Making of Happy Hour – Butterfly Puddling

I started the year off by revisiting an older painting

Making of Happy Hour – a butterfly puddling


If you’re reading this you’re probably an artist, since most of my blog readers are. As artists we sometimes have a painting or two that we put aside for one reason or another, like when things come up, or you get side-tracked. Anyway, at the beginning of the year I was ready to try something new, but as I cleaned up the studio I came across this painting that I never finished. So I decided I wanted to revisit it and make it better.

This piece was one that I painted Nov. 2016, while doing a demo at one of my solo shows at a gallery in Glen Ellen. After that show I found myself painting commissions, portraits & abstracts and somehow never got back to the wine art. Well anyway, I picked it up and right away saw everything that I didn’t like about it, and how it could look so cool! Since I didn’t have a photo or anything to go by, I just started painting from ‘my head’.


Where do your ideas come from?

I’m asked this a lot. Not sure where the idea came for this painting, but I’m pretty sure it was inspired by watching some butterflies puddling one day while we were out birding in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When you first see all these butterflies huddled around a muddy pothole in the road, it looks very strange. It was so strange that I had to google why they did that. Turns out, mud puddles contain salt and minerals that butterflies need! And the bird I spotted immediately after the butterflies puddling was a Cerulean Warbler. This particular warbler was a first for me and so I added it to my lifelist! It was a great day, but I digress…


making of happy hour painting
Sketch in chalk or white watercolor pencil to work out the details


When I began reworking this, it didn’t make sense that the wine would flow out of the glass, especially with the curvature of the glass, so I ended up repainting a large part of it. Again, harder for me to do without a visual representation (must be my years of sketching staged stills). It’s interesting to note my style of painting has changed since this was first started it too. I love texture, and the only way I could incorporate that was to use a palette knife for parts of it, I like how it came out.


Happy Hour - Lepidoptera Wine Bottle
Lepidoptera Wine Bottle


Lepidoptera Wine for the discriminating butterfly during migration!

Probably the best part of all was coming up with the name and of course – had to throw in some levity – so the label reads “Please don’t drink and fly” and “May impair your ability to migrate or operate machinery”. The cork is stamped with Lepidoptera – Nectar Vineyards – We’re the Bee’s Knees


Close up of butterfly puddling on wine
Lepidoptera Wine from Nectar Vineyards.


Happy Hour! 14 x 18 on stretched canvas by Deb Breton. The painting is continued on the 3/4″ sides, so no frame is needed.


You can add this to your collection or pick it up for that special lepidopterist here!

Hoping your New Year is off to a good start!

Wishing you much inspiration and much love,

deb sigline