painting of irises…

first, to cover the canvas

The is the beginning stage of a painting which ended up as a Christmas present. It doesn’t look great at this point but getting some paint on the canvas helps break the ice and get over that initial “fear of the blank page”. There is also a very rough indication of the direction of the final piece. In the end, some of this layer will actually show through as watery reflections.

taking shape

At this point, quite a lot of the painting has been sketched in but it is still quite rough. The leaves in the background for example are very gestural… the painting was now set aside for a couple of months. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it to my liking but in the end I decided to give it a shot.


Sometimes working on a painting, I need to cultivate a “let’s just see what happens” attitude. If I am trying to hard to make it come out a particular way, it is less likely to succeed than if I flow with where the painting wants to go. That sounds flaky but it works for me! In this case, the leaves got quite a lot more definition and some aspects of the water were highlighted to get a shimmer as well as other details being enhanced. Unfortunately, the photo isn’t great. I need some tips on photographing paintings – anyone? At least I took several the photographs before varnishing it. After, even though it improved the look of the painting, the extra sheen was really difficult to work around.


and a close-up of the final painting.

Happy New Year and happy painting – or whatever your creative urges may be in 2012!

images (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer


a wintery doodle for Christmas…

wintery togetherness

A quick doodle to celebrate the season… so busy with everything related to said season that I haven’t been posting much here and the buffer for Albion is getting smaller. Hopefully I can catch back up over the holidays.

Wishing you the Best of the Season and a Wonderful New Year.

UPDATE: New sonnet from Tom to capture both the cold and the warmth of winter…

The winter night in glinting diamond silence
sparkles in cold light, the Solstice Moon
glows bright upon the hills with blue fluorescence
across the open spaces deeply strewn
with virgin snow: a wonderland of ice
where lovers might take pause to contemplate
the beauty of this frozen paradise
where nothing moves and everything awaits.
Their hands are joined within a single glove
the touch of skin a promise for the night
to come while silently the stars above
reflect the frozen diamonds of the night.
One single thing belies the winter the cold:
The warmth of hands that other hands enfold

Copyright (C) 2011 TJ Radcliffe

(cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer

one quarter face…

studying as usual...

A very quick sketch today… sometimes it is best to catch someone while they are absorbed and not aware of being drawn. While this angle doesn’t show much, it’s nice to explore different views of the face.

UPDATE: New Pushkin sonnet from Tom!

Sometimes I get this funny feeling
that someone’s watching in the wings
just out of vision’s circle, stealing
glimpses of some hidden things.
Perhaps it’s my imagination
but it plays hob with concentration
when I feel I’m being watched
by a hunter, arrow notched.
Who knows what lurks on darkened paths
that lie beyond the realm of sight
encapsulated by the night:
the western star’s eternal baths.
There’s something watching me, I’m sure,
behind the veil of night obscure.

Copyright (C) 2011 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer

impressionistic doodle…

water and flowers...

A very loose and quick doodle today. I was thinking of using a Monet for a starting point as I did for Remembrance Day but in the end I just started doodling randomly and this is the result. Water and flowers… always pretty!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom – lovely, evocative…

The morning mist upon the pond
draws my eye from here, beyond
the croaking frogs whose call inspires
their distant cousins to respond.

Across the field of dewy flowers
there in some wooded secret bower
awaits a question in the dark
calling me with silent power.

A mourning dove is cooing soft
a duck in panic bursts aloft
to startle me from reverie
my path now turning toward the croft.

The pond is still in golden light
but I have years still left to fight
and ancient wrongs to yet make right
and ancient wrongs to yet make right.

With apologies to Robert Frost! :-D

(c) Tom Radcliffe 2011

image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer