Caterpillar Obsession

Tape (Caterpillar), Watercolor painting, 2018, Stephanie Kilgast
Tape (Caterpillar), Watercolor painting, 2018, Stephanie Kilgast

Caterpillars have been appearing in my work for a while now, and especially lately in my watercolor paintings.
I’d like to go a little psycho-analytic with you today and dive into this fascination of mine for these little crawlers.


First of, and rather obviously, but they are a juvenile stage of insects.
Insects, but really arthropods, are the true rulers of this world and in a way, I am giving them a place in my art to show off. Sure, tigers or lions are more liked, but truthfully it is the little animals that are the most precious to life and a healthy eco system. Without arthropods the whole world collapses, however we can go on without most mammals. They are the basis of the food chain, but they also transform natural waste into hummus. Without insects, all the rest can’t survive.


They’re also super beautiful if you start to really look at them. I assure you!
Once you get over the fear or disgust that is so primal in humans when it comes to them, you will be rewarded with a myriad of colors and shape.
Start with butterflies, moths and beetles and work you way up!
And caterpillars? Well, technically, they’re just chubby babies and thus super cute!


Ok, bear with me. As an artist who likes to mix all kinds of weird things, (and that without taking any drugs I shall add) I really like to pick natural species with which you can easily play around with.
Caterpillars are great for that! Most of them already look like stuff is growing on their chubby little bodies, so swapping these with mushroom or anemones is easy!
Weird looking animals are the best for surrealism as the boundaries seem non existent in nature itself already. That is quite true for most arthropods to be honest!
No wonder then, that I keep going back to these.

Convinced yet? Starting to like caterpillars yourself or do they still put you off?


Here below some of the paintings I have done lately with caterpillars.
You can find them all in my shop.
For prints, you can get them on InPrnt, Society6 or Redbubble.

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