Christmas 2016

This year I succeeded in going back to hand printed cards and it feels like a small victory in the department of personal creativity. Nevertheless, I didn’t start until the beginning of November and ran into some ink problems as I was finishing up hand colouring. Ink was still offsetting 3 weeks after printing! New Year’s resolution: start cards in July! Below, some documentation of the process. Merry Christmas and best wishes in the New Year to you and your family!

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The finished design: hand painted linocut with hand lettering. B. Wanhill. December 2016.
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Idea: sketch of my alpine rock jasmine. (dark photo: it’s near winter here.)
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Rough design included a snowflake I quickly drew in the app: Amaziograph.
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I started carving on November 8 and finished November 19.
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On November 25, I printed 28 cards and on December 3rd I hand painted them.
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There was hope I would send out 50 cards, so I played with the original print in Prisma app. to increase card count.
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Finished design omitted snowflake and included hand lettering learned from a workshop with Christopher Rouleau.

Switching gears

An unexpected family event this summer brought us together and a chance conversation with a cousin whose been good about keeping in touch brought up the topic of spinning.

Her enthusiasm and gorgeous spinning skill have convinced me to take up something I haven’t touched in over a decade. It has been the perfect antidote for working through thoughts and calming a worried mind.

I’m currently handspinning half a pound of Northern Lights ‘Mulled Wine.’

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Canon T3i. B. Wanhill 2016

 

 

 

Work in progress

Someone once told me that I can’t do everything, that I have to choose. And that is my problem. I still do not. I want to be a skillful artist, excellent teacher, adept gardener, household contributor, caring partner and family member, healthy, spiritual, intellectual, calm personality. I try for all of it, but do none of it well.

Try again… and again.

This linocut is the beginning of a reduction print. The ink is new to me: Akua intaglio. There are some things to be worked out.

In the mean time, an homage to my favourite spring flower:

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Linocut. Akua intaglio ink. Strathmore print paper. 10 x 10 cm. B. Wanhill 2016

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Update, December 20, 2016: I did eventually get the second colour on this print and it took months and months to dry. In fact I took a print out to scan today and it is still smudging. I will be on the look out for a more reliable permanent ink for 2017 printing adventures.

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Linocut. Aqua Intaglio Ink. Strathmore print paper. 10 x 10 cm. B. Wanhill 2016

 

Deschampsia

My garden is small and Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Pixie Fountain’ is finally making itself at home in places I think it will be happiest. A photograph shows how light plays on it – even in winter. An image of a linocut I printed last week is a reminder of a pleasing time I had in November, studying and carving lines.

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Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Pixie Fountain.’ Image iPhone 5.
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Linocut. Oil based ink. Strathmore print paper. 10 x 10 cm. B. Wanhill 2016

Photo sketches

There is ease and immediate sense of gratification with photography. I find this even more the case with a phone in hand. Moments are captured quickly and become sketches for drawings that rarely materialize!

Last week provided the opportunity for some quick documentation of the hoarfrost that gilded our City – stunning against the clear blue sky.

In the garden, the still standing remnants of Cimicifuga ‘Chocoholic’ seemed to bloom again. Below are photos from last week’s frosty show and the Bugbane’s September blooms – all taken with an iPhone.

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Cimicifuga ‘Chocoholic.’  January 9, 2016.
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Cimicifuga ‘Chocoholic.’  September 25, 2015. All images iPhone 5. B. Wanhill

 

Dainty Blue

In August, my grandmother gifted me an exquisite set of tea cups and I have now just finished a rendition of one to give to her as a thank you card.

Drawing remains for me, an activity loaded with conflicting mind states: apprehension, contentment, concentration, judgement, excitement, disappointment, dislike… could this be the year where I turn that all off and just draw?!

For the sake of my students and my career in the visual arts, I think this would be a place worth moving towards.

2016: to a year of building concentration, perseverance and full time contentment in the process of creating.

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Drawing. Pencil crayon on Strathmore print paper. 10 x 10 cm.