This painting began with a photo I had taken of my step-grand-daughter with her mother on the beach. Phoenix has a wonderful intensity about her that I find fascinating. I have painted her several times.
I hoped for a certain ambiguity in the work, that people might feel a bit nervous in seeing a swarm of bees so close to the toddler’s face. As no one has ever expressed any anxiety, perhaps I underestimated my audience’s trust in my title -which gives away the mood really.
A few weeks ago I delivered ‘Calling the Bees’ to her new home. A very special woman who had been a student of mine bought it. She is in the midst of remodelling her new home, a fascinating old building with high ceilings and interestingly shaped rooms. The previous owner had walled in the front porch so when you walk through the front door you face another front door and a window between the two rooms. It is a fascinating space.
We sat in her sitting room and had tea. She had saved a special place for the painting and when she held it there, the painting looked so at home in that room, as if it had been made for it. It made me very happy.
I wish I had gotten a photo.