Birds, Bees & Blossoms

Birds, Bees & Blossoms completed hanging arrangement
Completed hanging arrangement

ArtPrize 8 is right around the corner and I am very pleased to say I, with Russell’s help, have just installed my entry at the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown.

Beeline stitching and tweet detail
Beeline stitching and tweet detail

Birds, Bees & Blossoms features whimsical birds conversing, while bees buzz amidst white and pink blossoms on light green backgrounds. It is a grouping of 9 mixed media pieces, all visually connected by the leaves and branches. Acrylic paint, decorative papers, fabric, plastic, colored pencil, ink, and embroidery floss are used throughout the individual pieces.

Blossom and bee detail
Blossom and bee detail

This grouping began as my own wishing and waiting for warmer and brighter days, filled with sounds and sights of springtime.

ArtPrize8 begins on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and ends Sunday, Oct. 8, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Come and fill your senses with a wide range visual delight!  It’s a great place to see art, and meet artists from all around the world!

More … Bee Cause

Last February/March, I began thinking about what I wanted to create for ArtPrize this year.

Notes from my planning phase
Notes from my planning phase

For me, my creative process begins with a thought which my mind looks at, stretches and pulls in many different directions.  To help reign in the concept, I write the thought down and continue to write everything else that flows from that one thought.  In this case, my thought was Bee Cause.  What do I visually want to say about the bees?  What cause … a cause for the bees or a cause for mankind or both?  I look at it more, and write more down.  I draw out my thoughts, literally.  Bees.  Honey. Honeycomb. Hives. Branches. Leaves. Flowers. Messages. Movement. Light. Sound.  All of it I look at to consider.

Upclose image of the backside of one of the bird kites using the bamboo splints for braces.
Upclose image of the backside of one of the bird kites using the bamboo splints for braces.

I knew I wanted it to suspend from the ceiling. I knew I loved working with the decorative papers and wanted to incorporate those into the piece. I knew I wanted it as lightweight as possible. What could give my branch structures little weight but lots of strength? Ah yes, the bamboo splints Catherine and I used last year in our bird kites. But what formation of branches? Flowers, hmm, yes, crepe paper. What color pink, white, magenta? What about the flowers’ centers? Too crazy of a detail to dwell on now. Leaves! Yes the decorative paper and the roll of green sheer fabric would be perfect! But how, how am I going to make those leaves? Glue will add more weight … sewing? Possibly. Bees … that’s a tricky one … they need to be lightweight, moveable by breezes, some color, something to possibly reflect light … plastic? Yes, a thin plastic, like from the pastry shop or grocery store. Perfect! Messages … what do I want it to say, what words? Bee Cause … what?

What helps you to work out your thought process?  I would love to hear from you!