Blog / 2021 / Communing with Fireflies

September 18, 2021

[video transcript]

This painting is part of my COVID-across-America road trip series along with this bison, these badlands, this famous Wyoming geological fomation, and these falls. I’m still making more paintings of my travels so check back if you want to see more of the US through my eyes!

Communing with Fireflies is for sale for $140 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks. There are prints and pretty things with this image in my Redbubble shop.

flying firefly with an artist watching, illustration by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Communing with Fireflies
acrylic, colored pencil, and marker on paper
7 x 11 inches

If you have any sense of wonder at all, then fireflies are sure to trigger it. Their flashing lights, the way they hover and dance on the breeze, the summer evening space that they inhabit: all of it together feels like the perfect reminder of just how strange and delightful the world is.

Because we don’t have fireflies on the west coast of the US or in Brittany where I grew up, every time I see some, I go back to the brief but intense moments of my childhood spent visiting with a friend in Quebec. Ever since my six year old self met those Canadian fireflies, I’ve been convinced that these bugs are trying to tell me something.

And I only just figured out what that something is. And I only figured it out, because I decided to paint one.

Until I sat down to make this image, I’d never studied the way fireflies fly, and now I can’t unsee it! Fireflies are so completely undignified in flight, their little legs thrown back with abandon. They look like they’re careening headlong into a hug! It’s so magnificently silly that it can’t help but deepen my sense of wonder.

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

flying firefly

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


To receive an email every time I publish a new article or video, sign up for my special mailing list.


If you enjoyed this post, Ko-fi allows you to donate. Every dollar you give is worth a bajillion to me!