Another mini oil painting celebrating some of my favourite pollinators. I love to see and hear bumbling bees moseying from flower to flower in the garden. They are a big part of what makes the garden feel alive – not just plants growing and flowering but all the small creatures enjoying them too.
This sweet bumble bee and apple blossoms painting is another mini. The spring this year has been unusually cold and damp with sightings of pollinators being few and far between. Then recently we had a warmer, sunnier day and there they were – all different sizes and types of bees in the garden. It made me feel so good that I wanted to paint a celebratory bee painting. Hope you enjoy!
While I am working on some larger ongoing pieces, I thought I would continue painting some minis. Sometimes, I need to let the larger paintings sit – to dry a bit before adding more layers but also to let them percolate before I go full steam ahead and obliterate things that I may actually want to keep. I can be impulsive that way. 😉
Anyway, this mini is inspired by a meadow full of wild flowers and humming with bees that I visited while in Ontario this past summer.
The last in this series of mini paintings celebrating small creatures. Sorry (not sorry) about the title! I find the bilingual pun amusing. 😀
I love sweet fuzzy bumble bees and this one is definitely getting all the pollen from the rose that’s possible. It’s a bit hard to remember the warm sunny weather we were having when I painted this one with the November rain pounding down overhead …but looking at this small painting does bring back that summer feeling.
The feeling of the warmth and sleepy yet full vitality, of a summer afternoon – blackberry bushes alive with the sounds of bumblebees stocking up on pollen. This painting was finished just in time for my recent open studio and I was delighted at the reactions. The feeling I was trying to convey definitely made its way from eye to heart. That’s the best thing I, as an artist, can hope to achieve!
Maybe it’s the scale (the bees for example are about double life-sized) but the photo does not convey the feeling of the painting very well. That’s always a bit of a problem but for some reason, with this one there’s a bigger difference.
And here is Tom’s delightful poem which riffs on the notion of “the boys of summer”.
The bees of summer take the field
running ’round the diamond flowers
praying that the day will yield
a bounty worthy of their powers
to seek that sweet-spot in the sun
as from base to base they run
always heading back to home
to swing again and go alone
as fast as ever they can fly
gathering the crowd’s applause
who in winter’s frozen pause
will remember warmer skies.
The bees of summer never cease
while the score may still increase.
I shamelessly took the name of this small oddity from the poem Tom wrote for it. Every now and then I am moved to paint what I think of as botanical abstracts. I love the colours and the way this one shimmers.
Tom ran with the image and created a delightful accompaniment for the painting. It even has bees’ knees in it!
The forest of the night is fine
with its flaming tyger’s shine
lighting up the trees.
But I prefer the copse of day
wherein strange hybrids grow and sway
attracting stranger bees.
They buzz within the thickets tangled,
with their legs is pollen wrangled
in between their knees.
Passing to each generation
the joys of novel combination,
mixing by degrees.
And from such vigor in the roots
we’re blessed by all the diverse fruits
that do our palates please!
This is another painting inspired by a visit to a rhododendron garden a month or so ago. It was quite wonderful, colourful, and vibrant. Interestingly, although I decided to leave the bee from my reference photo out, Tom somehow saw it in the painting anyway! Those blooms were certainly inviting to the busy pollinators!
When a bee approaches fecund flowers
along a line so straight and always true
its senses buzz with subtleties and powers
that draw it where sweet blossoms bloom anew
with nectar sweet and pollen rich, inviting
a happy bee to search and find, alighting
upon the petals nearest to the anther,
pirouetting like a tiny dancer
to sweep long hairy legs that catch a load
of all that workers, queens and lazy drones
are craving most within their honeyed homes:
so eagerly she flies the homeward road
leaving far behind the sheltered grove
where blossoms bloom in red and pink and mauve.