Written by Teika Robben, junior, Drawing Major

Most people would think that moths of any kind were ugly and unworthy of fine artwork, but not to John Cody. John’s fascination with moths has been with him since he was five, since he first saw a Cecropia moth sitting on a tree near his home in Brooklyn N.Y.  He learned that he could raise the moths and eventually painting the spectacular colors of the moths to preserve their beauty in their short life time.  Though out the years, John has made over 200 paintings in watercolor by traveling the world and collecting cocoons to hatch and raise in his home. Because of his watercolor paintings, almost anyone can see the beauty that these simple creatures hold as John sees them.

The paintings are amazingly detailed and colorful that when I first saw them, I thought I was a just a typical photograph, but as I looked closer at the artwork, I gasped and realized that this was true talent of watercolor painting. I was looking at several master pieces all in their own way.  From the tips of the antennas to the back drop of flowers the moth rested on, the art work was, for lack of a better term, perfect.  I think that these paintings are so successful not only for the technique but because when you look at them, they feel alive. In John’s words, “…you can take beautiful photographs of these moths, but the colors never are quite accurate, so I always paint the colors by looking at the moths themselves. I want them to be fresh.”

These watercolor paintings are now on display in the Hanson Gallery at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, and I advise anyone to go and take a look at them. they are an inspiration to me when I see them and I hope that they will be to anyone that would take a look.

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