I admit that I wasn't fully aware that in Greek Mythology bees were considered to be messengers from Paradise: not until award-winning artist Jenny Matthews tipped me off. It makes sense really, given the importance of their role here on earth - such a shame that we don't hold them in such high regard now.
It is with this sentiment in mind that I'd like to show you what I believe to be one of Jenny Matthews' finest paintings to date:
'Skep Needle Book', acrylic on canvas, by Jenny Matthews.
I think this beautiful painting more than holds its own without further comment from me, but the clincher for me is the honey-sweet story behind it. 'Skep Needle Book' was created for our exhibition 'Plight of the Bumblebee', at the same time as Jenny's parents were preparing to move house. Whilst clearing the attic of their house, Jenny's parents came across her Grandmother's needle book with a picture of an old-fashioned skep on the front - perhaps a message in itself....
Here's what a bee skep looks like:
The highly decorative jug featured in the painting belonged to Jenny's Great Aunt, and I love how both objects have been painted with such care and sensitivity. Indeed, I love this painting.
A mince pie to the first person to tell me how many bees there are in the painting....if you want a closer look, it's currently hanging in our window at the gallery.