“It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.”

–John Kenneth Galbraith

Um, yes, this is a trash can. It’s also New Media Art.

For a myriad of reasons, I’ve struggled a lot this past week. When I have these times, which are completely human, I try to find an anchor to bring me back to something simple, something that reminds me of the little moments. 

When I need some inspiration to pull me back to what matters, I flip open my images to look at art I’ve created and scroll them like a lot of people do with social media. I stopped at this image. Over and over, I kept coming back to “Blue Morphos and the Sun” I created as New Media Art. I love the way it feels sunny and warm and as though many happy thoughts are flittering around inside my head. 

Digital art of brilliant blue butterflies set against a bright yellow like the sun

Colorful contemporary butterfly art to brighten up up a child’s bedroom or pediatrician’s waiting room. Click on the image for more details in the New Media Art prints.

What is New Media Art? 

Blue Morphos and the Sun is a great example of New Media Art. Using digital techniques, I, as the artist,  morphed (pun intended) the photo of the trashcan butterflies to alter reality. I then put a dreamlike spin on the subject. As in the case with the Blue Morphos and the Sun contemporary abstract art piece, I exaggerated the fluttery nature of the butterfly and the warmth of the yellow color to symbolize the sun. In the same vein, I took a photo of the morpho with its wings closed and then used digital techniques to blend the butterfly into the rainforest. Already a master at disguising itself, I just wanted to emphasize how well the blue morpho can blend into its environment.

rain forest artwork with a blue morpho butterfly camoflauged into scene

“Morphing,” a composited image that comes from two of my photos. One is of the rainforest floor and the other is the blue morpho with wings closed. Blended together, this butterfly art really disguises this morpho. A fun and intriguing abstract art piece to entertain a child’s imagination and teach them about nature.

I named this contemporary abstract  “Blue Morphos and the Sun” to remember the blue morpho butterflies we’d seen the year before in Costa Rica. On that trip, a blue morpho landed on my face and stayed for several minutes—what an amazing experience. The morpho tickled me as it explored my glasses and nose, almost as though it read Braille.

Blue morphos are challenging to photograph. Oh, you can get pictures. However, morphos always sense when you press the shutter button, and they instantly close their wings. I have lots of blue morpho images, and most of them look brown and drab. When they close their wings, it’s their natural protection mechanism to confuse predators. They appear to have several enormous eyes, eyes that would be larger than anything that would go after a small butterfly. But if you are lucky or just enormously patient, the morpho opens up with the most brilliant, showy blue for a nanosecond. Then you are hooked. I finally got one image as we stared at each other eye to eye.

closed wings on a blue morpho

When you see a blue morpho butterfly with closed wings, you’ll notice that the design appears like several eyes. This is the clever way the blue morpho tricks birds and others that might otherwise destroy them.

close up of blue morpho butterfly with wings outstretched showing off beautiful blue color

Finally, he stopped, stared me down, and opened those wings. Told you they were blue! 

Part of what makes me happy with this contemporary abstract art is the title. I love writing, burying a little bit of myself and my humor cryptically in my words. I can imagine a band adopting this as their name. “The Blue Morphos and the Sun.” They’d play a new kind of Latin-Reggae type of music you’d get caught up in. Your feet would tap. Little kids would dance when they heard the hit songs on the radio. Everyone would want this band on their playlist. That’s the way I’d rather be feeling, for certain.

This piece began back in January of this year. A friend and I went to Old Town Scottsdale to photograph together. It was early in the morning, and with COVID-19, there was a lack of tourists. What a special time to have an ordinarily crowded place to ourselves, although, obviously, I’d rather not have a pandemic. My friend Susan probably thought I was nuts, but I got fixated with a trash can and kept shooting it. The City of Scottsdale commissioned various designs for the receptacles, and that’s where I got my inspiration. The end product was a multitude of artistic efforts. The thought did run through my mind at the time that these might be worthy of sticking inside the can. But in retrospect, this turned out to be an image that made me smile. The blue of the butterflies is calming, the yellow of a glowing sun is joyful.

We are going through a lot of shifts in the world, and it can feel unsteady. I love that art can be an anchor. I’ve found it helpful to focus on something small to be appreciative about, and so fortunate that my creations can do that for me. So I ease myself back slowly by seeing that it is indeed the little moments that bring joy into the world.

Can you believe I found my anchor in the trash can? Where do you look for inspiration? Would you mind sharing your inspiration with me? Just pop a message below. I promise I read every comment.

Artwork on blue wall with frame, mat, and paper print of Blue Morphos and the Sun art

This fine art paper print is shown with a large white mat and colored frame; available in several sizes as a limited edition print. Click on the image for details.

Acrylic print on white wall of Blue Morphos and the Sun wall art

Lumachrome acrylic print that is ready to hang when you receive it. Available in several sizes as a limited edition print. Click on the image for details.

Silhouette head and camera with Grand Canyon photo inside
If you like quotes, you’ll love these for inspiration. Click here.

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