On with the blog!
My girls and I were invited to join my friend and her children in an all-day outing to a local conservation area where we enjoyed canoeing and a refreshing (aka cold!) dip in a 1-acre pool... we had a picnic betwixt these two water activities and it was while we were eating that I discovered two things:
1. I'm not very good at picking picnic locations
2. Bees LOVE lemon-lime flavoured pop!
I was fascinated by one of these flying specimen, it was BIG and black and looked like it had yellow-y war paint, 'William Wallace-Highland warrior-style', on it's face, thorax, and abdomen. I had no idea what is was until I returned home and looked up the descrption on the internet... a Bald-Faced Hornet! Known for it's large paper-like nests and it's reputation for multiple stings while guarding said nest. Phew!! Glad we only discovered that online and not during our lunch!
Anyways, short-story long, the next day my friend's son was back to work at a local farm where he was told to get rid of a bee that was building a nest in one of their packing crates and he recognized it to be a Bald-Faced hornet. Remembering that I was fascinated by them the day before he somehow euthanized it and brought me the specimen so I could study it and paint it!
And so I set to work on Tuesday morning after I saw the girls off to school and started my first specimen study/painting, and let me tell you, I have a whole new respect for botanical/entomological artists who create beautiful art for scientific study and textbooks.... even though that is not my style I enjoyed prodding my brain to focus on the minute details and draw them as accurately as I could...
By Wednesday afternoon I had a completed study of the profile and face of the Bald-Faced Hornet:
Bald-Faced Hornet, Specimen Profile Study
Bald-Faced Hornet, Face Study
This study inspired the newest member of the Elderberry Hedge village and you'll be able to meet her in my next post... I call it 'The Bald-Faced Hornet Hedged' ... adapting a 'creature' to fit my illustration style whilst maintaining a sense of realism - or something like that! : )