1992. Watercolour on paper. 55 × 74 cm.
This was one of my first large paintings. I came out to pick some herbs in my garden and found an orange fritillary (butterfly) perched on my purple monarda (bee balm). I dashed inside for my camera and returned to find the butterfly still flapping its wings on the same flower. Curious at its odd behavior, I looked closer and spotted a crab spider hidden in the monarda. The spider had caught the butterfly and was eating its insides.
Crab Spider hung in my living room for many years. Guests would ignore it, assuming it was a nice piece of ’80s abstract art. After a few glasses of wine, their eyes would suddenly see the eight eyes and mandibles, and I would hear them gasp.
Photo: Dana Bush