Last summer, folks in the St. Kate’s biology department got wind of my insect drawings, so when I was in town I went in to talk about possibly drawing something for the Biology Club t-shirt. If you didn’t know, I did my B.A. in biology at St. Kate’s, and in my last year there worked on the then-new green roof and designed my first bio club t-shirt. While we were catching up (I hadn’t visited since I left in 2009!), we got to talking about bees and bee habitat and I remember thinking ‘the green roof would be the PERFECT place for a honey bee hive.’ Well it turns out it is. The bio club will soon be the proud supporters of a bee hive, in collaboration with Beez Kneez Honey House (check them out! They are also selling my greeting cards! http://www.thebeezkneezdelivery.com).
You can read more about the hive at St. Kate’s here: St. Kate’s beekeeping article
AND, to spread the word about the hive, they used my honey bee drawing on their t-shirt! I received my shirt in the mail earlier this week, and have already found it to be the perfect field shirt.
This is a drawing of an Agapostemon virescens I did a few months ago, a solitary bee often called a metallic green sweat bee. As the name implies, it’s very colorful in person- it’s head and thorax are metallic green and its hairy legs can be bright yellow. I haven’t figured out how to add color to my drawing yet, but have been experimenting with colored pencil and photoshop. We’ll see what happens.
I have a couple pieces hanging in a gallery at OSU until January 17th. They’re part of an art show with 100+ pieces by other faculty and staff; lots of landscape photography and watercolor, and a few sculptures and textile art. I was the only one to submit insect drawings, as far as I could tell. I thought this might give me some momentum to do some more drawing, but so far that has not happened. It was fun framing them, and I learned that I should start planning my drawings to fit in 8×10 mats so I don’t have to have them custom made…
Hey all! I had a couple new card designs printed recently-the ladybug and the western thatching ant are brand new and I’m really happy with how they turned out. I also found some fancy colored envelopes so each card has a matching envelope.
Here are a couple pics of the full set. I started selling packs on Etsy if anyone is interested. Next task: get Paxton Gate (arguably the coolest store in PDX) to sell them for me 😉
I had a request by a honeybee lover for a tattoo design of a worker bee. I don’t know how easy it for tattoo artists to replicate drawings like mine, so I tried to use more solid lines and less shading than my usual. It measures a mere 2.5″ x 3.” It didn’t take too long to draw, and it has me mulling around ideas for a tattoo for myself!
This is a Western Thatching Ant, formica obscuripes. These guys are aphid-tenders, meaning they defend plants that are infested by aphids so that they can feed on the honeydew excreted by the sap-sucking aphids. They are found throughout the US, and make a characteristic pine-needle dome nest. You have no doubt seen them before. This was a fun, relatively simple one for me.
Meet Osmia lignaria, the blue orchard bee. These guys are solitary bees, and are usually called mason bees because they make walls of mud to divide their nest into separate brood cells. They are particularly awesome bees because the are native and can be kept and used as pollinators for gardens and orchards. You can buy nests for them, or you can make your own like I did by drilling a bunch of holes into a 4×4, or by cutting a hollow bamboo stem into small pieces and bunching them together. Someday I will write all about how to make native bee habitat and where to put it.
This was probably one of the most difficult drawing I have done so far. The metallic color of the bee was difficult to capture with my novice coloring skills, and I nearly colored a full ‘practice’ bee trying to get it right. Also, with ink stippling as my primary technique, I am somewhat limited to drawing details in black. The hairs on this bee are actually blond, and so it might require something like acrylic ink or watercolors. In the future, when I start to incorporate more new media in my drawings, I will definitely try another bee like this.