Optic Tempos of the Mysterious Lepidoptera | Skillshare Projects



Optic Tempos of the Mysterious Lepidoptera

I decided I want to create an illustration inspired by the following passage from Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins.

"To science, the migratory flights of the monarch remain a mystery.  An enigma of tactics if not of strategy.  There are certain channels of communication that operate outside the frequencies of even the most prying investigators.  A hundred blackbirds will evacuate a tree at precisely the same second--without discernable signal of any kind.  A variety of orchid, lacking nectar as an enticement but needing to be pollinated, attractes male bees by emitting odors like that of the female bee.  A wasp will bore for an hour into the hard wood of a tree at the exact spot where hides the tiny grub in whose body she lays her eggs:  there is no outward sign that the grub is there, yet the wasp never misses.  At the disposal of the "lower" animals are invisible clocks and computers about which science can only speculate.  Similarly, scientists have discovered and recorded "laws" to which electricity, gravity and magnetism adhere--but they have practically no understanding of what these forces are or why.  It would seem that there exists in the time-space grid a system of natural order, a mathematics of energy whose "numbers" are even more a riddle to us than their progressions.  It is this arithmetic of consciousness that more simple men call the "supernatural."  The mystery of migrating butterflies, the mystery of gravity and dreams are but operating arms of The Great Mystery, the perpetuation of which sustains us all.  If that declaration has a taste of corn about it, so be it.  Language grows a bit sticky in areas such as these.  However, concerns of this nature can be quite practical and concrete, as we shall see.  It is in the realm of High Mystery that certain men and women are destined to act out their lives."

Earlier on in the book he describes the migrating butterflies visually as "vast flowing rivers of insects staining the wind with their moody hues; force fields of haphazardly modulating entities; notes in a numerical narrative; syllables of equal inflection, rhythmically pulsating, decreasing in optic tempo only on their peripheries where intensity and density finally slacken--as at the edge of a Jackson Pollock painting or the frayed ends of a patchwork quilt."

So he is talking about butterflies but I decided I wanted to use moths because I think they are higly underrated creatures of beauty.  What I am trying to do is just create something cool that has a visual rhythym to it and for it to be personally about someone I know who inspires me, and also my fascination with music and with nature.

Here is my pinterest board of references



Here are my three very very quick sketches


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