“I fell in love with a butterfly. Like many romances, it was completely unexpected. Have you ever tried to catch a butterfly in your hands, or place your finger near it? They fly away immediately! Reason tells me it’s really not possible, but my butterfly did not fly away.”
“My Butterfly” is a true story which describes my experience with a black pipevine swallowtail butterfly in April 2017 at Wildacres Retreat, near Little Switzerland, North Carolina. The photograph of the butterfly in my hair was a “selfie” taken with my camera when I was trying to find him, after he crawled across my face. The photographs and watercolors were made at Wildacres, and in my studio at home.
The experience was so moving and magical that I wanted to preserve it. I also wanted to share it with others, not for me, but for my butterfly. During the time I was at Wildacres, many people came into the painting studio, amazed to see a live butterfly at such close range, feeding on my flower bouquet, taking naps, and riding on my finger. As many of you may know, butterflies, along with many other animal and insect species, are disappearing. It seems everyone finds butterflies magical, but few realize that they are simply neighbors on our beautiful Earth. It is my hope that this little book will help other people see them as such, and we can all work to protect them, and ourselves.
My heart is filled with gratitude to the Wildacres Foundation for not only providing a special place for people to gather and learn from one another, but especially for granting me a Residency, which provided time and solitude for me to write and create this book. I also want to thank my wonderful husband, John Urani, for his encouragement and support, as well as boundless patience in welcoming any and all creatures into our home.