Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How this Bee Painting Project began

I'm a painter and gardener living in Sonoma County, about one hour north of San Francisco.
In May of 2010, I started a series of paintings on small salvaged scraps of plywood inspired by the interesting spherical blooms of buddleia globosa in my garden.
I shot a bunch of photos of the plant-- and in every photo there were bees, climbing busily over all the blossoms.  After a while, I put a bee into one of the images, and soon all seven of the paintings contained bees.
This year in spring, again I was looking for a way to make some small, very direct paintings, and again I turned to bees-- this time individual bees, each centered like a portrait on its smaller block of wood. The size & format of the paintings, coupled with the subject satisfied something in me. As an avid gardener who has kept up a garden blog for 5 years-- I'm used to waking up and photographing plants and flowers in the yard and watching as things change over the year. I'm now focussing my camera more actively on the bees as they go about their business, and noticing which plants they favor as they come into bloom from day to day. Of course, we have all heard of the danger that honeybees face from colony collapse disorder, and I'm happy to think that perhaps in my small way, by providing friendly habitat, I'm helping to keep our local bee population robust. Part of my intention, as I follow my bees through the seasons in paintings which I will post here, is to learn more about them, and to share some of that information with anyone who cares to follow along with me.

The current series of bee paintings underway are quite small--from 3 x 5" to 5 x 5", all painted in acrylic on salvaged plywood. Most will be of bees observed in my own Sonoma County yard, and so far, photographed at very close range with a little Canon Powershot.

Feel free to write me at Lisabee(at) (and note that you must spell out the b-e-e  or it won't reach me)