I , like many of you am easing myself back into routine after the Christmas break. Getting used to early starts and the manic search for homework/ P.E kits/ packed lunches that come from a busy family life. I have been trying to get my head around work that needs doing and new challenges that need facing, I need to get back into my painting let my work flow from the brushes and I can often do this by painting things that I love. Things that usually ( I stress usually ) work well. So although it is mid winter I couldn't resist a bee, and that got me thinking how my bees have evolved.

My first bees appeared in 2015, as you can see they were small and not as detailed , the wings were just a dry brush stroke of Cerulean blue, but I like my little bees. They added a sense of movement to my work .

Bees became a regular feature in my flower pieces, and then as is often the way with me someone asked if the could have a painting that just had bees on it ....

and this was the result. I was beginning to exploit how the yellow could merge with the black to give the furry feel, and the eyes had a lot of detail too.

Now I was looking at bees more and more carefully, I could see more detail in the wings, and it was now that I began to add some gold ink for the pollen. Bees on the move were what really grabbed my attention

Now I was including bees in lots of ways here they are collecting pollen in pulmonaria

and included in bigger pieces like this one entitled summer

In October 2016, I was approached by a honey maker to design a label for their honey jars and so I expanded into honey bees

I continued to paint my bees this one in April 2017 and they didn't grow in size just in number

But last year the bees not only became greater in number they also became more detailed and bigger. In this painting the bees legs are far more detailed, and the bodies too.


They started to dance, the wings began take shape and colours too.

They grew....

The more I studied them the more I saw. The eyes , the legs,the wings. I tried new ways to add movement and tried to find a way of making my paintings of bumble bees unique

And so today at the start of a very new year I thought I would paint a bee to get me back on track and painting freely again 

Happy New Year


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I loved your story of your bee! They are splendid!

You’ve inspired me to get my paints out today!

Wendy Bailey

I really enjoyed this, thanks for sharing your lovely work and some of your evolutionary process.


Thank you for sharing with us Rachel. They would make a lovely little book of Watercolour B’s. Love the Label. Your paintings make Bee’s rather appealing.

Janet Skinner

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