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© Joan Currie – Fun watercolor bugs in my sketchbook.

It‘s a children’s book…It’s mostly about very small animals; the hero is a moss beetle. – Noël Coward.

For several months I have been utterly enchanted with the animal world and now insects, in particular, are capturing my attention. Previously, I associated insects with mostly the stinging kind; yes, occasionally a monarch butterfly or ladybug would land on me, but mostly I was a target for anything that would bite, be it mosquitoes, bees, wasps, deer flies, fleas, spiders, fire ants, etc. So my relationship with bugs has not been the best over the years.

But last October that all changed when I attended an exhibition called Crawly Creatures at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and became fascinated with the images of bugs on the pages of illuminated manuscripts, oil paintings, and ornaments. Since then I have discovered the beauty of these small creatures – be it their colors, textures, and/or intricate body parts- especially the wings!

Last week, as I walked around my neighborhood, I starting noticing insects everywhere- lurking on the edges of branches, flower greenery, and flying through the air. They have transmuted in my mind from being creatures of nuisance, to be cast off (or squashed!) to being fellow creatures to adore and to behold for their sheer beauty!

© Rijksmuseum