawing bees; I drew a million and gave them all away.  Here are just a few that have survived.


THIS is industry; hives from Methodist Hill from the summer of 2016.  The one one right contained a veritable 3 layer cake!



And on the 7th day…let’s just say, it’s good to take a rest!


Living Free and Dying

Isn’t that what the Moon does; waxes and wanes, expands and diminishes.  I’ve come to love the state of New Hampshire; being a true ‘Mainer’, it’s hard to admit.  But I’ve will always believe that ‘Live Free or Die’ is the best state motto ever; epic in fact.   It was a wonderful to spend a great deal of time this past summer in the White Mountains.  The Old Man on the Mountain horrified me as a child; can’t quite explain why.  And now that it’s gone; even spookier.  Getting to the top of Cannon Mt. (former residence of the ‘Old Man’) was exhilarating; yet even in late June I was freezing cold.  What a little moonlight can do, no, what a little altitude can do!


I’ve found a new replacement for The Old Man on the Mountain…he was there before and will probably be there when I’m gone:  Chief Pemigewasset!  What a profile, and a surprise when you can actually spot it in Franconia Notch.  Can you imagine any state adopting a Native American profile replacing a very European profile…lobby for that, will you?!



These drawings followed; variations on a theme.  ‘Solarlunar‘; by the light of both, everything moves forward.


‘CelticSolar Maze’:


Y Prosperidades…

Prospero año y felicidad; bienvendio a 2016!  Not much of a resolution gal, more like a ‘One Day at a Time’ lady, but it is a great time of year to re-evaluate and imagine what those new goals just might look like.  ‘Plastered‘, the image behind a new ad campaign for people against insects flying while under the influence; “Please fly responsibly this holiday season”.


So tongue in cheek for me to draw this…poor little drunky dragonfly.  In response to getting plastered by heavy wet snow and a little image researching before I drew this…Check out this macro photography of insects covered in dew.  They are spell-binding.  Here’s the photo on which I based this sketch.


Macro photographs of insects covered in dew.  Not only are they sleepy, but covered in what looks like diamonds.  Would make for killer New Year’s Eve cocktail dress haute couture.


‘Pocket Pendulum Beetle’

The Pocket Pendulum Beetle, (Scarabi Dickclarkcaneaum), native to Switzerland/ Alpine climate zones, is famous for its’ precision flight patterns, but is about as reliable as a sundial as a timepiece. Larvae feed primarily on confetti and flat champagne. Very en vogue with Steampunk enthusiasts; its most dangerous natural predator. Previously believed to be attracted to silver polish, it is actually drawn to cedar chests, musty linens, and especially, your grandfathers’ handkerchiefs. ….. and, to make it even more old timey, in sepia:


Navideñas II

Another flurrious round of holiday sentiment; it all settled peacefully and quietly joyful socially, spiritually and on paper.  The man of the house brought home a beautiful tree to celebrate the Solstice, sentinel, spruce-smelly, adding extra little lights to our days; in addition to pine cones, we added jingle bells to the tree this year.  These things seemed to work there way into my pencil and brain; above and beyond wrapping paper and obligations: just for fun.

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Birch Reindeer Cone Moth



The ‘Birch Reindeer Cone Moth‘ is a sure indication of a pre-Winter thaw & harbinger of a slow economic holiday season. It’s attracted to outdoor Christmas lights. In some cultures, the Reindeer Cone moth is captured alive in jars and hung in archways like Mistletoe to encourage smooching. It also finds it’s way into the house by camouflaging itself on Amazon packages crammed into doorways and has perfected the art of holiday postage stamp mimicry.


Maybe this is why the lights get tangled….

‘Cascabel Evergreen Butterfly


The ‘Cascabel Evergreen Butterfly,’ (Coniferium Jingleaneus) is obviously attracted to pine or blue spruce and wild peppermint. A mild winter insect that follows the anti-migratory patterns of “snow birds” who fly south for the winter. Their major natural predators are house cats. Leaving out last years’ candy canes (please remove the cellophane, if you can peel it off) is a great way to lure them in…

And…this years’ best holiday tune!