Symbol of Change

Hi All,

Yep, I know, haven’t been around too much of late. First it was health issues, which in the most part are done and dusted thank goodness and now am flat out painting for upcoming exhibitions which is exciting. Having never participated in the exhibition round it is with some trepidation that I am looking at completed paintings with an analytical eye before making the stultifying decision to overhaul. ‘Purity’ was the first painting pulled out.

I liked the background colour, the delicate flower, and the baby wasn’t too bad either. It was the wings that bugged me and they had to go leaving a gapping vacancy on the canvas. Something had to take their place but what?

On the Tuesday of that week a large black butterfly arrived at our front door. It danced around back and forth, up and down, tantalisingly within reach, near enough to touch.

“Hello, how can I help you?”

At the time I was thinking to myself, “I must be going crackers talking out loud to a butterfly” watching in wonderment as the butterfly came closer. “Whose soul are you?” Popped out of my mouth before I had time to think.

The name came as clearly as if the butterfly had spoken and then to my amazement it turned and flew over the wall into my neighbours garden. Following it,  I walked to their front door, which was open. I could hear Doreen on the phone, and so I waited with the butterfly who sat very still on the leaf softly moving in the breeze next to my leg.

Doreen’s face said it all. Her husband of 51 years had died of cancer only an hour before.

For the purposes of writing this blog, I referred to the wonderful research tool Google where I found this website,

This is a précis of what it had to say, which I thought to be rather beautiful

Butterfly, Power Animal, Symbol of Change, The Soul, Creativity, Freedom, Joy and Colour 

Butterfly is the symbol of change, the soul, creativity, freedom, joy and colour. Their power is transformation, shape shifting and soul evolution. They represent the element of air, quickly changing and always on the move gracefully. Butterflies are messengers of the moment and come in a wide array of colours. Studying these colours can help you uncover butterflies message to you. It reminds us not to take things too seriously and to get up and move. They teach us that growth and transformation does not have to be a traumatic experience. It can be joyous.

I went back to my painting, and knew what I wanted to do.

Pastel pinks and mauves were the intention, and decided it was too…… Prissy  So I made up some Magenta and…


Love the rich colours and the soft delicacy remains as was the intention. Never the less, will be taking it to have it scrutinised by my tutor Stephen Buntrock of the Gold Coast Art School.

Purity The pastel version

Purity 004 The original



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About Ellis Burgess

A number of people have said that ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) is in Ellis’s genes and to some extent they may be correct. Her grandmother painted and so did her mother. Marge Barley started painting when she was 9 years old and achieved some acclaim in New Zealand. In turn, her mother, Ellis’s Grandmother started much later in life more from compulsion than conscious desire. Ten years ago a well-intentioned friend shoved a paintbrush into Ellis’s clenched fist, forcefully moving her hand between paint pot and paper until it moved of its own volition in a frenetic frenzy attended by a torrent of tears born of bewilderment and frustration, unaware of the wild colour patterning the fury within. Ellis’s mother had passed away three years earlier from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From these inauspicious beginnings Ellis began to paint, and for a short time attended classes at the Hamilton Society of Arts in New Zealand. Seven years ago, Ellis and her husband moved to the Gold Coast where she met Stephen Buntrock of the Gold Coast Art School. With his encouragement, painting became more than just something to do. It became a passion. Another passion is dance. Ellis loves the musical synergy of movement, the human form working with rhythm mood and emotion, sensing the freedom as the dancer soars across the floor with effortless ease. Like a lot of little girls, she was sent off to ballet in a somewhat desperate attempt by her grandfather to stop her stomping around the house. Eleven years later Ellis was selected to dance with NZ Ballet Company in a season of the Nutcracker. Did Ellis stop stomping? No. Ballet was to be her life; that was until she met the man of her dreams. Never the less, ballet has featured in much of her adult life by way of teaching and outlets of involvement. Ellis quickly discovered another outlet was painting. She spent a long time pondering on the skill set required to achieve her vision; how to portray the artistry of movement, the musicality and rhythm of dance, and the genius of the human form on canvas. Attempting different techniques, she learnt she is not an illustrator, but a painter who gravitated towards free movement. In her quieter moments Ellis often wonders what her mother would say if she were still here, left only with her paintings languishing against the wall. As an apprentice in the art of painting Ellis hopes the path ahead will be clear, perhaps meander elegantly at her will. Maybe it will broaden out to a huge piazza where she may sit for a long while, then later choose the many paths that transverse the piazza or continue again down the main road.