Wednesday, November 27, 2013

From the Studio

Bee Collage 1 (detail)

Over recent months, my paintings have been inspired by the humble honey bee :)  The importance of the bee has featured highly in the media of recent. As Einstein said, "If the Bee Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth, Man Would Only Have Four Years Left To Live".

In addition to this, my beautiful brother James, who has been living and keeping bees in the UK, has recently returned home to Australia. He is quite the bee expert and is kindly teaching me beekeeping as we tend to the new hive in Panton Hill.

The Bee Hive - Complete with Gold Leaf!

While the bush honey this region is quite delicious, I'm much more excited about the bee's wax! A melted concoction of bee's wax and damar varnish makes Encaustic Wax which is a surface that I have applied to almost every work I've painted over the last 15 years. :)

In celebration of the first wax extracted from the hive, I have used it on the paintings below.

Bee Collage 1 (76cm x 60cm)

Bee Collage 3 (76cm x 76cm)

These collages contain photographs of some local Bee's collecting nectar from flowering plum blossom.
They're printed with Pigmented Ink on Archival Paper and are combined with other collage materials including washi paper, gold leaf, foil, acrylic and silk screen on canvas.

Screen printing is a relatively new addition in my work. Each of these Bee Collages also contain areas of silk screened pattern. The hexagonal lattice pattern called 'Kikko' was used with great frequency after the beginning of the Heian Period in Japan. While the original design replicated the pattern of a tortise shell, I have used it here to mimic the hexagonal pattern of honeycomb.

Silk-screened Bees have also been printed onto the paintings.

Bee Collage 2 (76cm x 60cm)

Bee Collage 5