rhododendrons …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/03/21 by greenteadoodles

rhododendrons (6″ x 6″)

Another in my growing series of small oil paintings of flowers. This one was inspired by pictures I took last year about this time of local flowering bushes. They looked pretty exotic to me with their shiny year round foliage and plump, juicy blooms. I am starting to get used to the different flora here but it still seems a bit strange that it’s now the beginning of spring both on the calendar and for the flowers!

Tom wrote a wonderful poem for this one!

Scarlet dresses sweep and dance
through their brief and heady turn
around the ballroom. They advance
from bud to blossom as they burn
with the blooming life of spring
careless of what summer brings.
For now the moment is their all:
to live as if no Autumn’s fall
will ever mute their colours bright.
Today they reign as princesses
whose beauty n’er diminishes
in the face of time’s swift flight.
Their glow will light all future ways
However short may be their days.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe


summer cravings mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/03/19 by greenteadoodles

summer cravings mandala

It has been some time since I posted a mandala! This one was actually started back in January and after a long pause, I finished it this week. It’s a bit early to be craving summer but flowers and such are always a pleasure to draw and I tend to go with whatever evolves out of my meditative mandala creation process. Hopefully looking at it will bring summer to your heart, if not your surroundings!

Here is Tom’s wonderful, playful poem just written for this mandala!

Behold soft pennants brightly waving
above the boldly blooming flowers
awakening Creations’s cravings
beneath a passing summer shower
that waters daisies in the fields
whose petals form a soft white shield
between dry Earth and open sky
where an errant dragon flies
to meet a knight more brave than wise.
All the field’s abuzz with life
awaiting Knight v. Dragon strife
whereby cold truth will conquer lies.
Dry paper blossoms catch the breeze
The dragon glides above the trees.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

garden cat …oil painting

Posted in art, cats, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2018/03/05 by greenteadoodles

garden cat (8″ x 10″)

This apparently grey and white cat is actually very colourful when you look closely! Maybe it’s all the flowers rubbing off. This was painted alla prima on linen inspired by an image seen in the online painting course I am taking. 

Tom’s poem for this one is particularly playful and fun! 🙂

A cat acreep among the pots
searching for a little mouse
that scuttles through the grassy plot
returning to its hidden house
where on seeds it may just chew
or make a savoury lentil stew
for it may be a mouse-gourmand
who wants the best, in fact demands
tasty freshness in its food
and so it braves the creeping cat
who at some clatter glances back
and misses out! O such a mood
the kitty’s in on her return,
and too the mouse, whose stew has burned!

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

roses …two oil paintings

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/03/02 by greenteadoodles

rose and buds (6″ x 6″)

I find some flowers especially challenging to paint and roses are one of those! Here I tried something more experimental with colour and paint application.


old-fashioned beauty (6″ x 6″)

Since these are single-petaled roses, they were not the same challenge as with the regular double-petaled type. I love old-fashioned single-petaled roses. They have a sweet simplicity and usually an amazing scent.

Tom’s wonderful sonnet started by channeling Shakespeare and then quickly went off all his own way!

A rose by any name at all
would still delight a poet’s nose
by putting out its scented call,
to blossom bright and be his Muse.
A simple burst of complex colour
pink and red and maybe yellow
dancing in the foliage
sans pluie et sans la neige:
spring’s eternal budding flower
thorny-sharp and softly scented
in the winter much lamented
for its deep entrancing power.
A rose by any other name
Would still set our hearts aflame.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

tidal pool …ink and watercolour

Posted in animals, art, drawing, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/03/01 by greenteadoodles

tidal pool

It has only been fairly recently in my life that I have had the opportunity to spend much time near an ocean. One of the beautiful mysteries that result from the rising and lowering of the tides are the tidal pools. These pockets of water range in size and contents but even small ones usually have some signs of life and a good long stare is rewarded with a miniature darting crab, the spotting of an anemone, limpit or sea urchin. Once your eyes are in tune, a tiny world comes into focus.

Tom grew up with tidal pools so his haiku is in sync with the pool and the season.

patiently waiting
anemones and urchins
cool spring tide rises

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

between winter and spring …oil painting

Posted in art, landscape, poetry on 2018/02/26 by greenteadoodles

between winter and spring (8″ x 10″)

This landscape is a result of the same hike where I saw the crocuses from the last post. That day really felt spring-like from the views to the scents in the air. Since then we have had some significant snowfall and things are looking very different. No matter how beautiful it is, I am not in the mood to paint snowscapes though – it’s time for spring!

This painting is on linen and while I mostly paint on gessoed boards, I really like the feel of linen to paint on – smooth but a bit textured. The sky has an underlayer of pink which makes a nice glow.

Here is Tom’s poem for the painting and this dithering time of year!

beneath a sky that can’t decide
between cold winter and warm spring
deep silent ocean bays abide
encircled by a mountain ring
as wanderers enjoy the view
bedecked with ice and then with dew
as currents ripple over waters
rife with seals and also otters.
Mountain air is brisk and clean
as trees sway in the ocean breeze
bowing down while puddles freeze
and frost bedecks the winter scene.
Warm spring will be here soon enough
but in the meantime life is tough!

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

first crocuses …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2018/02/23 by greenteadoodles

first crocuses (6″ x 6″)

I saw these while out walking a week ago. Since then, we have had a cold snap with unusual (for Vancouver) below freezing temperatures and even snow on the ground. Poor crocuses! Even though they bloom so early, they are so fragile.

Tom’s poem brings warm Spring to life!

Hearts of fire and leaves of smoke
are rising up above the ground
where the Goddess Spring has spoke
walking softly, strong and sound
as she arises from the depths
where in Winter cold she wept
for the loss of light and love
in the world so far above.
Now her breath brings earth to life
spreading beauty far and wide
flooding deserts like the tide
that drowns out want and woe and strife.
The Goddess smiles upon her flowers
brought to life by love’s great power.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe