To begin with there were only catkins on the poplars and the walnut, early shoots of day lilies and the hardy blue scilla poking out through the debris of last years leaves but within a couple of days everything decided it was time to burst forth.
Walking through the garden and the bush it was possible to see yellow violets, wild strawberry flowers, vast branches of crab apple blossom, wild plum and cherry blooms complete with bee.
The weather was sunny and warm and then we had torrential rain and most of the early blossoms found themselves all over the ground. I’m not complaining about the rain as everything was so dry we really needed it.
However I am not sure whether we will be able to find any of the wild strawberries as they were along the paths through the bush and they were back under water. The rain though was a gift to the fiddle head ferns as they are growing by leaps and bounds.
Now the bush and garden are full of lilacs, choke cherries, North American honeysuckle and wild columbine. While I was photographing the latter I looked at my hand and realized I had half a dozen mosquitoes chewing at my fingers. The recent rain and now the heat I am sure has put smiles on the faces of all the mosquitoes in Manitoba.
Inside the house my orchid is still in full bloom and the amazing giant aloe flower is still growing taller and taller. Unfortunately the flowers aren’t as dramatic as I had anticipated as the lower ones seem to be dying before the whole plant is in bloom. But its quite incredible as when we received it in 2002 it was barely an inch tall and this is its first flower.
I have been quite busy with art this month – a tiny sketch was developed into a small hanging for the Gateways and Portals project. I used a piece I had printed of a large quilted hanging I had done several years ago and used for the small hanging published in Quilting Arts magazine in 2014 of a group of the quilts hanging on a line. I had printed out several as an experiment and so used one of them to make the secret garden of my portal.
I had in mind while I was making this of a wonderful holiday my husband and I had taken to Santa Fe and the incredible adobe buildings there. This project was for the Fibre Art Network retreat which is taking place here in Manitoba in October.
Then I started working on my next hanging which will be for the show Kathleen and I are having in November at Wayne Arthur Gallery. The title of the show is Life and we are hoping to illustrate various aspects of that. Most of the time so far has been doing preliminary line drawings which I am going to put onto coloured fabric using TAP – Transfer Artist Paper – which I first used on my Honeycomb quilt.
I am then going to use my sewing machine to make a simple background using mainly two inch squares – a new method for me! I am also going to use some silkscreen trees that I did last year and never found the project in which to use them. I am hoping to colour them by silk screening a rainbow roll. I’ve done that with great success on paper but never tried it on fabric – should be fun. Once I have finished putting the squares together I am going to draw, couching by hand, using black thread of varying thickness to show a landscape.
I have just come back from hanging my show in the Gaynor Family Library in Selkirk. It is a small show – I have only six pieces in it but they show a variety of different styles. Four are framed paintings using watercolour, gouache and pencil crayons. The fibre piece is my hanging Season of the Raven – Summer and the last one is Nature’s Carpet which I finally managed to put onto canvas. The show goes until July 30, 2016.