Creating with Joy

 

One way of creating that has helped me deal with the challenges of a demanding teaching profession is spinning. It is highly process oriented and basic in its reduction of form through texture and colour. It is a linear (no pun intended) way of working through thoughts and can be fit in a few minutes here and there without feeling I’ve lost track of what I was doing (as happens when composing a drawing).

Today I thought I would pay tribute to the beautiful wheel my parents bought for me almost 20 years ago: An Ashford ‘Joy.’ Sometimes the things we need to help us settle into ourselves are right there waiting for us to pick them up again. I digitally processed the photographs in black and white to draw the eye to the elegant, minimalist curves and natural wood grain.

Joy 5Joy 3Joy 2Joy 4

Joy 1
All images, Canon T3i. B. Wanhill 2017

 

 

Baker’s dozen of flora

In 2016 I took a lot of photographs… on my phone. Here are 12 photos from my garden and one from a local park we discovered this year. All photos taken with an iPhone 5 using ProCamera app and Photoshop Express.

winter-aconite
Winter aconite emerged early. March 5, 2016.
thalia-2016
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ – new to the garden. April 17, 2016.
townsendia-parryi
Remarkably, Townsendia parryi survived the hail storm of June 30, 2016.
cherry-brandy
We had a lot of rain. Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ gift from my Mom. July 2016.
carmine-jewel-cherries
Early spring and lots of moisture brought a bounty of ‘Carmine Jewel’ cherries. July 2016.
dragon-tongue-beans
And ‘Dragon Tongue’ beans. Grown in containers which saved them from slugs. July 2016.
oak-fern
An Oak fern was planted to remember family in Terrace, BC. July 30, 2016.
veronicastrum-b-w
Also from Rundlewood garden, a 2nd year Veronicastrum shot up like fireworks. August 21, 2016.
cream-calendula-open
A new calendula also bloomed in our garden. Thanks to seed shared from my Mom. August 2016.
calendula-closed
The beauty of this annual was its state before unfurling. August 2016.
garden-2016
Despite frequent hail and rain, our small garden flourished. August 2016.
school-boy-fall-jasmine
Alpine Rock Jasmine was the inspiration for Christmas cards. School boy was inspired by Christopher Boffoli. October 22, 2016.
ralph-klein-park
There is nothing like nature to truly inspire. Ralph Klein park. July 31, 2016.

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.’

spindle .jpg
Canon T3i. 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.

deschampsia pixie fountain
Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Pixie Fountain.’ Image iPhone 5.
deschampsialino
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.

Cimicifuga Jan 16
Cimicifuga ‘Chocoholic.’  January 9, 2016.
Cimicifuga Sept 15
Cimicifuga ‘Chocoholic.’  September 25, 2015. All images iPhone 5. B. Wanhill