Wisdom


Linocut. Detail “Wisdom” B. Wanhill, 2018

This year’s Christmas card is entitled “Wisdom” after the idea that three dried flower heads of Astrantia major could stand in for the three wisemen encircling the guiding star. My Christmas cards tend to be less visually seasonal in theme so as to still be relevant when they arrive after the intended festive date. But there is the back story if you were wondering.

Life has been busy and this blog has really become a bi-annual affair. Instagram has replaced it as the lightning quick alternative to documenting life via iPhoneography. (And so I have chosen to embed Instagram into this space – if the words don’t change much in this column, you can see that I’m alive and well-ish over in the next!)

I enjoyed making this year’s image. It came easily and I wonder if the (somewhat) weekly drawing I’ve been doing for the perpetual journal I started last January has had some influence after all. I will update you on that creative activity in the next post scheduled before January 1st.

This year’s Christmas wish for you is really for me: wisdom to help make sense of the world and how to function within it peacefully.

Postscript: because I now rarely frequent this site, I downgraded my subscription. So the formatting has changed. Also, as I am not a company and don’t plan on selling anything on here in the near future, so I have changed my domain name from bwanhill.com to bwanhill.ca. I’m not sure what impact that has on subscribers or this blog. I guess I will wait and see…  

Linocut. “Wisdom” Christmas card design B. Wanhill, 2018

Small offerings

Christmas snowflake 2017
B. Wanhill, December 2017. Linocut. Caligo relief ink on Strathmore. 3.25″ x 3.5″

I’ve always been drawn to small. Takes up less space. Economical. Energy efficient.

As I reflect on another year gone, I see that this size parameter also measures the amount of posts I have added to this site and the amount of mark making I produced this year. So realize this entry won’t take up much time… and look closely!

For a month I was diligent about keeping a daily sketchbook practice. I spent 20 minutes to 2 hours every night recording mostly pieces from my garden. As garden specimens dwindled, I turned to recording words and other items. I am glad that I recorded a beautiful brooch my Mom gifted me, as it became the inspiration for the linocut Christmas card I designed this year.

I hope in the coming months I will pick up a more frequent drawing practice, but I know that work will be demanding between January through to March and then it will be garden season once again! (I have also continued with spinning, which I will record in another post.) Best wishes for a bright New Year. Peace and creativity to you – even if you find it in small ways.

Sketchbook Sept 28_17

Sketchbook Oct 1_17

Sketchbook Oct 4_17

Sketchbook Oct 13_17

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Sketchbook Nov 13_17

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.

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:

3galanthuslinoblue
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