Bombus Affinis - looking back and comparing

I ran into the print making room to drop off some new paper. I took the opportunity to see how the last 6 compared to each other and how multiple bees might look together. I will do one more experiment and the plan the grouping.

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I am really liking these 6 today. I don’t think they are your typical rendering of a bee. Any thoughts? I am glad I took the time to look at these as a group. They are inspiring me to make several different bees from different views in this same technique and showing them together. I am getting some interesting ideas of how to do it.

i will do one more experiment first.  

Embracing Bombus Affinis

I have decided to make a large monotype of the first bee in the US to be listed on the endangered species list. I was looking online for a photo that would accurately depict the Bombus Affinis. Searching, I came across the USGS site. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a science bureau within the US Department of the Interior. The USGS provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change. It is a great resource. They have developed a Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program. Part of the program is to develop identification tools for native bee species. Taking and collecting accurate and detailed photos of the native bees. The over 4,000 images are freely available for the public to use. Looking at these up close detailed photos I was amazed to see how beautiful these tiny beings are. Their beauty rivals that of any creature on the planet. I looked at bees for an hour, in awe at their stunning uniqueness. The opportunity to work from such close up photos is exciting. It will also be challenging, I normally work from bad photos. I like poor quality photos because I don’t want to get bogged down by the details. My work is about the physical or emotional energy. These photos are works of art already. I have in my head what I want my abstraction to look like. I am just not exactly sure I know how I am going to achieve it. Step one is to experiment with my process and technique and develop a mark making that captures the elegance, majesty and energy of these tiny busy beasts.

Below are the first four days of experimenting. It has been a struggle to loosen up and not get bogged down by the details. The last one I like the most, I was just making marks and not worrying about if it resembled Bombus Affinis. That works best for me.

Bombus Affinis I  30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Bombus Affinis I

30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Day 1-

When working in color, the ink looks much darker and muted on the plate than when printed on paper. My first impression of Bombus Affinis I was that the paint was too heavy, too bright just  too much all the way around. The ghost was too light. I want my Bombus to express the lightness, fragility and majesty  of the bee. 

Wing detail from Bombus Affinis I

Wing detail from Bombus Affinis I

Bombus Affinis I ghost  30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Bombus Affinis I ghost

30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Day 2-

I like the big black brush strokes, the antennae, but I do not like that both wings have the same weight. I want the back wing to be in more motion and fainter. When I look back at the work from day one, I am feeling better about parts of it. I like the wings and the last sections of his abdomen. Below are some close up shots of the parts I like of both days’ experiments.

Bombus Affinis II 30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Bombus Affinis II 30” X 44” watercolor monotype

Day 2 antenna

Day 2 antenna

Day 3 - layering the different processes. I am closer to what I want but I am not there yet.

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Bombus Affinis III

Bombus Affinis III

A favorite moment in Bomus Affinis III  a tail, leg and two wings

A favorite moment in Bomus Affinis III

a tail, leg and two wings

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Bombus Affinis III ghost

Bombus Affinis III ghost

Bombus Affinis IV

Bombus Affinis IV

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Bombus Affinis V

Bombus Affinis V

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Day 4

Below are some moments I especially like. Today anyway.

Finally I am loosening up. I want an image of the bee’s energy - I want the life, movement and energy of a fuzzy pollinator even if he is endangered. I do not want a drawing of a bee.

Top of Head and thorax

Top of Head and thorax

Mauvish/brown/black bee eye and thorax

Mauvish/brown/black bee eye and thorax

The fuzzy tail and two delicate wings

The fuzzy tail and two delicate wings

My work space

My work space

Leftover ink in the trey- Inspiration for a bee wing.

Leftover ink in the trey- Inspiration for a bee wing.

Root

I received an email from Cynthis Franklin, she has a dead tree and is willing to donate the root to me. When Laura was a little girl, she brought home a 3” tree of an unknown species from Ikea and planted it in a pot. Twenty something years later Laura is living in NYC, and the tree is no longer flourishing. See below the root of this very interesting tree species that is still unknown.

Look at these long roots.

Look at these long roots.

The root after I washed off the dirt.

The root after I washed off the dirt.

Another view

Another view

Very interesting trunk of bark with a trunk of thorns.

Very interesting trunk of bark with a trunk of thorns.

Sewing 🐝 #4 experiment for possible community project.

Sewing 🐝 #4

This piece is a conversation starter. The bee on this cap is the Bombus Affinis or commonly known as the Rusty Patch bumble bee. This bee was listed on the endangered species list in 2017. It is the first U.S. bee to be listed.

Finished piece.

Finished piece.

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

Detail of wing and legs

Detail of wing and legs

I need to delete the giant antennae.

I need to delete the giant antennae.

Copy added

Copy added

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

Is destitching a word?

Is destitching a word?

Nine things that can help #savethebees

1. Plant a pollinator garden 

2. Pull weeds or better yet go native, as many weeds and wild flowers are food for bees. 

3. Do not use herbicides to kill weeds. Bees live in the ground and neonicotinoids kill microflora in bee guts, making them less tolerant to bee disease. 

4. Find natural ways to combat mosquitos. Many urban beekeepers tell me their hives suffer when city mosquito trucks spray and when their neighbors install mosquito misting systems. 

5. Become an urban beekeeper.  

6. Buy local honey that is not mixed with corn syrup. 

7. Provide a water source. 

8. Buy local organic food. 

9. Spread the word.

Sewing 🐝 #4 experiment for possible community project.

Sewing 🐝 #4

This piece is a conversation starter. The bee on this cap is the Bombus Affinis or commonly known as the Rusty Patch bumble bee. This bee was listed on the endangered species list in 2017. It is the first U.S. bee to be listed.

Finished piece.

Finished piece.

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

No planing just winging it. It explains why that antenna is so BIG

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

This fuzzy little body needs some wings.

Detail of wing and legs

Detail of wing and legs

I need to delete the giant antennae.

I need to delete the giant antennae.

Copy added

Copy added

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

Every bee needs some pollen in the air.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

After I finished and stood back I was not pleased. It was too busy, too much. Today I took out Impact. It feels better, I will live with it and maybe take out Endangered and the pollen and plant pieces.

Is destitching a word?

Is destitching a word?

Nine things that can help #savethebees

1. Plant a pollinator garden 

2. Pull weeds or better yet go native, as many weeds and wild flowers are food for bees. 

3. Do not use herbicides to kill weeds. Bees live in the ground and neonicotinoids kill microflora in bee guts, making them less tolerant to bee disease. 

4. Find natural ways to combat mosquitos. Many urban beekeepers tell me their hives suffer when city mosquito trucks spray and when their neighbors install mosquito misting systems. 

5. Become an urban beekeeper.  

6. Buy local honey that is not mixed with corn syrup. 

7. Provide a water source. 

8. Buy local organic food. 

9. Spread the word.

Technique experiment for endangered bees.

Bee technique experiment

Bombus Affinis - listed on the Endangered list 2017

Bombus Affinis - listed on the Endangered list 2017

Detail of head with a big white eye, thorax antenna and leg

Detail of head with a big white eye, thorax antenna and leg

Th ghost of Bombus Affinis

Th ghost of Bombus Affinis

One is to heavy and ones too light. That is how they look to me wet. It is too soon to judge.

Kinetic sculpture title


A several weeks ago I posted a photo of my kinetic sculpture with the violins, and my cousin Drew’s face and asked for title suggestions. Below are the titles that were suggested. 

Titles from violin mobile posting

Pasajes

Mozart was a dick

Practice makes perfect

I have to play

In concert

The soul of music

Echo

Stradaphere

The dance

Gross

Play me

Time space, fugue

Contemporaneous

Drew

Fiddler on the roof

Symphony strings

Creative block

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I decided against all the titles suggested. I did think Drew was cleaver. went with “Portrait Of My Cousin” as I believe the personal connection that I have with the the violinist in the sculpture is relevant and worthy of noting. The best way to note it is in the title.

The Bees Needs

 “Modern farm economics have created an enormously productive system of genetically engineered, chemically dependent agriculture. But it relies on just one domesticated insect to deliver a third of the food on our plate.

And that insect is dying, a victim of the very food system that has come to depend on it.” - Josephine Marcotty, Star Tribune 

 http://static.startribune.com/news/legacy-apps/bees/

What the bees needs- Where you spend your grocery dollars matters, supporting local, organic farmers is supporting bees.  

 

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Glyphosate

44” X 30” water color monotype  

The image above is the first piece I created in this body of work. I hope to start a buzz with urbanites regarding the ramifications of food purchasing habits, yard weed control and pest control in regards to the bee. 

 You can help the bees by letting our government know how you feel about our current situation. See the link below.

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361-2340 

Sewing 🐝 road trip to Roam Ranch

I stitched endangered species on our  road trip to Roam Ranch near Fredericksburg. My supportive husband Curtis did the driving so I could stitch. 

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I free stitched it and you can tell. Why make it by hand if you want it perfect, right?. It does look better than my regular handwriting but that isn’t saying much. 

The trip was an incredible experience; worthy of a well thought out post just on the Ranch and the stewards of the land and animals - Taylor, Katy, Cody and Julia.

One for the home team-conservationist win, we thought.

“12 neociotinoid pesticides are pulled from the market”- Muenster Enterprise

I can home Wednesday night a few weeks ago and found a newspaper clipping sitting at my place on our kitchen island. The clipping is from the Muenster Enterprise, a weekly newspaper from my husband’s hometown Muenster, Texas. Curtis reads it every week to keep up with his many cousins. He saved me the article because it reports great news for bee lovers. 

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Besides 12 neonicotinoids being pulled off the shelves the EPA is now required to analyze the impact of the entire class of neonicotinoids on endangered species.   

This morning in my notices I read very disappointing news about the EPA.Even after loosing lawsuits the EPA finds ways to authorize use of chemicals that harm bees. See the below link.

https://secure.everyaction.com/vPOTL2gZnky8MGnqDAJEbA2

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 Glysophate  

Sewing bee - stitch like nobody is watching

I am bad (or maybe it is a good thing) about hyper focusing on a subject. The subject of the moment is the plight of the bumble bee amidst the use of man made chemicals. Taking a break from my studio and catching up with my dearest friends. We had a beach based sewing 🐝.

Knowing my friends would not enjoy a beach weekend of me hyper focusing and preaching to them about how we need to do what we can to protect the bees intestinal flora from glysophate a sewing bee was a super fun solution. We stitched and caught up for hours on end breaking only to play canasta and sip a beverage or two. I see these ladies only once a year so there is a lot to catch up on.  My friends are all super supportive of my art and they are up on the latest problems for the bees intestinal flora. 


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I provided pashmina scarves (in everyone’s favorite colors) and coordinating threads. We stitched cactus and bees that pollinate them. We are all from El Paso so cactus was a natural for us. 

Bag to keep our work in, (we all have bags from years past) embroidery thread, a few ball point sewing needles, tiny scissors, pencil or disappearing ink pen, embroidery hoops, and  images of bees and cactus.       We were getting away from the pressures of everyday life so the idea was stitch like nobody is watching, no judging. No stitch is a bad stitch, and the beauty is in the imperfections. No one wants a scarf that looks machine made.    Below are images of my pashmina bee/cactus scarf as the work progressed. I will let my friends post their own work and hopefully spread a little 🐝♥️ to their other friends. 

Bag to keep our work in, (we all have bags from years past) embroidery thread, a few ball point sewing needles, tiny scissors, pencil or disappearing ink pen, embroidery hoops, and  images of bees and cactus. 

 

We were getting away from the pressures of everyday life so the idea was stitch like nobody is watching, no judging. No stitch is a bad stitch, and the beauty is in the imperfections. No one wants a scarf that looks machine made. 


Below are images of my pashmina bee/cactus scarf as the work progressed. I will let my friends post their own work and hopefully spread a little 🐝♥️ to their other friends. 


saguaro cactus

saguaro cactus

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Prickly pear cactus 


ocotillo cactus 

ocotillo cactus 

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yucca cactus 

mark making with thread 

mark making with thread 

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barrel cactus 

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this guy ended up rather large. 

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scarf w stitching 

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finished? I am not sure but the trip is. 

Looking at this photo I must give a tip for wearing a scarf and taking photos- pull scarf up around your neck - 🤪 aging is 👎🏻 On your neck but it comes with knowledge and that is 👍. 

If anyone would like to host a sewing bee and talk about ways to save the bees give me a shout. I am happy to send you images of bees to stitch and help out in anyway I can. 

Artspace111: 6th Annual Regional Juried Exhibition

 As an artist, I know how important it is to get your work into exhibitions. With the Texas art scene being extremely competitive, having work accepted into a beautifully juried exhibit is an honor and privilege to be appreciated. It also takes a fair amount of luck, time and it can be costly. That said I am extremely happy that I recently got lucky, “Portrait of My Cousin” was accepted into the regional Juried exhibition at Artspace 111 in Ft. Worth. The exhibit was Juried by Hilde Nelson, the Curatorial Assistant for Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. When there is an exhibition I am interested in before I apply I always research the juror. Hilde sounds like a very interesting curator. Here is her description as described in the call.  “Her work primarily concerns contemporary art at the intersection of memory, belonging, and political visibility. She has contributed to publications and exhibitions for solo presentations of Günther Förg and Jonas Wood, as well as the recent exhibition America Will Be!: Surveying the Contemporary Landscape, an installation of the museum’s permanent contemporary collection.”

I hope to get to meet her. 

 

  PORTRAIT OF MY COUSIN   48” X 28” X 28”  steel, hydro stone, wire cloth, wire mesh, and baling wire  photo by Nash Baker

 PORTRAIT OF MY COUSIN

48” X 28” X 28”

steel, hydro stone, wire cloth, wire mesh, and baling wire

photo by Nash Baker

Portrait of My Cousin was inspired by a long exposure photograph of my cousin, Arkansas Symphony Concert Master Andrew Irvin, that captured time and movement as he played his violin. I applied the same concept of capturing time and movement in photography to abstract sculpture. The piece is physically very light and hangs from a piece of monofilament connected by a swivel from an acrylic hanger. With one light source the piece cast shadows onto the wall. The air movement in the room causes the sculpture to slowly turn changing the viewer’s perspective. The turning movement causes the 3D sculpture and 2D shadows to disappear into each other and reappear at a different perspective. This creates the abstraction of time, movement and sound energy as the Concert Master plays. The gentle movement can be as hypnotic as a beautifully executed sonata.

It is extremely generous of Artspace 111 to take the  time and trouble to host the Annual Juried regional exhibition.  :) 

Pollinators live in the ground

We all see bees, hornets, and wasps in nests, but most bees and many pollinators live in the ground. That is another reason that it just makes good sense to be very selective with what additives you put on your lawn, garden or crops. I had no idea bees lived in the ground until I started my Impact body of work. Yesterday on my walk I saw this wasp fluttering around in the grass. I hope the homeowner uses inputs that will not hurt the wasp intestinal flora. Wasps are also pollinators but they are not as effective as fuzzy bumble bees. 

Roots #6 adding the rebar

In regenerative agriculture roots are used as a tool to regenerate the soil as the plant grows.  

Below I have added the trunk, some vines and the handle of the tool. 

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Here I added 1 more branch and now I think it looked better before I added it. 🤔  

 The lath is the next step. 

Glyphosate #14 (working title) kinetic sculpture - the falling

I made some major adjustments today to help communicate the fall/possible extinction of the bee. 

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photographed with the shadows 

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Photographed with the lights on, without the shadows.  

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I also added a pile of dead bee and plant parts under the piece.  

 

 

The project: I am starting to rough out the artist statement. 

“Impact” is a new body of work composed of lenticulars, kinetic sculptures and sculptures. “Impact” forewarns the use of  pesticides such as Glyphosate have on the bee population. “The herbicide glyphosate is expected to be innocuous to animals, including bees, because it targets an enzyme only found in plants and microorganisms. However, bees rely on a specialized gut microbiota that benefits growth and provides defense against pathogens.” -  https://www.pnas.org/content/115/41/10305

The Rusty patch bee was added to the endangered species list a few months ago. 

  #bees #savethebees #womansculptor #womanartist #environmentalart Anyone need an environmental art installation?  #bee ##beesculptures #wirebees #wiresculpture #gesturesculpture #environmentalart #encironmentartist #womanartist #womansculptor #contemporaryart #contemporarysculpture #texasart #houstonart #abstractart #artinstallation #savethebees #environmentalartproposal

#artinstallationproposal #shadows #environmentalartinstallationproposal

#artproposals the ac was pumping today