The blue and orange bee you see here on this first page was a screen print I did for a printed textiles project. I think he is really the beginning of the Fat Bee mania that followed in my work for years after.
I had designed an apron using this motif. I had several bees flying across the apron but I had this “Fat Bee” lying on his back on the bottom and had written beside him “He is not dead, he is just fat”. The inference being that his body was so large and his wings so tiny that he cannot easily fly around but that does not mean he is dead. I’m interested to see that my melancholic humour that has developed over the years started when I was quite young. I think now that that was quite an odd thing to write but I think I was odd, I just wasn't so self aware as to know it yet.
This second page shows my thought process around making the bees more of a caricature than accurate anatomical drawings. I wanted my bees to have bags of personality and to stand out. I wanted them not to be just one of the hive, I wanted each one to feel unique. This is a theme that arises again and again in my work.
This last drawing I did very recently. I still love observing and recreating images of these little creatures. In a funny way, I unmade their images and bodies and recreated them in my own way, how I imagine them to be. But now I am back to drawing them as they really are. I am trying to be true to their nature and seeing their beauty and magnificence all over again.