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Tag Archives | bee

Bees in the Hive, You Know How I Feel!

The Organization of Bees © Jen Norton

The Organization of Bees

School is out today, which means my house is bursting and buzzing with about 10 extra teens, mostly girls. Energy, laughter, food on the floor and makeup strewn all over the bathroom… How do so many kids, each manageable when isolated, become such a force of chaos en masse?

Compare that with bees…also female…who buzz en masse, seemingly in chaos, but who actually live quite ordered and productive lives. They each know their job. They don’t get distracted like we humans. Like our children, our lives are intertwined with theirs. Their seemingly small movements literally support this planet’s life forms.

Bee photo and sketches

I am currently part of a group show with my Allied Artist West friends up at Presentation Center in Los Gatos, CA. Our show features paintings either painted on site, inspired by the center or its philosophies, or other beautiful places in California that are meaningful to the artist. I chose to work from a picture I took of their beekeeper tending the bees on the property. When I work from a photo, I first trace everything, including the border. Then, I assign black or white to each shape I’ve traced to make a pattern of lights and darks that I like. In this case, I decided to make the background dark to play up the “hotness” of the day in the foreground. This becomes my roadmap for my painting. I refer back to it often as I add color and texture and all the other fun stuff! Like bees to a hive, I return to it to stay true to my original intent.

I’m pretty sure Presentation Center is going to purchase the original painting for their property. Prints of this piece can be purchased here.

A Serenade in Lavender

Lavendar and Bee Painted Chair by Jen Norton

Win this chair and benefit the Symphony of Santa Cruz County!

Normally my work is confined to two dimensions, but every once in a while I get to expand my flat universe. Such was the case last week when I was invited to submit a painted chair for the Symphony League of Santa Cruz’s “A Rare Chair Affair.” Creative chairs fashioned or decorated by local artists will be auctioned off on August 20, 2011 to benefit the Santa Cruz County Symphony and their Youth and Family programs.

My friend and marketing expert extraordinaire Kirsti Scott provided a nicely-crafted but worn chair from her garden. Its well-weathered character inspired the French country bee and lavender theme I chose. Working with its inherent grain and personality, I carved, stained, painted and varnished it into a piece of happy cottage charm. It would make a lovely place to sit and sip your morning coffee!

Is this chair destined for your home? Bid on it at the Symphony League’s Gala Reception on Aug 20, 2011 at the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, CA! Click the links here or call 831-662-8908 or get your tickets to the event. Bee Happy!

—Update: The chair sold at auction, raising over $500 for the Symphony League! It also won a 3rd place prize at the benefit event. —JN, Aug 26, 2011.