My big project for the last year has been working on images of bees for a show with three other artists called If Bees are Few.... The show opens on May 3 in Pynelogs Gallery in Invermere, BC. In August and Sept it will be in Calgary at the Leighton Centre. For more about the show, check out the website: ifbeesarefew.ca. There you can all of my work for the show, and the work by Gordon James, Lisa Riehl and Marsha Ross. It was a pleasure to work with these talented people for this project! Here are just a couple of samples of what I have been doing...
Another kayak painting - sent to J D Stevenson Gallery in Chemainus. I must be having summer paddling thoughts because the kayak theme continues to turn up at my easel... This image was from some reference shots I took a few years ago in Haida Gwaii in the Queen Charlottes - with day after day of blue skies and the gorgeous expanse of water - marvelous paddling!!! Who says it always rains in the Charlottes?!?
These are my first paintings which have included a kayaker... I must be thinking about summer tripping plans! I was quite pleased by the result - the kayak does not dominate, but gives a point of connection into the painting. Both of these are on display at The Old Schoolhouse Gallery in Qualicum Beach right now. Unless they sell, they will be back in my studio for the Quadra Island Studio tour on the first weekend of June.
I have been away from painting for months with an unexpected disruption in my life. With that behind me now, I am really giving my attention to the bee paintings. I am finding the flowers in my work more of a challenge than the bees!
I am thinking about the risk posed to honeybees by the pesticides known as neonicitinoids... Decided to google the chemical formula - and was immediately struck by how the diagram is reminiscent of honeycomb.... a bit spooky. So I used this in my latest bee study - Any suggestions for a title??
The Honeybee Project now has 5 artists working away at their interpretation of the subject - three painters, a photographer and a printmaker. Very exciting to see it begin to come together! We are in the early stages of putting something together to show, but it is stimulating to be working with a group of artists and focusing on a very specific theme. Much could change and develop yet, but the road ahead looks like lots of fun!
Well, I have accepted that if I am going to paint bees, I am going to have to paint flowers. This is a genre that I have avoided until now. But if I want to address the issue of bees and pollination, that definitely involves flowers! So I am now painting bees and posies - and learning to like it!
Nudged by a friend to participate in a "naturechallenge" photography project, I went out with my camera on a dull, overcast day. It was a good reminder that beauty can be found in situations that do not, at first glance, appear exciting. I found a lot of inspiration through my camera's macro lens in the course of a pleasant half hour...
My current focus in The Honeybee Project is to depict bees at a larger-than-life scale. I was quite unprepared for the effect of depicting an insect at many times its real size - it can look quite menacing! This is exactly counter to what I want to achieve! Yet I want to be able to paint BIG bees... so... I have a challenge to work this out!
I put my ear to my wintering bee hives today and was happy to hear the gentle buzz of bees in each of them. Bees do not “hibernate” - they form a cluster in the centre of the hive and take turns moving around to generate heat while the others rest. This way they keep the inside of the hive around 34 C all winter! On warm days soon they will start to take short flights for a wing-stretch and a bit of house-cleaning. I can’t wait to see them rising into the air above the hives again!
Welcome to my space to share my ruminations, inspirations and experimentations...
- as well as new work, information on my process and assorted random thoughts...