was a pleasant surprise! For technical reasons, I masked off the
speaker and the slide image and painted almost everything else
first. At that point it was looking a little boring. As soon
as I painted the face of the speaker---John---and the slide image, the
whole thing came to life.
every book it seems there are "working" paintings---paintings
you have to put in to tell the story but aren't very interesting in
themselves---and I thought this was going to be one of those; alright,
but boring to work on. As it turned out, it's one of my favorites,
which was totally unexpected.
point in the story details John attending college, majoring in
Lepidoptery (the study of butterflies) and ultimately getting kicked out
of the program because he couldn't bring himself to pin specimens into
collections. He continues to work and thirty years later is
responsible for Congress passing a bill protecting the migratory route
of the Monarchs.