Working from her Hobbit House studio in Bath Spa, Somerset, Amber Tenzin-Dolma creates vibrant and imaginative artwork inspired by nature and science. This talented young artist blends watercolours and oils, tempera and gold leaf, mixed media and graphic design to form ethereal illustrations and intricate geometric fractals.
I have been friends with Amber’s mother, Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, since my days as commissioning editor on the partwork magazine, Enhancing Your Mind Body Spirit. Lisa is a writer, artist, musician, canine psychologist – and Amber has inherited her mother’s creative energy, artistic skills and passion for the natural world.
On a visit to Bath this year, I was warmly welcomed into the charming Hobbit House set among the pretty countryside of Somerset. Amber’s beautiful paintings reflect her surroundings from Bath’s classical Roman and Georgian heritage to the wide fields and wild woodlands.
Early on Sunday morning I sat in Lisa’s sweet-smelling herb garden as a hot air balloon passed overhead and watched a fat bumblebee exploring the lavender and thyme. I remember thinking that the bumble’s bright colours, fuzzy fur and symmetrically patterned wings would make a good study for Amber’s art…
Some time passed since I returned to London after a fun weekend spent catching up with my friend and walking the dogs in the woods, but the thought was never lost. I eventually contacted Amber to ask if she was interested in a brief for my blog: a watercolour inspired by the magical alchemy between flowers, bees and honey, and taking flowers used to obtain essential oils such as myrtle, rose, lavender, thyme, rosemary and violets.
Amber was thrilled at the idea and almost immediately sent back some initial sketches, which were exactly what I had in mind.
When I returned from my holiday in Italy, a lovely surprise was waiting in my inbox – the final paintings for my blog with added sparkle. Bees have never looked so pretty.
After experimenting with crops and tiling, Amber’s beautiful artwork went live on my blog yesterday and I couldn’t be happier. As an aromatherapist and beekeeper, the art represents, for me, the special relationship that flowers have with bees – and the close connection between essential oils and bees!
Amber also designs and makes jewellery using semi-precious stones and silver. She really is a talented lady. A few years ago, I commissioned this turquoise, lapis lazuli and amber necklace as a christening present for my niece, Lauren, which many years from now she will receive to wear on her 21st birthday.
Looking at the cute honeycomb background for my blog, I wonder how lovely our hives would look with an Amber Tenzin-Dolma design. Maybe next year…
I shouldn’t forget to mention that Lisa and Amber share their home with a deerhound-greyhound lurcher called Skye, and a 15-year-old Oldies Club collie-husky foster dog, Shep ‘The Shepster’. Lisa’s new book, The heartbeat at your feet, will be published later this year.