I had a new experience this morning. After I had gotten dressed I heard a buzzing insect. Since I live in a drafty barn, I often find winged creatures inside. I had a hunt and realized that the buzzing insect sound was coming from my person. It was a honeybee in my left jeans pocket which had apparently settled in there yesterday while they were drying on the line and had spent the night in the dresser.
After breaking the world record for removing a pair of jeans, both the bee and I emerged from the experience unscathed and she flew away out the window, hopefully back to her hive.
I’ve always loved bees and have felt a special kinship with them. When I was about three, a bumblebee landed on my head and several years later a swarm of honeybees rested in a tree in our front yard for a few days. A tree that I often used to climb to sit in and read a book. They left the beginnings of a honeycomb on one of the leaves.
Bees are an ancient symbol of the Soul, industry, creative activity, wealth, resurrection: death and rebirth. I found an interesting website called The Bee Goddess which is filled with images and information about the bee and honey in many ancient cultures.
From Symbolica: the bee symbol is a good reminder that our works of art can nourish and sustain our community as well as ourselves. Because of the major role of the queen bee and the thousands of female ‘workers’, the bee has long been associated with the feminine aspects of nature. Therefore she can be used to develop the creative feminine aspects within us all.
Maybe this bee came to me with a message, a reminder to set my ego to one side and get on with my artwork. It’s been quiet in my studio for the past 2-3 weeks. The excuse: I’ve been working part-time at the University, but I really need to finish up two quilts I’ve entered into the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. They are 80% complete and I know what I have to do next, I just procrastinate. This morning I wrote down what I need to do next on each one, then I will do the next step and the next.
I am also designing another quilt in the riverjourney series, or rather this piece is ready to be made. About the winter forest weeping when the remaining Muscogee people were removed to Indian Territory in November 1836. On Monday, I made a monoprint on cotton fabric at the Double Elephant using water-based black ink, which I will set with spray fixative and I plan to buy some white silk dupioni tomorrow. I’ve been experimenting with paper and pastels and working up a design of the piece before I get started.
I’ve written a haiku for the piece:
The winter trees
wept a river of blood
when we were torn from the land.
Winter trees sketch
Winter trees fabric