oil paintings… plein air!

Posted in art, painting with tags , , , , on 2015/07/05 by greenteadoodles

Has it really been this long? I guess it has! Well it has been a very busy spring (now summer) but happily I managed to squeeze in a plein air painting workshop – something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Charles Vinh, who I have taken other classes with, led the two day workshop. It was lovely to spend that much time outside painting and the weather was great even if we did have to postpone day two for one week due to rain.

The first spot we chose to set up was on a small path by a pond surrounded by rushes and willows. I enjoyed the challenge of making the texture of the oil paint as watery as possible. Step one was to get the dark layer that could be painted over later.

Day one - first time oil painting outside

Day one – first time oil painting outside

The water was much too blue compared to reality after the first day so on day two, the water became a more realistic greeny-brown and details were added creating the feeling of a warm summer day by a pond.

...after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

…after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

The second painting was started on the first day in the afternoon. The second site also had some water – yeah! There were also some particularly beautiful trees.

second painting on day one

second painting on day one

On the second afternoon, details and highlights were added including the reddish blossoms on the larger tree. Here the atmosphere is hazy and warm.

second painting after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

second painting after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

Not sure when I will get out to do this again but the workshop has definitely given me the confidence and the appetite for more – I highly recommend it. Happy painting! (or any outdoor summer activity really :-)

paintings (cc) Hilary Farmer 2015

UPDATE: Lovely summery sonnet and Wind in the Willows homage from Tom via the comments to go with the paintings. Thanks Tom!

Layered days laid down upon a base
of gessoed canvas plain and bare and pale
capturing a glimpse of nature’s face
between the gentle hill and watered dale
where perhaps a duck or two might lurk…
a mole or water rat might hold the bank,
like the lilies, daily sweat they shirk
yet still they stand in front of all the ranks
of creatures who inhabit paradise
today, tomorrow, down the fall of time,
when this pond is covered by the ice
of winter still they’ll dwell in beauty’s prime.
A summer’s day encoded in this oil
will live beyond the season’s mortal coil.

(c) 2015 Tom Radcliffe

oil painting… resplendent quetzal!

Posted in art, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2015/01/11 by greenteadoodles
extraordinary exotic bird

extraordinary exotic bird

After painting the cardinals last fall, I wanted to try a more exotic bird species. There are some amazing birds out there! Since I had never seen one of these beautiful birds in the wild, I used a combination of a number of photos I found on line as a basis for the bird and the background. This site has a striking quetzal photo and some interesting information.

The quetzal lives in the canopy of the rainforest and a loves to eat wild avocados, so I am showing him (yes, it is a male quetzal) in that setting. The style is not completely  realistic but I have tried to show the quirky appearance of this bird and get something of the iridescent shimmer of the feathers. I may yet make some tweaks before I decide that the painting is finished and sign it (beyond the digital signature shown here).

Hope this brings some warmth to the winter deep freeze so many are experiencing!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom in the comments. It took longer than usual to get back to the right mindset for writing poetry that would match a painting of a quetzal. Happy you’re back in the mood – thanks Tom!

Beneath the empty tropical blue sky
beneath the canopy of hungry leaves
beneath the cloak of feathers brightly dyed
there beats a heart of peerless peace and ease
within a breast of red a coat might envy
below a head of strangely fuzzy green
above a tail that causes quite a frenzy
whene’er a milliner comes on the scene.
Yet high upon his branch the quetzal calm
surveys with dignity and steady gaze
gripping with uniquely trogon palm
well-hidden in the forest-foam of baize.
Such beauty isn’t made for human sight
but for his dowdy love in jungle night.

poem (c) 2015 TJ Radcliffe

painting (cc) 2015 Hilary Farmer

leaf studies enhanced with birds!

Posted in art, painting with tags , , , , , , on 2014/11/16 by greenteadoodles

Well it has been quite a while. Very busy with work and doing many things but not much painting. So finally getting back to this pair that seemed to be lacking something. I think now that they may actually be finished – just missing the real (not digital)n signature.

female cardinal

female cardinal

I think she’s rather sweet :-)

male cardinal

male cardinal

… and he just looks cheeky enough.

Picture them facing each other… or back to back if they’re having a bad day!

Cheers and hope to be posting more regularly!

UPDATE: Awesome poem from Tom in the comments to go with these paintings. Thanks!!

Come live with me and be my chick
I’ll bring you nesting-leaf and stick
And we will all the pleasures try
From depth of Earth to height of sky!

If bright colours were good troth
And poetry a law-sworn oath
Then with thee I’d gladly fly
For never would a lover lie.

I’ll help you dodge the long-eared owl
Leaving it to hoot and howl
As we escape through oak and elm
Free from fears that overwhelm.

Brave soldiers wearing red are wont
To praise their courage as the font
Of all that’s good and strong and wise
Yet still too many deal in lies.

I’ll crack hard acorns with my beak
To feed our hatchlings ere they speak
Find you cicadas on the wing
When in August heat they sing.

Bring me leaf and stick for nest
And I’ll count myself well-blessed
To build our castle in the sky
Then with you in pleasure fly!

Poem (c) 2014 Tom Radcliffe

paintings (cc) 2014 Hilary Farmer

 

oil painting doodles – further leaf studies…

Posted in art, painting with tags , , , , , , , on 2014/07/27 by greenteadoodles
colours brightened

colours brightened

darker outlining

darker outlining

further leaf brightness and background enhancement

further leaf brightness and background enhancement

So, I was in the mood to push these little leaf studies a bit further. I wanted more warmth and summer brightness so I started by adding a lot more yellow and green. Then, more definition seemed called for… The outlining was deliberately too extreme but gave me something to paint towards. So, the (for now) final versions have been resoftened somewhat and both the leaves and background given more colour.

paintings (cc) Hilary Farmer 2014

 

oil painting doodles – leaf studies…

Posted in art, painting with tags , , , , , , , on 2014/07/26 by greenteadoodles
leaves!

leaves!

 

more leaves!

more leaves!

Have not been posting lately… it’s been that kind of summer so far – too much work, not enough painting!

These are two very small oil paintings (8″x8″) done in a short time. I plan to continue working on them, with what you see here just being the under-painting. This may become a series of studies inspired by trees and the feeling that one can get of refuge and tranquility when there is a canopy of foliage overhead…

paintings (cc) Hilary Farmer 2014

Darwin’s Theorem – a book cover…

Posted in book covers, computer art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2014/05/17 by greenteadoodles
Darwin's Theorem book cover

Darwin’s Theorem book cover

I was thrilled to work on a book cover for my good friend, Tom Radcliffe, for his (long-awaited) first published novel. It was fun having proof-read the novel to imagine an appropriate and imaginative cover both in content and style for his book.

Tom’s presentation of his book is humourously put on his blog. I think maybe the most apt is Dan Brown meets The Origin of the Species! This novel has many sides to it – science, religion, true love… and is good fun to read as well!

Tom has been a very frequent contributor to this blog with his varied poetry – hopefully there’s a book in all those illustrated poems (or poeted drawings ;-) ) somewhere, sometime… He has been working towards a prose work for some time and it’s great to see the results take form. It is available in both physical book or e-book, also on Amazon! Awesome accomplishment, Tom, truly a pleasure to read!

today’s doodle… more trees

Posted in computer art with tags , , , , , on 2014/04/15 by greenteadoodles
trees

trees

Today’s quick doodle… trees! I must be thinking about the trees I am planning to plant this spring… as soon as the weather permits!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom – lovely! thanks!!

Within a summer evening, dark
beneath a crowded sky,
spreading branches shelter Earth
while silent stars go by.

I take a pause beside the road
to have a moment’s rest
and see a forest in the field,
a copse upon the crest

of a little hill above
still waters of a pond
where a brace of ducklings sleep:
they dream of skies beyond

the ken of mortal men like me,
a lonely passerby
who contemplates the living trees
while silent stars go by.

poem (c) 2014 TJ Radcliffe
image (cc) 2014 Hilary Farmer

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