Thistledown Studio : Nan Wilson : Rochester, NY


My life as an artist has taken more twists and turns than some of my subjects! After starting as an abstract painter, I've morphed into a nature artist of a different sort. My focus is on uncultivated plants and creatures from the wild. And not just in their most beautiful states, but in all phases of their life cycles. Included are those overlooked, downtrodden ones often stigmatized as weeds or pests that many people would uproot or spray. I dedicate my art to honoring and protecting them.

adirondack caterpillarButterfly and Moth Life Cycles
At each stage of their life cycles, butterflies are often literally bound to specific host plants and flowers. These butterfly and host plant life cycles have developed into my current favorite subjects. Beginning with local species of the Northeast US, I've taken to migrating like many of them from border to border.

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Dragonfly/Odonata & Critters
At first, the insects and amphibians that looked back at me through my hand-lens, or flitted and buzzed overhead as I drew, or called to me from the wetlands, were just distractions. With time, they became a favorite subject.

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Monarch Life Cycle

Perhaps the most well known butterfly life cycle of all is that of the Monarch. In this gallery that cycle is depicted in four separate images—Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis and Adult, each rendered in color pencil.

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Visit my Mixed Media Flora and Fauna Gallery



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Upstate, New York


Adirondack Mountains