I am busy getting ready to take my “Buzz” exhibition and 2 days of Workshops to the lovely Easton Walled Gardens next week. We are keeping our fingers crossed for dry weather :).
Easton Walled Gardens Jubilee Meadow Days; June 3rd & 4th
Celebrating the diversity of our traditional countryside and meadows.
I am delighted to be part of their Jubilee Meadow Days Celebration which is running on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th of June. There will be lots happening with plant stalls, an observation bee hive, moth spotting, an owl display, Morris dancing, and of course the beautiful gardens and the great cafe to enjoy.
I will be taking bee walks a couple of times a day and will be there to chat to people about bees, art and life. For full details check on the Easton Walled Gardens website HERE.
Nature Journal Workshops at Easton Walled Gardens, June 7th and 8th
Come and explore Bugs, Beasts and Botanicals with me from 10.00-4.00 on June 7th and 8th. £20 per day. For more details see HERE.
To book please contact Live and Learn on 01780 720714
Art Plantae Guest Artist for June … (thats me!)
Starting on Friday I am honoured to be the guest artist for June on the excellent website Art Plantae. I am giving a brief introductory interview on Friday and then later in June, when the USA celebrates National Pollinator Week June 18-24, I will be answering questions about my work, both the paintings and my efforts to try to help people understand and appreciate more about our wild bees and pollinators through my paintings.
The header for the site will feature a detail from my painting of Bombus hortorum and honeysuckle. I chose this one because it illustrates
an interesting aspect of the bee/flower relationship.
This long tongued bee is able to access the nectar of deep flowers, while other short tongued bees must bite a hole in the base of the flower to access the nectar that way. “Nectar robbing” is good for bees but not so good for the flower as it does not get pollinated, but honeysuckle seems to manage to survive.
I have subscribed to Art Plantae since its first days and it is a really fabulous resource for all things botanical, education and artistic and covers a wide range of styles and interpretations. I am so very pleased to be able to contribute and share my enthusiasm and to hopefully get the bee message out to even more people.
I had to stress that I am not a botanical or scientific artist. The “Buzz” paintings and the show have just grown out my fascination with, and concern for our bees.
But I do know that paintings can engage peoples attention and fascination sometimes more than photographs. A painting can simplify and illuminate and hopefully in the bees case, charm. I also know from all the emails, visitor comments and general enthusiasm at the shows that I am in a small way successful!
I guarantee that after five minutes with me you will share my affection and admiration for our little winged friends and will be rushing back to your garden or window box to plant some more flowers for them!
The Grey Mining Bee
At last!.. on a walk by the reservoir yesterday I spotted some beautiful Andrena cineraria, the glamorous Grey Mining Bees I was feeling bereft as it seemed as though every one, except me, had seen them and I was wondering if they were just not suited to this habitat.
But hurrah!!…a couple were feeding on some marginal rape flowers,
And then further along the waterside path, on a sunny bank much loved by rabbits and other mining bees, I saw one female starting to dig a hole under a sprig of bramble. I watched her for a short time, first scouting around for a suitable spot, then digging, then disappearing, then re-emerging. Such hard labour!.. but such a pretty bee with her ruff of silvery hair. I have painted her twice.
Here she is digging.. you can just see her glossy blue black tail disappearing. In…and…………
out…showing the fine silvery hairs on her face and thorax.
Go to the excellently re-designed BWARS website HERE to learn more about this lovely bee.
Join me at Easton Walled Gardens or on Art Plantae if you can!