Busy days here at Watercolours by Rachel, 

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

Bees have also go me into competitions

I've painted honey bees

Put bees on cards 


And so today on a grey February day I thought I would paint a bee to get me back on track and painting freely again 


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1 comment

My lifelong spiritual partner passed away on 8 February 2024. Your card with 2 bees a butterfly and hollyhocks was the last card she wrote me. It’s a treasured piece of the words she wrote. I found your bees on your blog and found comfort and peace. Thank you for your beautiful paintings.

Cheryl Van Blerk

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