View Purchase OptionsOil painting on canvas by Kathy Shute, Artist
Description by Heather Rice, Sustainability Educator
“At first glance, this is a painting of a Manzanita tree standing quietly on a beautiful Southern California hillside. By now we have learned to look harder, however, and this closer examination reveals many tiny bees buzzing around its flowers. It’s easy to see why Shute felt inspired to paint this enchanting tree. Manzanitas have smooth red bark, often with peeling gray spots characteristic of the species. Its red manzanita berries, Spanish for “little apples”, are another defining feature.
Manzanitas are one of the keystone species of Coastal Chaparral ecosystems and are relatives of the northern Madrone, or “Refrigerator Tree,” that remains internally cool during summer months. This did not escape the notice of native Californians, who utilized the trees’ cool environment, as well as its berries for food.
Natives weren’t the only group to have enjoyed the offerings of these great trees. The bees in this painting are attracted to the sweet nectar in the flowers, and they reciprocate the gift by pollinating the trees—the berries being the literal fruits of their efforts.
Bees can be such important pollinators, in fact, that honey beekeepers are sometimes hired seasonally in California to release their bees amidst flowering crops and allow them to fulfill this important role. Once again, we see how intricately connected we are to our natural landscapes.
Manzanita trees are in the scientific genus Arctostaphylos, and are predominantly found in California, however some of the more than 40 species extend up into Oregon and Washington. Our Manzanita here stands just off the San Juan Trail in California’s Cleveland National Forest. The artist was drawn to it by the loud buzzing as she hiked toward it.” — Heather Rice, Sustainability Educator
What’s the Buzz? is available on mugs, note cards, and other personal gifts in my Gift Shop.
My vendor for quality print reproductions is Fine Art America – a well-respected art reproduction company. They utilize a process called Giclee, which captures the details of my original paintings.
What’s the Buzz? reproductions can purchased on canvas, museum quality prints, posters, and more. Artwork can be purchased in any quantity and includes options for custom matting and framing.