Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Janis Joplin portrait for the "Black Butterfly" series, charcoal on mylar, 24 x 16" from a photo by Bob Seidemann. The wings are from a "Mother of Pearl" butterfly, and the background is inspired by Janis's song "Half Moon" - here pictured as the waning moon.

Lyrics: "Half moon, night time sky, Seven stars, Heaven’s eyes"

I watched many Youtube videos and bios while creating this. "Pearl" packed so much living into 27 years, and her death was a great loss to the music scene.

In the "Black Butterfly" works, butterflies represent the artist's muse, and my subjects are always those who are involved in the creative arts; musicians, actors, poets, or visual artists. I’m currently using pop figures or artistic friends I’ve met in person or on the internet as models, incorporating classical subjects from literature, or Gods and Goddesses from various cultures in addition to the butterfly/muse theme. I'm interested in the idea of the ways the artist’s muse and gifts can also have negative effects on the ego, and of course the butterfly metaphor of death and transformation is a strong element in this piece.


cathy said...

wonderful to see the original, Alice.. it's superb! enjoyed the video too. thanks!!

Alice McMahon White said...

Thanks dear Cathy! I forgot you are signed up here. Where is your blog girl?! ;)

Jim said...

Lovely to see the uncensored version Alice. I've loved Janis for years; she was a remarkable woman with an amazing voice.

I hadn't realized you had a page here, too; where do you find the time for it all?

David Patterson said...

Very beautiful Alice...much better without the butterflies! :)

Alice McMahon White said...

Thanks Jim and David! Yes, the censors are annoying.

Jim, I have seriously been thinking of letting go of several of my sites, but not sure which ones yet. I get so attached to my people. :) I would surely draw more often!

I'll follow you now.