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!
Skeins dry outside today. Spinning continues to take up bits of my free time. Simply: meditation in motion.
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.’
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Based on a photograph I took from this past summer’s Calendula. Grown from seed harvested from Chuck’s garden.
This post is dedicated to all the gardeners I have met and their willingness to share their knowledge (and plants) with me. These Papaver flowers are from seeds grown by local poppy breeder, Joe Aasland – he sells his seeds at the Calgary Seedy Saturday in March. These images are reminders for me to pay it forward when I can.