Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis
46.5” x 26”
Graphite on Arches Watercolor Paper
Available in carbon ink prints

Praying Mantis

The value in art of making people stop, look and then smile is important to me. If I can catch someone and start their imagination flowing then it makes me happy.

The praying mantis has always been an insect I am attracted to, one that has made me stop, look and smile, and it’s as if this little creature looks back. I wanted to draw it and put it in a community environment of its own. Covering the facade of my art studio in Ojai is a Dragon plant. Once in awhile a mantis can be found stopping by for a visit. Combining this plant and insect seemed perfect and very natural. I truly enjoyed drawing this. This Dragon plant is also known by other names like Queen of the Night and Night Blooming Cereus. It is so special it only produces one bloom for one night only once a year. It’s one of those events at our house that involves finding the bud when it first develops, watching for weeks of growth as it gets ready to open, then setting alarms for predawn, finding flashlights and trekking out to enjoy what we call…THE BLOOM. The beauty and scent is out of this world, very inspirational.

As you view this drawing follow the mantises climbing the vines. You will see the full Cereus mature blooms framing an adult mantis. You will find pre-bloom buds mimicked by the mantis egg sacks before and after they have hatched. If you persevere in your looking you will see the Dragon fruit that comes after the bloom dries and falls.

As everything twists, turns, branches, hatches, fades and fruits always to repeat…beginning again, think of life.