Black-Eyed Girl

I'm always opening a can of worms when I start taking special orders and pattern requests. I've done manatees and chameleons, chimpanzees and hedgehogs. For a recent run of beer mugs for my High School reunion, I even did a yellow school bus. Which will not, incidentally, be making a regular appearance in my booth.

A pattern that will, however, also came out of that project. After considering a long list of animal and bird possibilities, Wanda threw me a curve ball. Could I paint her a couple of black-eyed susan beer mugs?

I loved those things! For those of you not in the know, the black-eyed susan is a wild member of the daisy/aster family, genus Rudbeckia, with yellow petals and a black center. Some have a brown halo on the petals around the black "eye." They bloom in the ditches and pastures in Wisconsin in late summer, and we'd bring them home to grandma by the fists-full.

Since I tend to prefer a little fauna with my flora, I added a butterfly to the pattern. I've done a few with viceroy butterflies, but it's now tending towards an anonymous blue variety, mostly because I like the color contrast. I'm painting them on pie and dessert plates at the moment, and the occasional tall mug.

I just can't resist those dark, dark eyes...