I have been spending every spare minute outside, even though it’s cold, the lure of the shed and my garden is irresistible. My work room also looks out onto the garden, which in some ways is a mistake as I spend hours gazing out onto the bleak leafless scene. I, of course, am seeing something different. I am seeing the magnificent flower filled vista that it surely will become. I have started making some rough sketches, just of what I have for now. It will be interesting to see how it changes!
I am also watching the birds, hesitant at first to try a new bird table, but they are coming. Blue tits, great tits, the gorgeous long tailed tits robins, chaffinches, sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, pigeons and of course magpies. To encourage them I have put the bird feeder by the hedge giving them some perching places but it’s too far away to see very clearly. When I have more foliage in the garden I can edge them nearer to my window.
I have done some rough sketches but I need lots more observation and drawing time to understand them. But as always its better than nothing! So,some robins, delightful long tailed tits who swoop into the garden in little gangs and a couple of ring doves disconsolately sitting in the bare apple tree.. they sat there in the rain almost motionless, for nearly an hour.. nice and easy to sketch!
On the Bee Front
I have been busy sending out print and book orders and have a commission for a new set of the Big Six Bumble bees and two more individual bees. This is wonderful because it gives me a chance to try some new plant/bee relationships and do some more research. So far I am just at the very scribbly thumbnail stage.
Marty’s Bee, Marty eventually decided to go with the first rough of the Honey bee and Goldenrod. So one more rough for her approval and then on with the painting.
More projects: Ceramics and the Bee Book.
In between the ups and downs of this year there has been lots going on behind the blog.. I once referred to the blog as the outwardly serene swan of my life whereas in reality I am paddling madly in the background, trying to keep things going! Sometimes I look at my heaped desk and wonder if I will ever get straight.
I have been developing a range of BUZZ ceramics with a small UK company which we will be launching ( hopefully) at the International Gift Fair in Feb and also working with Marc of the excellent Foxleas website to try to get our Bee Book knocked into shape. We both feel there is a need and a gap in the market so are putting together the first manuscript and design. Lots of work!
Two exhibitions, and my Bugs Beasts and Botanicals Workshops
I have two fantastic return visits planned next year.
Nature in Art
I will be Artist in Residence again at the wonderful Nature on Art in Gloucestershire and this time I am also running a two day Bugs Beasts and Botanicals Workshop. The workshop is March 31st & April 1st and I am Artist in Residence for the week 2nd to 9th April, which is Easter week.
Easton Walled Gardens
And I am back to the lovely Easton Walled Gardens in June for a week long exhibition starting June 3rd with an accompanying two day Bugs Beasts and Botanicals Workshop working in the beautiful Gardens there on 7th & 8th June This will be as part of their “Meadow Celebration” event over the Bank Holiday June 3rd and 4th.
I will also be running a couple of extra Bugs, Beasts and Botanicals workshops at Easton, joining forces with the excellent Live and Learn Organisation these will be:
19th April: A short half day taster course
26th April: A full day at Easton.. fab!
Stamford Arts Centre
Also with Live and Learn at Stamford Arts Centre, Lincs to run some “Bugs Beasts and Botanicals” workshops,
25th Feb : Learn to Draw botanicals a taster 3hrs.
24th March : Bugs beasts and Botanicals a full day
I will be posting more details of the workshops and shows as I get them.
That’s all for now !