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Sophia

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Sophia (6″ x 12″ oil on raised panel)

Well for me this was one of those moments – I saw the shape of the board and a vision formed in my mind of what to paint …and I painted it. There was some evolution as I painted but this is pretty much per my original vision. Happy! She is called Sophia because the name means wisdom.

Without discussing what the painting meant to me with Tom, he came up with a poem that says in words what I hoped to express in paint. To be honest, we never do discuss the paintings before he writes the poetry – sometimes I am amazed and surprised by what he sees, and sometimes like this time, there is a remarkably singular vision.

The Lady of the Lake has seen
the colours of the western sky
where the future’s past has been
as swallows dance and nightjars fly
between the sunset and the dawn
as the silent stars are drawn
so slowly up the vault of heaven
where the will of man is leavened
with the love of woman, strong
whose waits with patience, fortitude,
and just a little attitude,
for time’s result, so ever long.
She knows all things will one day be
in futures bright we cannot see.

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Mouse-eyed view

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Mouse-eyed view (oil on 8″ diameter raised birch panel)

My first round painting! So much fun to try this. I kind of love it. 🙂 Hard to photograph though because of seeing the background so I blacked it out digitally.

I adore Tom’s playful poem for this! It made me see my own painting in a new way. 😀

A mouse-eyed view from way down here:
it sees the world all round
and sneaks along without a fear
upon the secret ground.

A blade of grass is ever-tall
to creatures of the Earth.
The trees and stars both rise and fall
above a mousie’s birth.

“For I was born,” might say a mouse,
“with Maple crossing Mars
and Douglas Fir in Retrograde…
the fault’s not in my stars

but in the trees that chart a course
across the stars so chill.
For as they turn so does the world…
and yet, I have my will.

Although I cannot move the trees
I’ll bend my life’s own course
and chew down grasses to the lees
and dance without remorse

beneath the high and distant sky
where silent stars all drift
above still trees where soft winds sigh…
my life is Fortune’s gift!”

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Flower of spring

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Flower of spring (11″ x 14″ oil on raised panel)

I painted this towards the end of summer. The image of these early blue spring flowers had stayed in the back of my mind for months and so I finally got around to painting them. Commonly called blue squill, they are most beautiful as a grouping …like stars scattered in the grass.

Tom’s haiku celebrates their (possible) origin.

fine flower of spring
dreams of far Siberia
beneath warmer suns

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Market apples

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Market apples (8″ x 10″ oil on raised gessoed panel)

Everything at the market is so inspiring at this time of year! I deliberately chose the apples that still had some leaves attached – partly because then I can tell that the apples are really fresh …but mostly because I like to paint the leaves. The wooden bowl I put the apples in has an oval shape – the view is pretty much looking straight down. I painted this alla prima and had lots of fun playing with colour as usual.

Tom wrote a nostalgic feeling poem for this one.

Early mornings on the way to school
in crisp September under shifting skies
I’d pick an apple, hard and tart and cool:
a burst of flavour telling me no lies,
just flooding all my senses with its taste
and texture, scent, and colour, then the crack
of every bite in autumn silence. Haste
devoured it to the core. No looking back
upon a lonely childhood would be fair
without those moments pure and full, delight
in what the world might be, what’s waiting there
for anyone who reaches for a height.
Apples gave us knowledge, so it’s told
Apples gave me beauty, bright and bold.

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Tom contemplates the horizon

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Tom contemplates the horizon (8″ x 10″ oil on raised gessoed panel)

I’ve been busy with various things but I’m still painting so here is a portrait of Tom. It was painted in a single session mostly based on a photo I had taken. We were out walking beside the ocean and then stopped for a pause to sit on a bench and enjoy the view. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out with more freedom in my colours and brushwork.

Tom’s poem …well, suits Tom! 😀

introverted
imaginative
iterative
idle
inspired
irascible
intense
indefatigable
inquiring
infinite
I

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

I’m a star, you’re a star

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I’m a star, you’re a star (oil on 6″ x 6″ raised panel)

While I find these tidal pool creatures fascinating and beautiful, there is also something strange and improbable about them. Technically, I was trying to get the sense of the sunlight using glints of bright colours. Definitely fun to paint!

Tom’s poetic take on the subject is a playful spin on a childhood rhyme.

When you wish upon a star
be careful of your wish’s aim:
a ball of gas, quite hot and far,
or something else that shares its name?
For an echinoderm will not
grant the wish that you have got
nor will it listen to appeals
from a human. All your feels
are as nothing to a fish
of the starry ocean kind
which may leave you in a bind
if to it you entrust your wish!
So when you wish, wish on a sun
beneath whose light strange creatures run.

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Tidal pool

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Tidal Pool (6″ x 6″ oil on raised panel)

Since visiting and then moving to the west coast of Canada, I have had the opportunity to explore nature of kinds that are vastly different from what I grew up with in Ontario. One thing that is especially different and fascinating are tidal pools. Sometimes, a casual glance is rewarded with the view of colourful creatures but even if not, the longer you look, the more you see. Tiny fish, or crabs scuttling along – sometimes wearing someone else’s shell, barnacles using their little feet to kick food into their mouths and it goes on – I couldn’t make this up! Anyway, anemones are one of the more obvious and beautiful creatures to see.

Here is Tom’s playful poem!

An enemy of anemone is my friend
for what do lurking colours oft portend?
A fish ensnared within the lair
of tentacles: entrapped unto its end!

A reticent young innocent defends
the fish whose tail now flailingly extends
from the grip of poisoned nips
of tentacles: a saving hand descends!

A true ally I’ll be, shall I transcend
our different species? For I apprehend
a soul at risk, and so I whisk
off tentacles: the fish no more condemned!

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) TJ Radcliffe