December in a hurry

On this last day of the year (that is being celebrated in our household in a pleasantly low key and nothing special kind of way) I wanted to share what I have been up to in December from a mark making perspective.

I again thoroughly enjoyed the 2022 instalment of #abstractadvent and completed another winter print for card giving. In both works I used an “ink” inspired by a recipe in Jason Logan’s book Make Ink. The acorn cap ink (minus the metal) from December 2021 held up well in the fridge and was useful in adding a sepia tone to parts of each image.

Best wishes in 2023!

All images, B. Wanhill December 2022.

6 months of 24 days of drawing

“Sometimes artists [art teachers] don’t find the time to draw every day, so other artists help them out by creating daily art challenges.”

That is how I introduced #abstractadvent to my elementary art students at the beginning of December 2021. And of course I was talking about myself, routinely back off the routine of a daily art practice.

I enjoyed that month of drawing so much that I continued on – giving myself a personal challenge of making marks 24 days out of every month. It has worked. I’ve emotionally problem solved through what it means for me to be a mark maker. It has allowed me to visually play and explore with materials again and know more firmly what I want for my students (not rigid ideas about what good art looks like!). My inspiration has come from my garden, my young students, my family, past art experiences and the people I have met living in Calgary.

This month I ended up working on two explorations: one for Inktober and another documenting plant structure through mono printing.

November is a busy month and I will also be travelling briefly, so I will not commit to a November entry, but I look forward to picking this practice up again in December.

Please find enclosed my sketchbook entries from May to October 2022. (You can find previous entries here and here.)

May 24 Days of Drawing. Frottage, collage, pencil crayon, velum, typewriter, Micron pen. B. Wanhill, May 2022
June 24 Days of Drawing. Botanical observations. Micron Pens. B. Wanhill, June 2022
July 24 Days of Drawing. Kit of Parts: frottage, linocut print and collage. B. Wanhill, July 2022
August 24 Days of Drawing. Homage to Richard Nelson‘s Tri-Hue: pencil crayon. B. Wanhill, August 2022
September 24 Days of Drawing. River rock studies: pencil crayon. B. Wanhill, September 2022
October 24 Days of Drawing, Part 1. Inktober prompts. Various ink pens and water. B. Wanhill, October 2022
Oct. 24 Days of Drawing, Part 2. Botanicals: monoprints, red onion skin & acorn ink, commercial ink. B. Wanhill, Oct. 2022


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 to 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