Ivy Bees Art Journal Page

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This year my garden has been full of life because of all the different flowers I’ve planted. It’s been thrilling. But there is one plant I have been struggling to get rid of – ivy. It had covered fences, hedges and even windows but now it is under control I have found out about a little insect that depends on it to raise its young. That animal is the ivy bee, a solitary bee that emerges from tunnels in October time, mates and then the females dig burrows to lay their eggs in and fill them up with pollen collected from ivy flowers. I felt a bit sad that I had had to get rid of so much ivy so I made this art journal page as a tribute to their frantic lifestyles.

I collected some sketches of ivy and ivy bees. The interesting thing about these bees is their strongly striped orange and black abdomen so I started my page based around oranges (see first pic below).

I spray through lace to create highly contrasted patterns that will show through the translucent acrylic paint in places. After adding in my symbolic black linework I continue to a fourth layer. Sticking to the colour scheme I paint in areas to differentiate the images from the background. This is my favourite layer as I get to blend the paint on the page and make colour decisions intuitively. I think this is the part that is most beneficial to mental health as I find my mind relaxing and enjoying the process. My final layer includes some journaling about the ivy bee and patches of colour.

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