Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bee Bucket Drawings

Bee Bucket Drawings  2015

I started keeping bees in 2007.  By now it has become an integral part of my life.  I measure the passing of the seasons through the lens of what the bees are doing, should be doing, or were doing in years past.  As an artist, I am particularly fond of the tools of the trade and a year or so ago I decided to document the contents of my bee bucket, which I bring with me when I work the hives.  

The following drawings are watercolor on paper, about 8" by 10".  


my bee bucket
sumac for the smoker

the queen with her court
corks and chopsticks
           
feather for brushing bees off of the frames
frame grip
        

gloves
hat and veil
         


journal
beekeeping shirt
smoker
spacers and mouse guard
              


              
lighter and flashlight

hive tools
         

                            


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cross Pollination of Bees and Art


After five years of keeping bees and many more than that of making art, the two paths have intersected, leading me to compose a post that will appear on both my Bee Blog and my Art Blog.

This fall, some work of mine will be shown at Wave Hill (a beautiful botanical garden/gallery in the Bronx), in a show called "Hive Culture: Captivated by the Honeybee". The show will be up from September 13 through December 1, 2011 with an opening reception on October 2, from 1:00-4:00.
For more information, you can read the press release. Hours and directions can be found at Wave Hill's website.

Looking for a preview of the show? Can't make the show? Saw the show but can't remember what work was mine?
Here it is again.


When Winter Comes

March, 2011



Having watched the honey bees as they make their way through the seasons, I have come to believe that from the time they emerge from the hive on the first warm spring day, they are preparing for the arrival of winter. From the first crocuses to the last of the goldenrod, the bees are taking stock of what is going on around them and what is coming their way.
This video is an investigation of that awareness, both in the bees’ world and in ours.

Also included in the Wave Hill show are two pieces that I made that have to do with Bee Lining, an activity that involves luring honey bees to a sweet bait and then following them back to their hive.

Bee Lining Kit and its contents.
To read what the envelope says, click on image to see it larger.

Looking to create a link between myself, the bees, and the viewer, I devised a portable bee lining kit. Below are some photos of the kit in action. A limited edition of 1,000 will be given away over the course of the show. Although the stated function of the kit is to locate feral colonies, I consider the piece fully realized if the receiver takes the time to read the directions and imagine him/herself going through the steps. As with a small first aid kit, a compass or a pocket flashlight, the bee lining kit is there when one needs it, and that knowledge is sufficient to offer one comfort.




Bee Lining Box
In using this rather complicated box, light ports, hinged doors and a sliding gate are opened and closed as bees are trapped, moved from room to room, tanked up on bait, and finally released.




It has been a rough month for the bees. Unrelenting rains are keeping them in their hive and washing the pollen and nectar off of the flowers during what should be the fall flow. Rather than reaping the harvest of their labors, I am doing what I can to ensure that they have enough stores for the winter. Now, more than ever, I appreciate the fine line between bounty and dearth.
It is a good time to come out and celebrate this noble creature, the honeybee.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

shadow play videos

I have been working on the Shadow Play videos since 2001.
In making them, I manipulate shadow puppets (made out of paper and wire) while they are on an overhead projector. The resulting vignettes are synched with sound effects and music to foster a sense of rhythm and motion.

Shadow Plays 5, 2008
Length; 4 min. 34 sec.




Shadow Plays 4, 2005
length: 7 min. 15sec.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dead Birds

These drawings are made from paint chips (what you get from the hardware store to figure out what color you want to paint your room). They are cut and puzzled together, inlaid into the larger background paint chip. Each is either 4" by 4" or 4" by 6".





Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Drawings

These drawings consist of two layers of paper. The front layer is a book page from which I have cut out the people and/or animals. The back layer is drawing paper on which I have painted the landscape that I imagine would have existed behind those people and/or animals.
As with most of my work over the past decade, these drawings explore the presence of absence. In removing the living objects, I do not negate their existance, but rather investigate the effect that they have had on their surroundings. The new landscapes become a dual narrative, simultaneously telling the story of what is missing and what is newly present.




Drawings





A poem by Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.
We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

-Mark Strand