Acrylic Paintings on Wasp Nest Paper


A naturally made wood fiber paper forms the base for these unusual acrylic paintings. The paper is taken from nests built by several different types of social wasps of the Vespidae species, such as the yellowjacket, the paper wasp and the ball-faced hornet (which is actually not a hornet, but a wasp). A new wasp colony nest is begun each spring by a queen wasp and is enlarged throughout the summer by other members of the colony. In the fall, as the weather cools, the nests are abandoned when young queen wasps go into hibernation and the other wasps leave the nest or die. This is the time to go looking for wasp nest paper, when the wasps have gone or have died and before hungry birds start to dismantle the nests. John is often able to find remnants of the nests in trees or on buildings near his home. The paper is completely natural, with a bit of artist’s spray adhesive being perhaps the only material added before a painting is begun.