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About Judith Swift

I was inspired to start painting butterflies after moving to Arnside and Silverdale AONB a few years ago. The area is a real “hot spot” for many nationally rare butterflies.
In nature the vividly coloured patterns on the wings of butterflies and moths are made up of a mass of minute coloured scales. In my watercolour paintings I use a stippling technique with a fine brush to create this effect. It is the fine detail and wing shape that separates one butterfly species from another. Each butterfly illustration is life size and takes over ten hours to paint. I use my own photographs and those of museum specimens as references.
People often ask me why butterflies? A few years ago I studied for a Certificate in Biological Recording and identification at Birmingham University. I decided that painting butterflies would be a novel way of learning about them. Unlike some lepidopterist I don,t collect butterfly specimens from the wild preferring to “capture” them on paper and camera.
Travels over the past decade have taken me several times to the Nepalese Himalayas. My most recent paintings have been inspired by these trips