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Bay Nature magazineJul-Sep 2010 Issue

Painted Wings

The Butterfly Art of MaryAnn Nardo

by on July 01, 2010

(left) Painted lady. Host plant: pearly everlasting. (right) Anise swallowtail. Host plant: fennel.Painting by MaryAnn Nardo.

(left) Painted lady. Host plant: pearly everlasting. (right) Anise swallowtail. Host plant: fennel.

Painting by MaryAnn Nardo.

Almost ten years ago, San Rafael-based artist MaryAnn Nardo began painting images of butterflies. A trained botanical illustrator, she wanted to bring more into the picture and also create something both local and educational. These paintings are all of those things. Each shows a local native species with its host plant (the particular plant that its caterpillars eat), as well as its larval form and chrysalis. Each painting, then, is a bit like a page in a field guide.

And yet also very different. The paintings were done oversize in watercolor on Douglas-fir boards–local butterflies on local wood. “I couldn’t imagine painting on blank canvas,” says Nardo. “The wood brought something more to it, its own life.”

And most of all, the works are simply beautiful, like the butterflies themselves. “I could get lost in the wings,” she says. Find out more or order prints by emailing maryannnardo@sbcglobal.net.

Blue copper
Blue copper. Host plant: shrub sulphur buckwheat.

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Theresa Peters on September 22nd, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I saw your BEAUTIFUL work on display at Book Passage. I wonder if you have small note cards for sale and if any of them are in English. Thank you

Theresa Peters on September 22nd, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Do you have any note cards of the butterfly prints and are they in English if they have messages.?

Bay Nature Staff on September 23rd, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hi Theresa,

We suggest you contact Maryann Nardo directly through the email address listed on her website: http://www.maryannnardo.com/contact/. We don’t sell her work – we featured it in Bay Nature magazine a few years back. Good luck! ~ Beth

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