7 days left to rip and wrangle rusted wire cloth, then delicately stitch the wire fragments into biospheres of frail and vulnerable abstract wild bees and organic shapes. Then coat hydro stone and cast shadows, to kinetically unveil the unintended consequences of forcing natural processes into an industrial model. Then pack, transport, unpack, install for 21 days, and open........ find more locations to install......... rinse and repeat.
One of the joys of parenthood is enjoying nature through your kids at any age. Last night, Griffin sent us this image of a monarch caterpillar that he found in Minnesota this weekend. A few years back on Thanksgiving, we went to see the monarchs. It is a site to behold and a lovely outing. They really liked Sage. Respectfully enjoying the beauty of nature has long been a great joy for our family.
For my 62nd birthday, my son Griffin and daughter-in-law Alex gave me bee school for two at Beeweavers outside of College Station. Below are some photos from the day.
When we got out of the car, immediately we noticed a lovely white noise–the hum of busy bees filled the warm, summer air. I love that sound.
It was a great day despite the temperature. We learned a lot about honey bees. It was good to see a commercial bee establishment that cares about chemicals, pesticides and natural selection. A birthday gift I will remember for a long time.
Bees have five eyes. They have three small ocelli eyes on the top of their head, they are simple lenses that discern light intensity. They also have two very large compound eyes that contains about 6,900 facets on the sides of their head. I thought the below monoprint of Bombus Affinis (Rusty Patch) bumblebee did a good job of showing the facets.
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.
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.
“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
What the bees needs- Where you spend your grocery dollars matters, supporting local, organic farmers is supporting bees.
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.
I stitched endangered species on our road trip to Roam Ranch near Fredericksburg. My supportive husband Curtis did the driving so I could stitch.
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.
“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.
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.
Artspace 111 report the the artist that Hilde selected 59 artist out of 1300. Man! I feel lucky to be included.
Our son, daughter-in-law and grand dog just moved to Minneapolis. They are very adventuresome and planned a car trip with/for us to the boundary waters of their new state to hike and canoe. My daughter-in-law Alex is very supportive and helpful with my art, especially as it relates to the environment. She is the project manager at nRhythm and works closely with the Organic Consumers Association, Regeneration Canada, Regeneration International, and the Savory Institute, to name a few. Also, Griffin recently completed his MBA and is continuing his environmental work through industry. They have both been to several climate change meetings and know their way around that world. I knew Alex would be excited to help draw (or in this case stitch) attention to the plight of the bee and the impact glyphosate is making on the bees' intestinal flora.
Once we landed in Minneapolis we had a 4-hour-plus drive to our cabin. I suggested to Alex we have a driving sewing bee. She was all in. This time I supplied Madewell lined linen caps.
Above: Alex is stitching away with me as my son and husband caught up in the drive to the Boundary Waters. We discussed the Rusty Patch bumble bee, which is now on the endangered list, being one of the most important pollinators of the Northeast and northern Midwest US.
my cap - bee eyes, head and tongue
Above- I am adding the bee thorax. This is the section the bee the wings and legs are anchored on.
The best pollinators are extremely fuzzy. I want my bee to be an excellent pollinator so I am layering lots of randomly placed stitches in black and several different yellows.
Above- More layers - it appears my thorax is too big for my head and eyes. I will fix that later.
Below is some bee information we stumbled on at The End of The Trail Nature Museum .
Here I am working on the wings and tiny legs. Stitching in a car on a curvy bumpy road is sketchy.
I have decided I want this bee to be the Rusty Patch bumble bee so I am adding a bit of orange/rust on the back of its abdomen.
Alex’s bee was looking great I am hoping she will post a picture when she finishes.
Below are some images from the rest of the trip.
Griffin, Alex and Grito canoeing at Clearwater lake.
The four of us after climbing to the top of the cliff across the lake from our cabin.
Alex, Grito and Griffin Klement
My soul mate checking out Clearwater lake.
A river stop to test the possibility of one more fishing opportunity on our drive back.
Above- strawberry plant
I would like to come back when the wild strawberry plants have fruit. Strawberries are self pollinating, their flowers are hermaphroditic. Each strawberry flower contains the male and the female pistil. That said without pollinators they produce 50% less fruit than with pollinators. strawberries need bees too.
Above- wild onions
Honey bees and bumble bees both visit onion blooms.
and of course we made S’more memories. The trip would have been perfect if our daughter could have joined us.
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.
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.
Prickly pear cactus
this guy ended up rather large.
scarf w stitching
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.
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 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. :)
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.
Editing bee parts and adding botanical elements.
In order to help the large abstract shapes read as botanical or floral shapes I have added some smaller botanical shapes and vines. I think they help.
hopefully this flower is abstracted enough but not too much.
Here is another
Regarding the title today I am loving “impact” as a title, I will discuss more on that in another post.
On this day I made abstract botanical inspired shapes out of a variety of materials. Then I whipped up some hydro stone and put a coat on the largest shape. The next day I started arranging the pieces into a kinetic composition.
botanical inspired small pieces.
the large piece covered in hydro stone
Above I am starting to connect the pieces.
I have not added the legs and wings to the 2nd bee. All the bees do not need legs and wings????????
When I add the hydro stone it will be easier to discriminate between the bees and the flowers.
Below are two different compositions using the flower and the two bees.
This summer I will be focused on building a body of work that addresses the impact that pesticides have on the bumble bees and honey bees.
rusty patched bumble bees?
As pollinators, rusty patched bumble bees contribute to our food security and the healthy functioning of our ecosystems. Bumble bees are keystone species in most ecosystems, necessary not only for native wildflower reproduction, but also for creating seeds and fruits that feed wildlife as diverse as songbirds and grizzly bears.
Bumble bees are among the most important pollinators of crops such as blueberries, cranberries, and clover and almost the only insect pollinators of tomatoes. Bumble bees are more effective pollinators than honey bees for some crops because of their ability to “buzz pollinate.” The economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion per year in the United States.”
Below is a still image of a 4D/mobile piece I started last week.
A dead bee without legs and very big broken wings.
Here is a photo of the shadow. The sculpture is photobombing on the right.