Opposites Attract: Bees and Lavender
I am no artist, but I love admiring the paintings and sculptures I see on a weekend hike or when I am driving out of town to tend my bees in the Yarra Valley. Where are these artworks, you say? In the art gallery of nature, of course! That might sound terribly corny (and yes, it probably is) but it’s undeniable that the most beautiful views are stitched together by the natural world.
Have you ever wondered why there are perfect contrasts around every bend on your Sunday drive? How that flower seems to ‘pop’ out before your eyes against its neighbouring variety? Or, why a sunset appears as a dreamy, out-of-this-world gradient, almost too pretty to be true? Many famous artists have recalled the qualities of art in nature, and nature in art. French post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne – who painted one mountain scene on repeat many times in his life, captivated by its presence – famously said that “Art is a harmony parallel with nature”. Henri Matisse, known for his cut-outs of natural forms, said: “An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language”. Minimalist, abstract painter Agnes Martin once remarked, “Nature is like parting a curtain, you go into it”. I especially like this thought; the way that nature is a place to immerse yourself in; somewhere to lose yourself; a magical location that consumes you if you just open up that curtain. However, I am getting off track…
One of nature’s magical tricks involves colour. Artists know about something called complementary colours; these are the colours that counteract one another if mixed together (making a neutral tone) that are found on the opposite sides of the colour wheel – red and green, for example; blue and orange; yellow and purple. When placed next to one another, however, these colours generate a real buzz (mind the pun!). Now, I want to bring to your attention a beautiful little duo found in nature during the warmer months – a favourite for keepers and nature lovers alike. The bee + lavender combo! Along with flowers like blue borage flowers and marjoram, bees LOVE lavender. It might just be their favourite plant ever, and (as I will explain to you in an upcoming post), there are good reasons for this. But today, let’s just admire the complementary nature of our happy, furry yellow friends amongst the gorgeous lilac hue of lavender – it is a sight for sore eyes. Seeming to know that yellow and purple placed side by side has an exciting effect, nature once again paints a perfect little picture with this combination. I bow down. Love Ben x
Photo credit Thomas Jörn