Wayy back 10 years ago in January, I inked 20 4×4″ illustrations of honeybees in traditional Lithuanian clothing, and then painted them in watercolors in March. I called this series “Avilys”, meaning “beehive” in Lithuanian: a meditation on my feelings about being of Lithuanian descent in America. Bees have a special significance in Lithuanian history, and feature prominently in their language and stories. Each bee is unique and depicts an aspect of culture, food, or history!
Avilys 2: This fancy gentlebee is wearing an outer coat of gray felt, with a colorful belt and green sash. The stiff collars and sash are typical of the southern Dzūkija region. Influenced by the nearby Slavic populations, this area’s clothing is famous for tightly checkered patterns, and detailed embroidery on cuffs and collars.