It is summer and yes that means insects - hovering, whirring, buzzing, fluttering , dive bombing creatures lovingly called "bugs." Outdoor living beckons us to mingle with swarms of busy, tiny creatures of extraordinary beauty. Everyday bug dress is an array of exquisite design--black dots on orange, red or yellow, metallic emerald, the black silhouette, airbrushed gossamer. Should we be surprised that all this bug beauty may well informs our interiors as well?
Look closely at that beautiful Scalamandre woven lampas silk and you will more than likely see butterflies, in fact, once noted you will see them on fabrics, wallcoverings and woven carpets Butterflies symbolize the soul, resurrection or rebirth. Referred to as flying gardens, their delicate movement transports wings of feathery brushstrokes in the hues of a garden in full bloom. Their coloration exciting and fresh, their silhouette elegant, butterflies have inspired exquisite colorways and the iconic canvas chair on frame.
The bee appears in hieroglyphics and tomb paintings in ancient Egypt, symbolizing the royal family of northern Egypt and eternal life. Napoleon chose the Christian symbol of the bee to represent his empire. Embroidered on his coronation robes, gilded onto carvings and furniture, printed and woven onto wallcoverings and fabrics, the gold Napoleonic bee is a traditional motif that is still very much coveted today. Farrow & Ball Napoleonic Bee wallcovering is a modern adaptation bespoken in beautiful colors adaptable to a range of styles.
In ancient China the cricket became a house pet worthy of breeding to produce the most lyrical of sounds and the sturdiest in cricket fighting, a national obsession inside the Forbidden City and in villages alike. Cricket Houses or cages of bamboo, ceramic and wire, once necessary in keeping and transport, are beautifully elaborate art objects of antiquity today. Symbolizing good fortune and fertility the cricket appears in Asian watercolors and wood carvings which have informed fabrics, drawings, wallcoverings and decorative objects.
When I think of ladybugs I think of the expression "cute as a bug's ear" . The cutest of all insects is a tiny hump easily recognized by its warm translucent shell of orange, red or yellow dotted with tiny pinpricks of black. Considered omens of good luck in the household, ladybugs became a very popular motif In the nineteenth century and enjoyed a renaissance in the 60s era of pop and optical art.
The most beautiful creations that man can imagine are done in response to nature. In a less direct sense the shells, wings and shapes of insects influence design. In the emerald green iridescence of a metallic wallcovering, I am reminded of a beetle's jewel-like shell. The disruptive patterning and coloration of insects are beautiful creations inspiring designs that appeal to the human senses. These methods of camouflage display the most imaginative array of splendid hues derived from the flowers, leaves, and ground coverings of our majestic world.
If the rare opportunity of observing a still insect presents itself, consider not squishing or shooing it but rather pondering its shape, color and texture. Sketching it on paper and in your mind you will be indelibly inspired.