Wind. Flower.

Wind. Flower. (24″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas)
Wind. Flower. (Detail lower left corner)
Wind. Flower. (Detail upper left corner)
Wind. Flower. (Detail upper right)

I have been working on this painting (off and on) for months. I did post it once before but then after some time went by I decided to add even more layers. The overall photo doesn’t really show it well so I added some detail shots. I really do enjoy this process of building up and scraping away to reveal what’s underneath in places. It started out as a meditation on a friend’s garden I had visited and that is still there, but it dissolved and resolved into something else.

Tom wrote a deeply beautiful poem for this one.

Earth, water, air, and fire
combine, combust, conflate, conspire
to form the mystery of all things:
the solid ground, a ghost that sings
of other Edens lost to time
and futures flying in their prime
toward the secret, never seen.
They flit and flutter, twist and lean
to glimpse beyond this life’s abyss
and catch a moment’s endless bliss.

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

The Old Crabapple

The Old Crabapple (11″ x 14″ oil on canvas)

This one started as a few abstract squiggles and evolved into a memory of a tree from the farm I grew up on. An old gnarled tree, it was really tall for a crabapple. It was gloriously covered in blossoms in the spring and small hard fruit in the fall that my mother made mysteriously delicious jelly from.

Tom’s poem is just perfect for it.

Four-score and ten: my season’s span
from summer warmth to winter snows
from spring’s first bud to autumn’s fan
of drying leaves. My circle’s closed

by blossoms blousing in the breeze
which grow to apples in the heat
turned hard and tart by fall’s first sneeze
then frost like diamonds dusts my feet.

Four-score and ten: my season’s span
’til hence I go where I began.

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Bright Varied Thrush

Bright Varied Thrush (8″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

Painting birds is so joyful for me so I wanted to revisit the varied thrush but this time in oils. This piece was not painted alla prima. I let the first layer dry and then was able to scratch through to some of the bright under-painting where I wanted. Check out near the bird’s claws for example. I was quite pleased with the balance between representing something real and having an abstracted feeling. There is a very free feeling in that colourful background.

Here is Tom’s poem that goes with this painting. He actually wrote this one separately from the painting but it turned out to be perfect for it!

Branches glow like ladder-rungs
up, up the trunk in springtime sun:
a thrush alights upon the bark,
it’s orange breast a joyful spark
of colour after winter’s grey
that ushers in the brighter days.

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Lady bug

Lady bug (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

I was going to call this “Forget-me-not my Lady Bug” but that seemed too big a title for such a tiny painting! Anyway, another fun piece to create. I hope you enjoyed this series!

And here’s Tom’s poem for this Lady!

So much to do: the social calls,
the charities, the proper tone
to be maintained, lest standards fall.
A lady by her work is known!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Spreading Wings

Spreading Wings (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Butterflies are so beautiful! …and challenging to paint. I tried to not get too caught into all the intricate details while still making it look authentic.

Tom’s poem for this painting will help conjure Spring for sure!

Hallelujah! Hear the news!
The spring is here and sun is warm!
Spread your wings and pass the booze!
Join with me in coming swarm!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Hummingbird on a Wire

Hummingbird on a Wire (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Another Anna’s hummingbird because …they are just so sweet. I had fun playing with colours as well as form.

Here is Tom’s short poem for this tiny painting.

So kind of humans to erect
a fence like this through open fields
where the flower’s first effect
is to make me many meals!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Bumble 3

Bumble 3 (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

OK, this is the third and last bumblebee of this series …but who could blame me? They are so cute and this one even has a heart on its back. I scaled down my brushes a bit to do these but you can clearly see the brush strokes because the painting is so small.

Here is Tom’s poem for this one. I think this bumblebee deserves his nap. 🙂

Not every bee’s a working worker:
some like me are known to chill
upon a leaf. But I’m no shirker!
I just rest when all is still.

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Bumble 2

Bumble 2 (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

I had so much fun painting the last bumblebee that I did another. It’s a challenge to get the fuzziness just so and the transparency of the wings too. Don’t forget how tiny the paintings in this series are – just 4″ x 4″.

Tom’s poem reflects the bustling busy-ness of the bees!

Scurry, shuffle, search and sniff,
gather pollen all the day.
Circle, flying, catch a whiff
of new flowers… On my way!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Anna’s hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Another tiny creature for a tiny painting. Hummingbirds are so sweet and we do see them around quite a lot where we live. As we plant more flowering plants in the garden I hope they will spend more time in view instead of speeding off.

Tom wrote this: (I love the hummingbird’s perspective he imagines!)

Precisely feathered, warmed by sun
I sit upon a summer twig
while in the trees the bumblers hum
wishing they were like me: big!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe