Public computers and printing at the Waldo Branch will be unavailable for patron use through Dec. 12th due to technology upgrades.Check availability »
The Manchurian Swallowtail
Born in California, Bill Howe lived most of his life in Ottawa, KS, where he conducted a life long study of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and translated his studies into paintings. He graduated from Oklahoma University and later studied at the Kansas City Art Institute to develop his command of the watercolor medium used for most of his field studies. The expertise of his work lead him to publish two volumes of North American Lepidoptera titled "Our Butterflies and Moths" (1963) and "Our Butterflies and Moths" (published the same year but is now out of print), which included over 2,000 detailed watercolor studies and was regarded by entomologists as the greatest volume ever published on butterflies in the North American continent. In addition to watercolor, his painting in a number of styles including pointillism, enlarged imagery, traditional and surrealism, as seen in this work. Butterflies are depicted here with meticulous detail that corresponds to their floral counterparts. The background adopts a more relaxed style to contrast the main subject, setting the scene in an East-Asian landscape as indicated by the seated Buddha statue at the bottom. A pastel color palette complements the airiness of the subject matter while emphasizing their individual detail at the same time. Howe's productive career has supplied paintings to over 50 museums, universities, libraries and private collections throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.