A couple of weeks ago I managed to catch these two sulphur-crested cockatoos drinking at the bird bath. These large birds have a raucous call and a flock can be quite rowdy. One of the things about them that surprises me is that in the wild they are very wary and obviously don't trust humans. This pair flew away when they noticed me photographing them from inside the house through a window, even though I must have been at least 15 metres away.
Behind the birds you can see the vivid green leaves of a strelitzia nicolai that had been ravaged, along with most of the succulents in the garden, by a rare frost that occurred last July.
I was especially relieved when it put forth a green leaf shoot somewhat later in the year and is now clearly on the path to recovery.
When I return home by car I pass a house that has a large s. nicolai at the front gate. Recently I noticed a yellowing leaf hanging low with the afternoon sun coming through it causing it to glow. Having asked permission from the owner, I cut the large leaf to make the Sogetsu curriculum exercise 'An arrangement with plants on a wall'.
The leaf was large and bold with a beautiful pronounced curve. I added some dried 'Honesty' lunaria annua, to give a colour and textual contrast that would complement the leaf. I have photographed it against a grey backdrop rather than our light coloured wall.
From ikebana hanging on a wall, now to a completely different approach where the vessel is a dominant element in the design.
Late in 2016 I bought a bowl made by the ceramic artist Greg Daly who, in recent years, has experimented extensively with lustre glazes. I loved the brilliant yellow of the bowl with its contrasting turquoise pattening.
The first time I used the bowl I simply made a low mass with three blue Dutch Irises, iris x hollandica set low in the bowl.
My next experiment was with an unknown small orange flower which has leaves that look a bit like freesia.
My third experiment with the bowl was at a recent class where the exercise was to make an arrangement with Irises. Because of our extra warm, dry autumn, the only ones available at the time were Dutch irises from a florist. This time I added a single line to the mass using a Cape Iris Dietes iridioides leaf.
Greetings from Christopher
4th May 2018