65 Magnolia by Jean Stevens, companion to 65bee, Apis mellifera, the Honey Bee
The first question when I begin a piece of work is how best can I represent this through printmaking? Which technique lends itself well to the outcome I’m trying to achieve? So, for this piece I chose the monotype with its soft, smudgy, velvety quality.
The Honey Bee can’t make honey without nectar and so flowers are essential for the production of honey. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, as flowers will not cross-pollinate without Bees. So flowers are as essential to the Honey Bee as the Honey Bee is essential to the Flower. With so many flowers to choose from, I started to look at the shape of the flowers in my local surroundings, both in the wild and in my neighbourhood gardens. I’ve always loved the Magnolia with its goblet shaped flower; it reminds me of a beautifully perfumed drinking cup and the nectar, being sweet and sticky, is almost drunk from this cup by the bees. I think of nectar and this takes me back to a vision of a drink that would be soft and velvety.
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