Three Bees

It started with a Call for Art Submissions for an exhibition at Brushwood Center highlighting the stress our pollinators are undergoing.

Call for Art

Keeping the Bees: The Importance of Pollinators

June 16 – August 25, 2019

Over 75% of the flowering plants on earth rely on animals and insects for pollination, including nearly 75% of our food crops. Without these creatures such as hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies, and flies, these plants would not be able to produce fruits and seeds, which would be devastating to people and the planet. Join Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods in bringing attention to the importance and plight of the pollinator in this group art exhibition. We are accepting work in all visual media and styles that feature or are in some way related to pollinators. See below for online resources for more information on pollinators.

I knew I wanted to participate and submit an artwork about bees. In fact, we had just ordered a pollinator garden set of plants from Prairie Moon Nursery to plant in our backyard. So this issue was important to me.

More information on pollinators from the Brushwood’s website:

Three Bees, Kona cotton fabric, May 2019.

Three Bees, Kona cotton fabric, May 2019.

Here is an outline of my process for creating Three Bees:

Process photos of creating Three Bees.

  1. The first step was to think about the design. I knew I wanted to focus on bees and I wanted to highlight the pollinator plants that we were getting from Prairie Moon. So I mulled over some ideas and then started drawing on graph paper to layout the design.

  2. Next, I went into my fabric stacks and starting pulling fabrics for the project. I knew I wanted a variety of blues for the sky and greens for the prairie highlighted with the flower colors and three bees. I couldn’t decide on the perfect yellow for the bees. I had selected a very bright highlighter yellow but I wasn’t super happy about it. About a week later, I remembered the gold velvet from The Cloth Shop in London. It was perfect. Both the color and the fuzzy texture for the bees.

  3. Next, I started cutting and sewing. I started with the blue sky and cut long strips into the 5 blue fabrics. I added some Kona cotton fabric called Snow for the clouds. Working with the velvet for the bees was tricky because it sheds all over your cutting board and ironing board. Plus you are not supposed to iron it. I admit I did gently iron it at a low temperature. The results were so worth the effort.

  4. I added purples and oranges to represent the plants in our pollinator garden and interspersed them into the blue sky section to imitate the flowers standing above the grasses and plant stems on the prairie. Then, of course, the three bees are hovering over these flower tops all in a line formation.

  5. Next, my last section to sew was the prairie. I cut strips in a multitude of different greens to mimic all the different greens of the flowers and grasses in the prairie. I added in some flowers throughout the grasses as well. Then I sewed the prairie to the sky.

  6. The last step was to stretch the completed piece around the stretched canvas frame. I chose a 16“ x 20” frame to highlight the horizontal nature of the prairie with the three bees traveling along the tops of the flowers.

Now you know what I have been up to in the studio.


Three Bees was accepted into the Keeping the Bees: The Importance of Pollinators

June 16 – August 25, 2019

The opening reception is Sunday, June 16 1 - 3 p.m. at
Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods • 21850 N. Riverwoods Rd. • Riverwoods, IL 60015 • 224.633.2424 •

Close up of Three Bees.

Time to share:

I am an artist groupie and love all news articles that give you a peek into the lives of the artists.

Here are two articles from the New York Times I thought were worth sharing.

One about Frank Stella:

The Surprising Tale of One of Frank Stella’s Black Paintings

One about Joan Miró:

Miró’s Greatness? It Was There From the Start