"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Bees Back at Easton

Last week on a beautiful Spring afternoon we had the private view for the “Plants and Pollinators” show at Easton Walled Gardens. This week has been snowdrop week and the Gardens have brimmed over with sunshine and visitors. There are 19 of the bees on show with their explanatory labels, notes about bees, my technique and prints and postcards for sale.

























The gorgeous black form of the Large Garden Bumblebee.. one of my all time favourites especially as I had first seen it in my father’s garden.

It has been a while since I have shown the bees and it was so SO lovely to see them back on the walls of the Coach House which was our Easton painting workshop home. It was also particularly lovely to see some of the old painting group! Thank you all for coming along.




















The show will continue into March and  I shall be there on some of those days, talking about my lovely bees, what to grow to encourage them and how I go about painting and drawing them.
The new bee, the Tree Bumblebee was finished and framed in time and I now feel I want to continue filling in the gaps of my set of British bee paintings. I had seen a couple of bees in my garden last year that I have not yet painted..only about 230 species to go Val!
























I am sharing the space with botanical artist  Dawn Wright whose beautiful painting of lilac was featured on the private view invite.

Big thanks to Ursula Cholmeley and her team of gardeners and organisers who have made it all possible!
The show continues until 17th March and I will be there on Thursday 7th. Thursday 14th and Sunday 21st.
Do come along to say hello if you are in the area.

Prints of the Buzz Paintings and sets of cards are available to buy from me. You can see the selection here at
https://buzzbooknprints.blogspot.com/  you can see more about each bee by clicking on the image.

























Snowdrops at Easton taken yesterday morning… beautiful!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Progress on the Tree Bee

The bee is coming along. I decided to break out a bit and paint this one slightly larger than the Buzz set. It’s been a couple of years since I painted a bee but, as I still have a habit of collecting dead bees I found I had 6 very good little Tree Bumblebees in a pot. It is very helpful to have a specimen to work with.



The tree bumblebee is by nature quite feisty and will sting when it thinks its nest is under threat. I first saw one of these very attractive ginger black and white bees at Easton Walled Gardens back in 2011. It was foraging amongst the glorious blossom of a cherry tree. A few years later,again at Easton, they had made a nest in one of the lovely old stone walls which surround the Gardens. Most recently, apart from seeing them every year in my garden, a colony has set up home in a tree stump in the Spinney. Unfortunately the stump was also the home to a geocache box, so whoever wanted to record their presence would have to contend with some rather angry bumblebees. They have a reputation for taking over old birdboxes and are definitely a bee that likes to site its home up and off the ground.

 

The rough tracing of the cherry, which I changed in the end to simplify the pencil work.


 

About 3/4 finished… and on the right preparing to paint the wings… always a bit tricky!


Am I pleased so far???  Hmmm, normally I have to put things away for a year at least to be able to answer that. :)