Sticky situations


Diagnosis: Shoulder Bursitis. Pain can feel sticky. Yesterday: 8 hours on the computer for paid work. The day before that: 6. Last two days: the beginning of my holidays. Work feels sticky.

March 24 days of drawing: Rosthern Crabapple ink (which ended up being sticky – literally), Micron pen and water soluble pencil crayon. A bit of old Letraset (simultaneously sticky and not). I got stuck on the ink lines and didn’t know how to proceed. Some sketchbook drawing. Some days nothing. This tree has Fireblight. Was supposed to come down this past winter. Too much snow, too cold. March weather felt sticky.

Emotions feel sticky.

Now, the snowdrops are up (a possible reprieve from stickiness)(?).

24 days of drawing: March 1-24, 2023 (minus some days). approx. 15cm dia.. Mixed media. B. Wanhill
When ideas feel sticky, sketchbooks are helpful. Ink and pencil crayon. B. Wanhill. March 2023
Rosthern crabapple tree. March 12, 2023. B. Wanhill. Canon T3i
Galanthus nivalis. Annual sign of spring. March 25, 2023. B. Wanhill. iPhone X

February process

Through this month’s 24 Days of Drawing, I found out that the Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina) I used for the base wash of my drawing is toxic to humans. Previously, I had only known it as a cheerfully lacy growth on the fir trees I grew up with, a potential plant dye for wool and one of the landscape ingredients found on my dad’s expansive HO scale train layout.

Therefore, I am glad I did not try to consume it as a tea and have only used it to colour paper and yarn for this month’s creative investigation.

The river rocks are from a previous drawing from last year. This time, I tried to capture their essence using Derwent Inktense pencils and fell into an old habit of using a Micron pen for stippling texture. The ’90s echo of my 4th year advisor’s disapproval crossed my mind for the first few days of this drawing, but overall and in the end, I’m pleased with how it turned out.

I was also surprised by the difference in pigment between the two unknown fibres I spun for the yarn samples. I think the brighter one might be Polwarth but I’m not completely certain.

Last bit of advice: not a drawing or wool to chew on!

Decades old Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpine) I had salvaged from my dad’s HO train layout before it was dismantled. (Canon T3i, Feb. ’23)
24 days of drawing: February 1-24, 2023. approx. 15cm dia.. Mixed media. B. Wanhill
Two variations of Wolf lichen dye with the lighter one knit up and compared to last month’s Lilac twig dye. (Canon T3i, Feb. ’23)

The colour of the garden 2022

It’s the time of year in this part of the world where the plant world is slowing down and my work world is speeding up. If we had time and you were inclined, you could come for a visit and we could chat for a couple of hours over coffee or tea – about the warm summer and autumn we’ve had, the lack of rain, the things we’ve noticed in our gardens, the creative projects we dream of for winter.

What have I learned from my garden this year? Slowing down and noticing the quality of light is rejuvenating. Approaching problems with a sense of curiosity is less taxing on stress levels. My garden and plants in general help me come back to myself and have hope for our world.

All photographs by B. Wanhill. 2022. Canon T3i.