Archive for April, 2017

water’s edge weavings mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/24 by greenteadoodles
20170420-waters-edge-weaving-mandala

water’s edge weavings

The ink stage is finished for the latest mandala. This one was inspired by the blue flags that are a typical spring flower where I grew up. They are beautiful and somewhat rare in my experience finding their place right on the edge between the rocks of the Canadian Shield and the water of the lake. As with most of the mandalas I have been drawing, there are embedded Celtic knots and at least one animal playing off the symmetry – in this case three minnows and a dragonfly.

Tom has written a beautiful sonnet that echoes and deepens the image.

rippled lobes that move forever outward
curving through the waters of the form
spars that bend beyond the point of breaking
yet still hold together through the storm
knots entwined in paradoxes folding
over depths concentrically excited
spherical harmonics tessellating
surfaces by shadow now ignited
into beauty changelessly in motion
always fixed but never standing still
echoing the memory of an ocean
deep beneath where silence drinks its fill

a universe encompassed in a jewel
by the water’s edge: a forest pool

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

a portrait of Ming …oil painting

Posted in art, cats, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , on 2017/04/20 by greenteadoodles
20170420-Ming

Ming contemplates

I decided to try a portrait of one of my cats yesterday and was pleasantly surprised with the resulting painting. I had a lot of fun playing with colour and value and catching that gleam in her eye. 🙂

Tom was inspired to write a poem to go with the painting that captures her personality wonderfully too!

alert intensity looks out
a presence in repose
confidence without a doubt
begat by extra toes

sharp attention to a point
where what is not might be
space and time meet at a joint
that only cats can see

soft Ming is watching worlds role by
and distant future scenes
as upon the chair she lies
content to reign as queen

painting (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

the light of Provence …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/19 by greenteadoodles
20170419-Provence-light

the light of Provence

The focus here was to achieve the feeling of a sunlit day in Provence – the dance of the dappled light and the happy flowers below the window.

Tom’s sonnet for this painting imagines being behind that window. Lovely!

Light among the shadows hiding darkness
behind the glass transparent where the room
is cool with dappled dimness as the summer
day ascends and banishes the gloom
from secret places dark within the house
dust motes dance across the beams so bright
roses tap against the window panes
holding up a handful more of light
inviting out the occupants to day:
“Come into the warmth of welcome summer!”
call the flowers now in happy song
marching to the season’s swaying drummer.
Day is dancing, dappling the walls:
Melancholy melts and sadness falls.

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

spring is cherry blossoms …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, haiku, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/13 by greenteadoodles
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spring is cherry blossoms!

A small painting before Easter weekend to celebrate this long, slow Vancouver spring. It may be cooler than usual but that sure makes all the blossoms last!

This is just 6″x6″. The size is fun for quick studies and experiments – very freeing! This painting is based on a friend’s photo that she graciously let me use as inspiration. Thanks Claire!

Tom wrote a quirky haiku to go with these Taiwanese cherry blossoms. 🙂

foreshortened phloem
flower’s fragrant fabric
fine filigreed fire

painting (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

peonies pink and white …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , on 2017/04/10 by greenteadoodles
peonies pink and white

peonies pink and white

I have started up oil painting again – yay! I have done three very small (6″x6″) paintings for an online painting course – Once Upon a Time in Provence with Dreama Perry. I can’t recommend her courses enough – so much inspiration! I will not be posting the paintings I am doing as part of the course and following her instructional videos as they are her copyrighted material in terms of composition, method etc. However, as I go along, I will post other pieces I am doing.

This is a 9×12 oil on gesso board of two peonies in a blue jar using the alla prima method where oil paint is layered wet on wet in a single session. Here the challenges I was focused on were painting the white peony using a subtle variety of colours for the shadows and getting a pleasing effect of transparency and shine for the glass jar.

Tom’s poem to go with this one is a little melancholy but reminds us to see beauty and love life in the moment.

so pretty on the table in the sun
warming up the lonely room with colour
pushing back the shadows and the dun
dreary dullness in the days of dolour
a bright reminder of more happy times
living beauty grown in fertile soil
giving pleasure as the churchbell chimes
calling mourners all to gentle toil
remembering the layered past beyond
this circled sadness of the present instant
skipping stones across a summer pond
listening to the loon in purple distance
a momentary beauty still in life
bringing solace in the midst of strife

painting (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

summer lattice mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/06 by greenteadoodles
20170406-summer-lattice-mandala

summer lattice mandala

I am quite pleased with how the richness of the colours came out. The orange comes forward and the magenta recedes enhancing the layered effect.

You may have noticed that the titles of the mandalas change after they have been painted. The names come to me as I am working and the effect of the colour on this one for me was to shift from the general feeling of meadow to a meadow in full summer. Guess I am looking forward through this rainy spring weather …or maybe looking back to one of those perfect childhood summer days.

As usual, Tom has seen things and expanded the image through his poetic response. This one is particularly magical! Love it – thanks Tom! 🙂

high summer fields at rest beneath the sun
dry weltering cicadas buzzing deep
curving pigtails flouncing round in fun
then hiding ‘neath the flowers, knapping sleep
in shards from solid summer afternoons
safe amidst the purple leaves and sedge
upon the sandy soil that hides the runes
writ in burrows down the lattice hedge
writ by rabbits wise in meadow ways
writ with knowledge sinking to the centre
stretching out to touch the turning days
opening the gates and letting enter
all the truth that cannot just be spoken
of the wheel that turns and won’t be broken

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe