Vicky Derksen laughs out loud when someone calls her an artist, considering herself more of a writer and speaker than a painter. So it was probably her frugal nature and desire to share an activity with her daughter, Noelle, that first convinced her to paint a butterfly for Flutter at the Fountain in 2021.
At the time, Vicky worked for Dori Wittrig, designated broker for Sonoran Lifestyle Team at RE/MAX Sun Properties and President of the Fountain Hills Community Foundation. Dori’s office was command central for butterfly pickup and Vicky helped distribute the blank steel canvases to each artist.
“We had two blank (12”) butterflies left,” Vicky remembers. “I hate to let anything go to waste so I thought, why not? Even if my painted butterfly only makes $15, that will be $15 more than they had.”
Vicky gave the other blank butterfly to her daughter, Noelle, who has been drawing and painting since she was little, dabbling in digital art, pottery, fashion design, and the culinary arts.
In 2021, the two painted 12” butterflies: I Remember You (Vicky) and Harmony (Noelle). In 2022, the two painted 24” butterflies: Aztec Goddess (Vicky) and Vanity (Noelle).
Both women are painting butterflies for the 2024 fundraiser, their third year as Flutter artists. Vicky enjoys when the project is complete, knowing that her art is going to make some money for nonprofits in the Fountain Hills community. Noelle says she enjoys her “cram nights”, when she paints while binge watching her favorite shows for as many as five or six hours at a time.
But both say their very favorite part of the process is working on the butterflies together, bouncing ideas off each other until they settle on what they’re doing, followed by a series of work sessions where the two paint, eat, drink a little wine, and argue about what music they should listen to next.
“We do a lot of things together during the year but it’s the only time we get to paint together,” Vicky said.
“I didn’t even know Flutter was a thing until my mom brought it up,” Noelle said. “Now I look forward to it every year.”