‘Angry bees chase thieving bears…’ (Or, more conventionally, if you prefer: ‘Roses are red…’)

*Ahem* (Contrite throat-clearing and head-ducking) I see another gaping chasm of silence and inactivity has yawned open between my last posting and this. I would offer the customary deluge of apologies and/or excuses, but feel that, as this has become such a reliably consistent feature of the Pencil Post, the substance of each blogging ‘event’ is – by its very nature – suffused with procrastinator’s guilt and implicitly seeks your forgiveness and/or indulgence by hopefully offering some illustrative trinket (I try to make them pretty, but can, alas, can supply no guarantees…). Consequently, I shall be dispensing with the regular grovelling prelude (bar exceptional circumstances – of which I already predict there will be many), and hope that you will still follow the graphite confections of my erratically industrious right hand, when you feel so moved to.

During the cavernous time-sink-hole of the past two weeks (and the rest…), I have missed a couple of Illustration Friday topics, have completed an unexpected-but-wonderfully-fun  (and international!) commission, and have tiptoed gingerly across the curious territory that is ‘Married Valentine’s Day’. The latter chiefly involved skirting the issue of my failure to buy some thoughtful (and/or lavish) gift as expression of my undying love for Marvellous Dave by, instead, fashioning a slightly odd (I’ll concede, in retrospect…) Valentine’s card-come-painted-gift in the shape of a mildly perturbed looking bear. Don’t get me wrong: it was crafted with loving intent – and under the requisite furtive, closed-door conditions, to arouse maximum suspicion – but the visual message is, perhaps, a little, er, oblique. I just really rather liked the little bear sketch I’d come up with while doodling idly (is there any other way…?) the previous week, and was looking for an excuse to render him as a proper, watercolour illustration:

As usually seems to be the case, though, in grafting him from dirty scrap of back-of-the-paper-drawer sheet onto a page of pristine Bockingford, he lost some of his spontaneity and, ergo, personality – and I’m still struggling with resisting the fineliner pen to make him spring from the page, trying instead to keep the lines softer and ‘cuddlier’ – but I am still rather fond of him:

The deeply romantic Valentine’s (or, rather, token cap-doffing to) caption on the reverse referenced the rather unimaginative ursine love of honey (nothing too weird there), but then went on to draw attention to the relationship depicted in the scene above, i.e. irate honey bee, from whom honey has been shamelessly pilfered by blissfully-oblivious young bear, pursuing said bear with a determination bordering on the demented. The idea centred, vaguely, around the concept of devotion and an intensity of feeling (bee towards bear), although on closer scrutiny – and, let’s face it, it doesn’t take much – the feeling I seem to have showcased is vengeful anger… You can, doubtless, see how that doesn’t quite work on an occasion (however the integrity of which is perceived as fatally compromised by the dubious, mercenary tactics of the greetings card & gift industries) in which love and romanticism is famously enshrined :/ As I’ve said, though, the motivating sentiment was one of wifely love (I think I got away with it…).


Although I fear I have missed rather more than two Illustration Friday topics (…), I did have every intention of whittling something out of a stray half hour for last week’s cue word, popularity, and – as I had spent a not-inconsiderable proportion of my time during the previous week drawing rabbits (and, curiously, Staffordshire Bull Terriers – but that’s a, probably unnecessarily long and wordily-curlicued, story for another time…) – drew this as a desperate, grasping attempt to try and bridge the gap, Indie-style, between IF topics I could mark down as ‘successfully (i.e. submitted before the deadline) tackled’:

Geez... You win yourself a few (Euro)carrots, and suddenly everyone's your friend...

As per the rules of Illustration Friday, I shall have to tack up this week’s illustration – inspired by the cue word fluid – under a separate posting, so as not to muddy the illustrative waters with the above, rambling sediment (yep, OK – herewith abandoning tedious and ineffectual metaphor). However, I hope you’ll have time to pay it a visit also, however fleeting, and, meanwhile, wish you all a very happy 20th February 🙂

AP x.


About illustratedbyamanda

Illustrator and time-fritterer extraordinaire
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2 Responses to ‘Angry bees chase thieving bears…’ (Or, more conventionally, if you prefer: ‘Roses are red…’)

  1. Cindy D says:

    Haha, entertaining as always. Whether your Valentine bear is Ted or not, is my first query. I’m going to go with no, but possibly a distant relation, as the ears (if I remember correctly) are somewhat rounder on this fellow. Terribly adorable, is what I would call him either way. The tiny bee has a bit of a surprised expression, as if perhaps he expected to come upon a horrible and mean bear, and instead found himself facing this cuddly one.

    The rabbits are cuddly as well, and their facial expressions perfect! My favorite is the one with all the loot. Very cute! But understandably worried by his sudden popularity. (Maybe you could color it in time for that holiday with the eggs and rabbits!)

    I almost dropped a message on your last post once or twice, to inquire whether you had abandoned this place entirely, but that seemed rude, so I refrained. 😀

    • Amanda Pollard says:

      Ha ha! Thanks Cindy! And, actually, I think you’d have been totally right to post a message enquiring about my apparent desertion – Absent Without Leave is really not acceptable behaviour for the (*ahem*) ‘author’ of a (*AHEM!*) ‘weekly’ blog!

      Thanks for your sweet comments re. the post, by the way – and, you are right, this is not Ted, but Bear (notice how I’ve retained the same wildly exotic and original naming policy, though…). I like your idea for a watercoloured bunny, or two, in honour of the approaching (chocolate…)egg-and-bunny festival – I think I might also see what happens when a newly be-carroted rabbit is introduced to a bowl of pancake batter mix… 🙂

      Hope you’re having a great, creative week – I shall be swinging by your blog next for a dose of your brilliant storytelling! 😀

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