A Dragonfly Summer

If I recall the year correctly, it was 1973 when my father gave me a summer job as an insects catcher. My chore was to hunt down all kind of little creepy-crawlies and flying buzzers, knock them down by using ether and prepare them for his models. The most active working period was the late summer when butterflies and dragonflies had their own high seasons. Father set price categories to various insects and the most valuable ones for him were the late summer big dragonflies of which he was for some reason very attracted. The price tag for those were one Finnish Mark each.

Next to our house there was a little pond which was very prolific environment for dragonflies to multiply. For hunting purposes I had a homemade butterfly net and a big glass jar with a thigh lid to keep etherized paper tuft operational. Fanny detail relating to this was that it was so easy to me to go, as a 12 years old boy, to the local pharmacy and buy a half litre of ether. No questions were asked.

Those dragonflies I did catch on early 70s are still living in some of my father’s etchings. Enclosed are few examples of those. All works are made between 1973 to 1980 exept the last one of 1967 production. I put it here because already at 60s he was interested in dragonflies even though he didn’t use “live” models to draw them.


The Daily Dance (Päivätanssi), etching 1973


The Morning Dew Dance (Aamukastetanssi), etching 1973


Water Lilies and Dragonflies (Lumpeen kuukia ja sudenkorentoja), etching 1978


The Big Blossoming Water Lily (Suuri lumpeenkukka), etching 1980


Of The Southern Garden (Eteläisestä puutarhasta), etching 1967


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