While many of you may know all of nature is my inspiration I wanted to share with you a special artist and art influence for me.
Many of the images of moths I have created over the past 10 years are dedicated to Dr. John (Jack) Cody, a friend, colleague and fellow scientific artist who spent much of his life in the pursuit of raising and painting saturnid (silk) moths; his watercolor paintings are breathtaking. It was he, a trained medical illustrator from the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins in the early 1950’s (where I have been teaching for the past 35 years) and practicing psychiatrist, who explained to me that creating mandalas is recognition of self-acceptance and comfort with life. He expressed it in this way “According to Jungian depth psychology, the fact that you have discovered the mandala and became fascinated by it is of extreme importance for your personality development. According to Jung, the mandala represents wholeness. This means that you have now reached a stage in your life when you have it “altogether”. It ís a final stage when you are pleased with your life and sense that it has developed in a most satisfactory way with all aspects of yourself in creative balance.” His book Wings of Paradise: the Great Saturnid Moths (UNC Press, 1996) is filled with astounding watercolor paintings of these beautiful creatures.
My gift and remembrance of Jack is unwavering—I encourage you to wander with wonder in nature and in life, create art for joy and satisfaction and accept yourself in all the things you do. I send my best in finding YOUR creative balance.
For a print of the image “Cecropia Moth Cherry Mandala” above please visit my Silk Moth Collection where you will also find 71 other images of a variety of beautiful both magnificent and diminutive moths.