Well, we have arrived at the last day of this wonderful residency. I head home this afternoon. This week has gone by so fast, the last few days have been a whirlwind. We went to the Mer Bleue bog to catch and identify more insects. There was a great variety to choose from, the dragonflies and damselflies were abundant and there were also lots of flower flies, moths, beetles and spiders.
We also visited another apiary, this one was on an organic farm community. It was great to get another perspective on beekeeping. One thing that has been very apparent is how passionate beekeepers are about their hives and bees. Its definitely something I am interested in learning more about to possibly have my own hives one day.
One of the highlights of the residency was visiting the Canadian Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes. We saw their amazing collection and talked to scientists about parasitic wasps and other insects. We also met with their scientific illustrator, it was really cool to see how another artist works. She works with the scientists to create illustrations for their books, papers and other materials. She uses a combination of digital and analog techniques to make sure her drawings are accurate.
There were also great talks about Insects in Western Art History and with a city government exterminator to learn about urban pests and how to identify and deal with them in an environmentally safe way.
Looking back on the week and these posts its amazing how much we did. In between these workshops, talks and activities there was some time to interact with and learn from the other artists at the residency. It was a pretty intense week that I will need time to process and reflect on. I find that seeds are planted during these adventures and sometimes they can take a while to germinate. Then 4, 6 or 12 months later I yield the benefits of what I have learned from these experiences.
I am excited to get back home and into my studio, it will be great to go back through my notes and pictures and recall everything that I have learned.
There are a lot of great photos on Facebook you can check out too.