Marisha's curriculum exercise was an arrangement in which a surface is made from the massing of lines. She has used Dietes leaves to create the surface and added other shorter leaves with a cream edge. Some fine lines of small white flowers adds a textural contrast.
Ellie has deconstructed a Hydrangea flowerhead and floated the clusters of flowers in her bowl. She said the idea for deconstructing the flowerhead was triggered by the etched lines in the bowl.
This morning we had a walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne before breakfast, a lovely way to start the day.
In the creek near our house at Torquay I had noticed this bright red patch of Dock, Rumex, that I thought would be interesting in my ikebana this week. I had also visited a friend with a very large Strelitzia reginae, from which I was permitted to cut a few leaves.
I decided to combine these two plants in a modern style, vertical arrangement, because the red colouring in the central rib of the new Strelitzia leaves was very close to the red of the Dock. I also borrowed an idea from Val, the owner of the Strelitzia plant, and 'fenestrated' the leaves to change the original appearance of the material. In this photo it is not so obvious that I have placed the smaller stem of Dock partially behind the Strelitzia leaf so that it can be seen through the fenestrations.
Here is a link to an article about teaching ikebana in Australia that I was asked to write. It was published in the Journal of the International Society of Ikebana Studies.
Greetings from Christopher
31st January 2021
It was also a delight to see this Correa with its yellow tipped red bell-shaped flower. Correas are one of our favourite indigenous plants that we have introduced to our garden.
The La Niña weather pattern brings relatively cooler and wetter summers to Australia. In our case on the southwest coast of Victoria the weather has felt a little like winter, with the temperature down to 11 Celsius last night at 10.00 pm. It may have been slightly cooler overnight.
This was how the beach looked on Saturday evening at 5.30pm, with a fairly strong, cool south wind coming off the sea. It was only when I came home and uploaded the photo that I saw the lone surfer near the middle of the left edge of the image.
The prevailing west and south-westerly winds cause many of the plants that grow on the cliffs to hug close to the ground. This results in writhing trunks and branches like the Moonah, Melaleuca lanceolata, in this photo.
Back at the house some of our avian summertime visitors are the Sulphur-crested cockatoos. I noticed this pair eating the berries on the Shiny Leaf, Coprosma repens, bush in our neighbour's garden.
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I was looking at my colleague Emily Karanikolopoulos' recent blog posting where she commented on an arrangement she had done, having a number of "incarnations". She observed: "...that this often happens when we make an arrangement and, when we walk past it we see faults and make changes...". Her statement made me smile as I had just done exactly that myself.
Last week I posted this photo in which I had used a single orange Canna flower as a contrast to the blue of the Agapanthus.
During the week I passed a large mass of Crocosmia, and realised that the intensity of its colour and loose mass would work better in the ikebana. It also had the virtue of adding the lines of the leaves. With them I was able to create a radiating fan moving up toward the flowers.
If you missed the on-line demonstration by my colleague Emily Karanikolopoulos that I mentioned in last week's posting, it can be seen on YouTube. You will need to search for: "Emily Karanikolopoulos ikebana demonstration". I believe it is also on Instagram.
Greetings from Christopher
17th January 2021