I had so much fun painting "Thistles and Bees Go Wild." The difficult to control medium of watercolor is the perfect medium to express the uncontrolled wild nature of thistles and bees. Thistles grow wild all over the farm, and although most consider them weeds, I consider them wonders. One thistle is said to be capable of producing 120,000 seeds. They are used both by bees and goldfinches which use them to build nests. The thistle is actually the oldest recorded "national flower" dating back to the 13th century when the Vikings tried to creep up on Scottish soil, only to discover it was impossible to remain quiet walking barefoot over thistles, causing them to cry out and alert the Scottish army of the invasion. They are an explosion of thorns, leaves, stems, and color and the bees absolutely go nuts over them. This painting captures the nonstop movement of the bees as they efficiently collect the pollen and the movement of the thistles that seemingly grow before your eyes and move in the breeze on tall spiky stems. As the Scottish discovered when they dubbed the thistle their national flower, thistles symbolize the beauty and strength that can be found amongst thorns- the bees have known this for millions of years. We have a lot we can learn from nature.
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