​​​​Title: Take Flight
By: Tracy Harris
Size: 36" x 48"
Medium: Hand-Painted Silk
Silk: 10mm, 100% Habotai silk.

What's the difference between a Postman butterfly and a Piano key butterfly?


They are both the same butterfly, Heliconius melpomene that comes from tropical America. 


In 1970, Malcolm Barcant published a book, "Butterflies of Trinidad and Tobago" and indicated that THE POSTMAN was the commonly used popular name for the butterfly in Trinidad. 


More recently this butterfly has become a popular inhabitant of various "live butterfly houses" around the US and they have started to call it by the name of THE PIANO KEY BUTTERFLY.

 
Heliconius melpomene feeds on passion vines and is very easy to raise in captivity, thus it's popularity in these butterfly houses.


There are a lot of geographical subspecies for the butterfly, but neither of the two common names have anything to do with this.

Postman or Piano key butterfly, Silk Painting, 36 x 48

Tracy Harris Silk Painter, Award, Dyeing on Silk, Waterbase-Gutta

SILK PAINTING - WATERCOLORS - LAMPWORK - FUSED GLASS - JEWELRY

    Tracy Harris Gallery

Tracy Harris silk painter, San Diego, Water-based resist, 100% Silk

Postman or Piano Key Butterfly

Postman or Piano Key Butterlyflies

Tracy Harris, Silk technique, Original Silk Painting
Tracy Harris Silk Painting, Black Dye, Black Gutta, Silk Painting butterfly

Finding that perfect black - the black that works!


I did a lot of testing before I found the black that I wanted to use. Black is difficult as it changes when it drys, and changes when it is steam set.  But I found it - my new mixture is jet black with blue/green/pink edges if allowed to bleed out.  


NOW I HAVE MY SECRET BLACK RECIPIES

Silk Painter Tracy Harris, San Diego, Gutta, Water Based Resist, Silk Painting Gallery