Delicately Beautiful Paintings of Insects on Vintage Books

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Fascinated with the distressed textures of peeling wallpaper and decaying surfaces, it seemed like a natural leap for Bristol-based artist Rose Sanderson when she began painting various insects on the covers of old books. We first took notice of the artist’s work on Colossal and fell in love with her exotic creatures that share the same fragility as the dissected volumes Sanderson uses as her canvas. “Painting the bugs on recycled book covers explores the narrative of life, e.g., the cycle of a moth or butterfly, or the fact that beetles feed from decay to create life,” she recently told us. The expressive, delicate works juxtaposed with fragments of vintage text, integrating the books’ fraying edges and gilded spines are simple, but stunning. Visit our gallery of bugs on books past the break, and let the artist know what you think in the comments below. You can see Sanderson’s work in person at AAF Melbourne on May 24, Thinkspace Gallery starting May 26, and at the Jamaica Street Open Studios in Bristol starting June 8.

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Spirama helicina

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Tailed butterfly

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Lophyra(lophyra)neglecta

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Wings of freedom

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Cicadidae

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Day flying moth

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Helicopis butterfly

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Helicopis pair i

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Melina bowtie butterflies

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Gloss swallowtail butterfly

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Harlequin beetle

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Mormolycephyllodes ( javanfiddlebeetle)

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Coleoptera cerambycidae lamiinae ii

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Sagra buqueti (jeweled frog beetle)

Image credit: Rose Sanderson

Zygaena-kappadokiae