Tulip Time

Tulip Time (8″x 8″oil on raised panel)

Tulip Time was painted back in April when the tulips were fresh and delightful. Each season brings its own charm. I painted this one plein air out on the deck but simplified the background.

I decided to do a flatlay to show this painting off in a different way for my new website. By-the-way, that is up and running now! Same web address (www.hilaryfarmer.com) will take you to my newly hosted and fresh looking website. Hope you check it out!

Tulip Time flatlay

images (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Daniel’s Way View

Daniel’s Way View (8″x 10″ oil on raised panel)

A sunny day back in the spring. I was perched rather precariously on a large rock with my setup. It doesn’t look too bad in the photo, you’ll just have to trust me on that! 😉

The sea looks different every time …and the scudding clouds and the distant mountains too. Looking at a plein air painting always takes me back to the feeling of being in that place at that time, with the feel of the breeze and the smell of the ocean. Looking at this I just remembered I was visited by sea lions while I was painting this one. If they had come much closer, I would have packed up but they stayed down on the rocks off to the right of the frame of this painting. It was pretty magical.

Daniel’s Way View setup – looking not as steep as it actually was!

images (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Arbutus View

Arbutus View (7″x 10″ oil on Arches Oil Paper)

Well, it has been quite a while and I have been painting regularly so I have a backlog to share! Quite a few paintings from the summer were painted plein air. I so enjoy painting outdoors and the challenges of expressing myself quickly so that I can capture the scene and the light before it changes too much.

This one was painted on Arches Oil Paper which is fun to work on. The texture of the paper makes the finished piece looks a bit like an oil pastel but it was painted with oil paints and brushes. See the set up below.

Arbutus View Plein Air set up

I am so spoiled living in such a beautiful place. Looks like I had already put away my brushes when I took this picture but you get the idea. The actual very warm tone of the arbutus trunks doesn’t show very well in the photo unfortunately.

Tom has been very busy lately with a variety of projects so for now I will be posting sans poetry.

images (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Hummingbird Moon

Hummingbird Moon (16″x 20″acrylic on canvas)

This abstract exploration ended up with some artifacts from fairly early in the layering process that didn’t want to be covered up – flowers, a hummingbird and maybe the moon. This is definitely a case where the original is hard to capture in a photograph. When I paint this way, the textures and layers are quite challenging for me to show on line.

In my mind this one is reaching for “Monet meets Chagall”. 🙂

Tom wrote a really lovely poem that speaks to this painting beautifully.

coalescing currents curl
from out of deeper darkness
flowing down to pools that swirl
with stillness beneath starless
skies where hope abides and wing’d
shapes may one day fly through the
chaos life will strive to reach
afar across this world where
coalescing currents curl

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

Brickyard Beach Spring

Brickyard Beach Spring (8″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

A pleasant day in late March. The local buffleheads were out – that’s a kind of black and white duck. Plein air painting can be such a wonderful way to connect with the world. Looking at a painting I have done in nature always takes me right back to that moment.

Tom wrote a haiku for this painting celebrating spring …and buffleheads!

bufflehead breezes
wander down island narrows
ruffling spring waters

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

Pansies and Weavings

Pansies and Weavings (8″ x 10″ oil on raised panel)

I painted this one for my Mother. She’s an avid gardener and loves pansies. She also weaves, so I combined those two loves here. If you look closely, you can see subtle hearts in the background.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! (She got the painting in the mail a couple of days ago, so it’s OK to post!)

Tom wrote a beautiful haiku tying this painting to the larger world.

every year in spring
nature weaves her colours deep
soft fabric petals

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

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms (11″ x 14″ oil on canvas)

Playing with twisting branch shapes and spring blooms, this was done from my imagination. It is a very freeing way to work! …And a bee because then you can smell the apple blossoms and hear the hummmm of activity when looking at the painting.

Here is Tom’s delightful haiku for this piece.

crooked branches trace
stark shapes across winter sky
where bees buzz in spring

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

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