Honey by Lesley Thiel

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Lesley Thiel



91.44 x 63.5 cm | 36 x 25 in

Oil on panel

  • ARC Purchase Awards ($12,800)
  • Honorable Mention / Figurative

This work is in the Collection of the Art Renewal Center.

The inspiration for this painting was a walk in the Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island. There was a meadow full of enormous thistle flowers, and many of them were covered with bees frantically sucking down nectar. My husband and I got into a discussion about how oblivious the bees were to the good they do for humanity, both by pollinating and by gifting us honey. In this painting, Addie once again wears a crown of dead foliage. In this case, it's jasmine vines. Jasmine represents appreciation and good luck. She is surrounded by butterflies, which are also pollinators, and which want to share in the gift. In her crown sits a female ruby-throated hummingbird. Symbolically, the hummingbird is the healer and bringer of love and joy. I chose to paint a female, because I see them in my garden in summer. They are ferocious little creatures that will fly right up to our eye, and screech at you when it's time to take the feeder in for cleaning. They seem to know no fear, and are fierce little fighters. Sometimes our deck feels like the reenactment of The Battle Of Britain, as they chase each other. The painting tells of how reliant we are upon the small creatures around us, and how generous nature is with the gifts it gives us.