Art Collectors Wanted!

EtsyPromoI recently decided to collect art from other artists. Why collect someone else’s art when I can make it myself?

I once heard only 2% of the population buys art and of that 2%, a high percentage of them are artists! This may not make sense if the artist can create paintings themselves. Why buy someone else’s work? I admire many artists work, some work similarly to the way I work and some are totally different. Here are some of the reasons I buy art:

  • I admire the execution and technique of the artist. Same subject matter but different technique from my own work.
  • The artist is more accomplished than I am and not only do I admire it, I want to study the original to learn from it.
  • I like supporting the creative spirit and I usually feel an affinity with the artist as well as the piece I buy.
  • There is a unique approach, something out of the ordinary that the artist has done that speaks to me.

During this Holiday Season I encourage you to buy an original piece of art from an artist whose work you admire. I am offering a substantial discount until December 10, 2014 on many of my original works in my Etsy Shop. It doesn’t have to my art……. just don’t buy it at WallMart or Bed, Bath and Beyond! Buy it from a real live breathing artist for yourself, a friend or loved one.

What kind of art do you collect?

Happy Art Collecting and Happy Holidays!






Blue Buckeye Butterfly

Buckeye Butterflies are not Blue?

Pinned Buckeye ButterflyA few years ago when I first moved to Florida I visited Edith Smith at Shady Oaks Butterfly Farm. She and her family raise butterflies for a living. I went on her butterfly tour and she showed me all of the different species she raises. Each species has its own walk-in outdoor room and this is where the adult butterflies fly free and mate. The room is furnished with the host plant for the female to lay her eggs on and as soon as the eggs are laid, Edith scoops them up. She places them in a sterilized quarantined container and feeds the newly hatched caterpillars until they turn into a chrysalis. The chrysalises are sold to live butterfly exhibits throughout the USA. She has been doing this for many years and her breeding techniques are down to a science.

One of the things Edith shared with me when I was there was her buckeye butterfly room. She began noticing that some of the buckeyes (which are usually brown) had an iridescent blue sheen over top of their brown wing scales. She separated the buckeyes with the most blue pigmentation from the brown ones and began to breed them. The results are amazing. She now has buckeyes that are blue, green, purple and some even with a hint of turquoise. She was kind enough to give me some of her special buckeyes I finally got to do this colored pencil painting. Thanks Edith for breeding these amazing butterflies!

Blue Buckeye Butterfly- Original Colored Pencil by MLighthipe ©2014

Blue Buckeye Butterfly- Original Colored Pencil 14″ x 10″ Mindy Lighthipe ©2014 $300.00

To see more of Edith’s amazing work with butterflies visit her website: Butterfly FunFacts


The Aracari and Photographer Permission

Aracari - Colored Pencil; Mindy Lighthipe ©2013I have loved the aracari ever since I saw it flying in the rainforest in Costa Rica. It is a small toucan and is not as easy to spot as a toucan because of its size. They love to eat palm nuts and this is usually where you can find them. I had some of my own photo references for this painting but came across the photos of James Adams. He is the manager of The Lodge at Pico Bonito in Honduras. I met him on Facebook and eagerly look forward to the pictures he posts on his page. I have wanted to do a painting for some time but just needed a little bit more reference to do it. When I saw that  James had fabulous shots I immediately emailed him and asked him if it would be okay to use them as reference. He agreed!  Thank you, thank you , thank you  JAMES!

For those of you out there that use other people’s photographs a word of caution. You MUST ask permission to use a photo as reference and give the photographer credit whenever possible. They own the copyright and it is disrespectful to use it without permission as well as illegal. I do not like to simply copy a photograph but use many of them as reference to come up with a final composition. This is the kind of information that we teach on our Artistic Adventure Tours. We are headed to Costa Rica in February 2014. It looks like we may need a trip to Honduras to visit James!

Do you have a favorite photographer?

This painting is available for sale in my Daily Paintworks Gallery or can be purchased directly from me here. Original Colored Pencil Painting- Aracari 10″ x 14″ unframed. Fits into a 16″ x 20″ frame. $600 + free shipping.