2016-03-17 / Arts & Entertainment

Eco-friendly art by Alina Eydel

By Kathy O’Flinn

“Butterfly Reflection: Queen Alexandria’s Birdwing” 36”x48” mixed media 
Alina Eydel “Butterfly Reflection: Queen Alexandria’s Birdwing” 36”x48” mixed media Alina Eydel Artist Spotlight

A discovery during a Central American cruise provided the inspiration and later a new creative direction for Naples artist Alina Eydel.

While visiting a butterfly farm in Costa Rica she learned that a Canadian foundation called The Antennae Foundation, was directly involved in establishing farms in developing countries to discourage deforestation. These farms supply an alternative income for the local population so they don’t clearcut the rainforest but leave it intact thus preserving the biodiversity.

“It’s another income opportunity that is sustainable. The concept is that they sell insects to preserve insects,” she said. The result in many cases is that butterflies once on the endangered list no longer are.

On the day Spotlight visited Eydel, she had an assortment of over 20 species of brightly colored butterfly wings. “I order from 17 different farms around the world,” she said.

Alina Eydel with “Snowflake,” one of her butterfly mosaics. 
Contributed Alina Eydel with “Snowflake,” one of her butterfly mosaics. Contributed And with these she creates mosaics of unusual beauty.

The Blue Morpho with its brilliant electric blue coloring, the Madagascar Sunset Moth with its iridescent wings in black, red, green and blue, the Rainbow Tiger butterfly with its spotted wings resembling a tiger, all find their way into her mosaics or kaleidoscopes.

“I ‘acrylicize” each butterfly wing to structurally reinforce it and adhere it to the background surface, so they are attached forever. The butterflies lend themselves to beautiful geometric composition,” she said.

While there are many symbolic meanings that various cultures have given to butterflies – such as rebirth, freedom, joy and long life – they are always seen as uplifting, fascinating creatures, she says.

These butterfly mosaics are not Eydel’s first attempts at mosaics.

She has used glass beads to embellish her figure paintings, many of young women in high fashion dresses. Currently she is now working on a large piece, inspired by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, composed entirely of glass beads affixed to canvas and rippling in shades of blue.

Long before she received her B.A. in Fine Art from Florida Gulf Coast University, Eydel was experimenting with new approaches including fantasy and surrealism. When asked for the advice she would give to other artists she said, “If you want to make a career as an artist, keep doing what you are doing to have fun because that will come across in the energy of the work and exhibit as much as you can wherever you can.”

To see more of her work stop by Fifth Ave. South for the 28th Annual Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts Sat. Mar. 19 and Sun. Mar. 20, or the Florida Contemporary exhibition at The Baker Museum through Apr. 20, or her show “Sacred Symmetry” at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers thru Mar. 27, or Galerie du Soleil at 393 Broad Ave. South in Naples, or visit eydelia.com.

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