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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Buccaneers Of Buzz

My illustrations were mostly created for books, newspapers and magazines. This picture, done for my own amusement, is the only one I created for a poem. I remember reading this short work by Emily Dickinson where she compared bees to pirates; it was so fun and lighthearted, so visual, that I couldn’t resist picking up my brushes to see what I could do with it.


When I look at the results I feel like a kid again. I’m transported back to long summer days, lazy afternoons awash in humidity and pesky buzzing bees, the type of day a kid could curl lips around the hot nozzle of a garden hose and gorge on cold water and limitless well-being. These were perfect days to dream about gold doubloons and pirates on the Spanish Main.


I hope my illustration makes you feel like a kid again, if only for a moment:


Buccaneers of Buzz

Bees are Black,

With Gilt Surcingles

Buccaneers of Buzz.

Ride abroad in ostentation

And subsist on Fuzz.

—Emily Dickinson—



P.S. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you will find bee motifs hidden throughout this picture.

29 comments:

  1. This illustration is great. Emily herself would love it, I'm sure. Dickinson is one of my favorite poets.

    Love,
    Janie

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  2. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your illustration. Once upon a time I used to be an artist, but I gave that up many years ago, and now feel too rusty and out of practice to ever pick up a pencil again. I would like to create again, but in a very new way, but not sure what that is yet! :D

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  3. Stephen, I just love this illustration and the Dickinson poem that inspired it. Your talent really does impress me and I hope one day you will publish a book of your work so that I can buy it.

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  4. oh my gosh...could be a perfect pet bee in our house! my boys would especially love your illustration!

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  5. Very nicely done and I especially love your cloud ship. Awesome.

    Have a terrific day. :)

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  6. Avast! Now ye KNOW this would catch me eye!
    Ye've a right magical hook there, mate! That ye do!

    Carry on!

    Mimi Foxmorton
    The Pirate Girl

    (haven't been blogging much...summer gets in the way.....but I do enjoy visiting here!)

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  7. I'm actually afraid of bees and wasps. Your bees don't look as dangerous when they remind me of Johnny Depp. ;)

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  8. This is terrific. A true mood lifter!

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  9. What a scurvy lot they ARRRGH! The skull and crossbones, along with the hoop earring, are a nice touch.

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  10. I'm a new follower and love your blog! I have passed along an award to you - come on over to see the details! :)
    www.hammockinthehoneysuckle.blogspot.com

    Carrie

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  11. Love your work. My parents have a great collection of illustrated tales from the twenties and thirties.

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  12. I like it very much. It has a slightly vintage feel to it, too. I wish I could get that summer feeling for real, but the rain here seems to get in the way!

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  13. DelighTful and full of the whimsy and energy of a young boy.

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  14. Hi Stephen, I've finally found a moment to catch up on my favorite blogs. Your artwork is so fun and impressive! Happy belated birthday to CJ. Also, your confession of vandalism made me laugh. It reminded me of a billboard when I was a teenager. It was for the yellow pages and said, "Use it for thorny situations." Well, someone made their way up and removed that "T" as well. The funniest part of that memory is how scandalous this was to us as teenagers. :)

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  15. Hives as treasure chests, full of golden loot -- love this!

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  16. Emily would have loved your visual interpretation of her poem!

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  17. Buccaneers of buzz has a nice ring to it. Cool pirate.

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  18. I am smiling, with my lips still curled around a garden hose. Thank you for taking me back there. Your painting is wonderful, as is its title.

    xoRobyn

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  19. I love it. Really like the cloud ship.

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  20. Pirate bees? You could probably sell that idea to Pixar for millions.

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  21. Yes, it did make me feel like a kid again. Such fun. I always liked pirate stories and using the bees is genius.

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  22. the pirate ship cloud is brilliant!
    Thanks for sharing this with us and I had never read that poem before.
    What a stellar illlustraion.

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  23. I've never been artistic, so my endorsement is probably not worth much. But it looks an exceptionally good painting to me.

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  24. Excellent work. You are very good at your craft.

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  25. I can almost see this bee in a new Pixar movie. Fantastic!

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  26. You're such a fine artist, Stephen. I love all the sweet details.

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