A Bee Print and Buzz News

Did you think I had been neglecting my bees? 🙂 ….now would I?
While there has not been much of a buzz on the blog, in the background there is quite a bit going on. I am planning some more bee paintings for next year and will be doing more workshops, another residency at Nature in Art (whooppee!!!) some more exhibitions and talks etc, including a lovely one day workshop at John Clare’s Cottage on June 15th and the wonderful Festival of Bees in Louth, Thursday, 23 May 2013.

One very interesting weekend, first in the diary, will be with the British Beekeepers Association, the BBKA at their annual meeting. I shall be there with my BUZZ paintings and a couple of short drawing/painting workshops.
That will be Sat 13th April.  I will be posting lots more details on the blog as the events are finalised. So for the shows and talks I am preparing a few more prints, booklets, cards etc.

Here is a simple two plate lino print which I’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks.  I have just printed the first few which I will then develop a little more, with different backgrounds, papers and colours and other additions. The possibilities are really endless.

image       image

My lino print of “Waving Bee”,  my logo, printed on a background of a beehive and the word “BEE”.. Grey and Ochre on Blue Grey paper. Image 12 x 9.5 inches
One of some new bee images for next year’s shows.

Bees are few and far between now but my bee house is dry and safe and I am still seeing one or two bumble bees and honey bees.
I am hoping for a good, kind, winter for the hibernating bumble bee queens and for the baby woolcarders and masons, who I hope will safely snooze the chilly months away, tucked up in their leafy, woolly nests.


While I was at Heligan I was asked many questions to which I had no answer. I was told things I wasn’t sure about. A lady said she had seen bumblebees flying at night. Had she?..I don’t know.
Certainly I have seen them out and about late into these warm, light, summer evenings. Yesterday at 9.00 pm I saw one flying high over the brambles. But midnight perhaps not?
Scientifically they are unlikely to, because they need a certain temperature to fly and be active, but  poetically why not? I thought about Hardy’s lovely poem. Some may argue that “dumbledore” is in fact a beetle, it is debatable,  but bee or beetle it is beautiful and evocative.

Perhaps I should have saved this for an August post but there are things here that resonate with me very much right now. As I learn more, my affection, wonder and awe of our “winged, horned and spined” companions grows and grows. Maybe as my knowledge increases I too will be granted access to those, oh, so beguiling, “Earth-secrets”.

An August Midnight by Thomas Hardy

A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter–winged, horned, and spined –
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
While ‘mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands . . .

Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
– My guests parade my new-penned ink,
Or bang at the lamp-glass, whirl, and sink.
“God’s humblest, they!” I muse. Yet why?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.

My fly-bee-night image is my first, my one and only woodcut. The result of the most delightful workshop day at Rufford. An A3 woodcut, of 3 fat, night flying bees.. defying science. It’s hand cut and hand printed on Japanese kozo paper. I loved every minute of doing this, every cut and every press of the baren and each peeling away of each reduced plate. It wasn’t really meant to be night, but somehow that’s just how it turned out…that’s just what happened and anyway, who knows what this night’s waxing gibbous moon may reveal?


fly bee night bg

2 Colour Woodcut 12 x16 inches