Meet the Beetles – Illo Friday

These beetles are all from the Milwaukee Public Museum collection, which I had the pleasure of seeing last year. I like all kinds of nature topics, even somewhat creepy ones. The designs of nature have inspired artists from the beginning of man’s history; no wonder they still continue to fascinate. Can’t you just see a tapestry fashioned after the back of that blue beetle, or a gossamer gown mimicing those transparent amber wings? I’m not so sure about the horizontal stripes on that little one down in the corner. Vertical would have been much more slenderizing.

And now the burning question … who really is the “fifth” beetle?


  1. shelly mcc
    March 7, 2006

    Oh Wow! Great work. I really love these.

  2. Saul Iscariot
    March 7, 2006

    Great picture, slenderizing indeed? I’m sure that the most successful lifeforms on earth hardly got there by being fashion conscious? As for which is the fifth
    Beetle, I’m sure it is the bluish one, he isn’t even the best drummer in the picture. 😉

  3. jan robson
    March 7, 2006

    superb insects…I love them all

  4. rowantree
    March 7, 2006

    Yes, beautiful work !!

  5. Ellen
    March 7, 2006

    Lovely watercolour!!!!

  6. Marie-Dom
    March 7, 2006

    These are so gorgeous!!! Lovely luminous colours!

  7. alex
    March 7, 2006

    Answer: the Volkswagen Beetle of course! :-)

    Adore your work! You amaze me with your prolific-ness (for lack of a better word…)

  8. Ken
    March 7, 2006

    Let’s see… the big one in the middle must be Ringo (look at the size of his schnoz!) The Grey and white striped one is George. The Blue one is John Lennon and the little one is Yoko Ono… she is keeping Paul away… he is flying away to form Wings.

    I like this one alot Karen! you did a great job!

  9. endment
    March 7, 2006

    These are great…

    Not only do I enjoy the artistic talent but am still chuckling

  10. Anastasia
    March 7, 2006

    Beautiful bugs!!! they look so real!

  11. Kate
    March 7, 2006

    Oh, gawjus! (I got over my fear of spiders by drawing and painting them.*G*)

  12. lorigrace
    March 7, 2006

    My favorite group! Wonderful illo.

  13. Bron Smith
    March 7, 2006

    Wow! I love your line stlye and your the classy way you put on your washes.

  14. Redondowriter
    March 7, 2006

    The fifth Beatle is Ringo’s long-lost brother Stanley Starr.

  15. Emma
    March 8, 2006

    I like the spotty blue one at the top (though the shine on the big black one is pretty) because he’s got a face on the back of his head! On spiders and beetles there are a lot of little guys who have faces on their backs, somewhere… it’s neat.

  16. Don
    March 8, 2006

    Perhaps that little one with the horizontal stripes was a rugby player? Who knows what they do when we aren’t looking eh?

  17. Gerald
    March 8, 2006

    Thanks for stopping by my sketch journal, these are an amzing set of Beetles! You really pulled off getting those exoskeletons to look so shiny.

  18. Linda
    March 8, 2006

    I’m a beetle lover, so I love this picture. Okay — I don’t like to HOLD beetles. Just look at them. Don’t send me any beetles, please. Anyway, I love this picture! :-)

  19. Karen
    March 8, 2006

    Thanks everyone!

    Ken, I love how you assigned a figure to each one, and I agree with your choices. Wings! …. LOL and groan …..

    Redondo (Fran) … ah, another good nominee!

    Emma – I like those false faces, too. Must be for camo but it certainly makes them cuter.

    Don – I think rugby, too … he does look a little rowdy, like he could mix it up with a stag beetle!

    Linda – I like the look of beetles, too. There’s so much variety in the order and I think their creative adaptations are wonderful to look at. Like deep sea fishes – just so exotic!

  20. alex
    March 9, 2006

    I love the light quality in your work

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