Detail from late 19th-century Independent Order of Oddfellows chart, Late 15th century painting by Hans Memling from Allegory of Chastity
People are sometimes curious about where my inspiration comes from, and though it's often so ephemeral and non-specific that it is nearly impossible to say, in the case of The Beekeper painting, I can share the scraps of its origins.
First there's the IOOF iconography that kick-started this whole series. The beehive and bee appears on a lot of their charts, pins, and also on the regalia of their women's division, The Rebekahs. Also, bees are generally very special, loaded little symbols, and I loved the chance to use them! Second is an early Flemish painting that I love, and think about often. I am so inspired by Flemish painting from this period: their colors, their unreal-realism, In contemporary art/illustration, there are lots of "things-turning-into-dresses", and I always think of this one as the original.
So, when we take these things and filter them through my own lens and add my oft-present messy pigtails and a dash of ferns, we get the original drawing-version of The Beekeeper! I don't always draw a sketch before paintings, but often I've got one squirreled away somewhere.
And that's that - the making of a painting concept. I hope it wasn't too dull!
I'll be adding the Black Apple packing tape to the shop soon - just have to get some nice photos of it in action! It's finally overcast and Portland-y here again, and while I'm very happy it's cool and normal (well, Pacific NW normal), I'm also thinking "where the heck did my light go?"