Feel free to visit my website and shop at => hilaryfarmer.com!
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Artichoke flowers …oil painting and my new Website launch!

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Artichoke flowers (6″ x 6″)

It was just a couple of years ago while visiting a garden in England that I saw artichokes growing for the first time. They were so stunningly gorgeous I am surprised it has taken me so long to get around to painting them!

Tom has written another of his delightful poems for this piece both catching and adding to its spirit.

Bright petalled shrapnel growing as grenades
set to explode in bursts of flagrant peacei
geometric blossoms serenade
the eye of the beholder and release
their starburst beauty into garden skies
fireworks ignite and swiftly rise
as buzzing bees explore the purple blooms
drawn now hither by their sweet perfumes.
Life bursting forth from seed to stem to flower
growing great and heavy in the sun
each striving to be second now to none
in fecund glory, beauty, nor in power.
Flowers catching fire are poised to light
The summer world with blossoms bursting bright.

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

AND NOW …I am so excited (and not a little terrified) to be putting my art out there for the world to see …and buy! This blog will continue as Green Tea Doodles even though over the years – has it really been nine years?! – my focus has shifted from tea and computer doodles to watercolours and oil painting. As I discover and follow my creative path I am happy to have you share that experience with me.

…and I’d LOVE you to visit the website. Here’s the link to hilaryfarmer.com and as well there is a permanent link in the “hamburger menu” at the top of the blog page.

Evening crossing …oil painting

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Evening crossing (12″ x 12″)

Based on a view from the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria. At that time in the evening, the islands you pass look dark and mysterious. The strait was smooth, reflecting the dying light as it leaked through the clouds …a moment of transition in space and time.

Tom’s extremely quirky poem …well just read it!

The sea lies calm between the rocky shores
capturing the sun’s last golden rays:
bright Day is ending, “Leave them wanting more”
she whispers as she slips away, off stage
to take off makeup, rest and smoke a fag,
while gossiping with Dawn and watching Dusk
who entertains the punters in her rags
of scattered cloud and twilight ’til she’s thrust
into the wings by Night’s commanding step
onto the boards, her retinue of stars
all keeping time until the moon has crept
up through the trap to shine, so high and far.
Day stubs her smoke and goes off to her bed
To dream of Dawn and inhibitions shed.

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

The look of my blog will be changing soon! I am updating it in preparation for coordinating with my NEW WEBSITE! I am super excited that it’s almost ready to launch. There will be a post soon with a link.

Morning glory …oil painting

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Morning glory (6″ x 6″)

A huge glorious morning glory climbing on my parent’s porch railing …I was feeling like painting just one large bloom and this suited my purposes beautifully. It was curiously striped instead of being solid blue like the “heavenly blue” variety but had its own charm and I had fun playing with the composition and background.

As usual, Tom’s take on the image is beautiful in its own right! He tells me this is a standard sonnet form with a Pushkin rhyme scheme …just because.

Rosette of morning, opening to spring
proudly bearing witness to the fact
that winter’s end is definitely a thing
and summer’s pouring through the cataract
of time as warming days turn into weeks:
over the horizon Solstice peeks
through foliage entangled in the trees
and swayed by gentle summer’s zephyr-breeze.
Each day is met with petals opening wide
to all that hours of sunlight may yet bring
into the fields where climbing vines all cling
to posts and trees with nothing left to hide.
The summer brings us all to bare our all
To dance like flowers knowing not the fall.

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

Hydrangeas …oil painting

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Hydrangeas (6″ x 6″)

After the bold pattern of the last painting, I wanted to try something much more delicate and subtle. Last summer when we were visiting Victoria, we saw some very lush hydrangea bushes near the Empress Hotel. This is a glimpse of that impression.

In Tom’s poem, inspired by the painting, a gentle story grows…

Soft and delicate, ensconced
upon the upper private lawn
of some estate where for the nonce
a deer peeps out and too a fawn
from forests hedging trimmed green space
where creatures wild have had no place
until the recent turn of year
when there have been no people here.
So nature creeps back from the dark
of tangled woods and caverns cold
until the mother deer so bold
leads her offspring on a lark
to nibble on the flowers sweet
and feel long grass beneath their feet.

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

Botanical swirl …oil painting

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Botanical swirl (6″ x 6″)

Here is another small painting very loosely inspired by a William Morris pattern. Love that arts and crafts movement!

Where I see flowers and vegetation, the poet saw something very different!

Drawing in toward shadowed realms
beckoned on in to the depths
swift turning pathways overwhelm
a universe where warp and weft
lay flat upon each other’s weave.
The twist of space undoes the sleeve
of care that’s gripped by time and place
and loose it runs, increasing pace
until its speed exceeds the law
of these benighted lost dimensions
bound by forces in contention
vanishing in wormhole’s maw:
past the barriers of light
beyond the open doors of night.

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

Rhododendron garden …oil painting

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Rhododendron garden (16″ x 20″)

It is a crazy beautiful time of year for those who like flowers! Here on the west coast, the rhododendrons make a particularly spectacular show. Recently, we had the occasion to be in Bowen Park in Nanaimo where there is an area dedicated to these bushes. It was a riot of color. There was a wedding party there at the same time having photographs taken – I would have been worried about the flowers upstaging the bride! Anyway, this is not the exact scene as I played with the composition but was strongly inspired by that visit. This was a larger piece for me (16×20) – there was just so much to show!

Here is Tom’s lovely poetic response. I learned a new term this week “ekphrastic poetry” which is poetry particularly written in response to a piece of art. I am honoured that Tom has been regularly providing ekphrastic poetry for my art!

Variations on a theme
of colour, light, and forest shade:
rhododendrons by the stream
bloom beneath the sylvan glade
within the garden where the dark
beneath the leaves hides thrush and lark
who dart and flit and hide from view
but pause to sing a song that’s true
while the gentle breezes blow
and bees abuzz from flower to flower
take the sweet and leave the sour
then back to home and hive they go.
This patch of beauty unalloyed
brings to all a touch of joy.

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