Archive for May, 2017

illuminated mask mandala

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/18 by greenteadoodles
20170518-illuminated-masks-mandala-signed

illuminating mask mandala

Well, this rendering was a bit experimental but in the end I think it worked. For one thing, usually I pick a point outside of the circle as the light source but this time, the light radiates from the centre. It gives the whole a sort of camp-fire-lit feeling which I like a lot. At the same time, it is pretty strange and eerie!

Tom caught the feeling and brought a deep poetic truth to it. Here is his amazing poem for this mandala.

We are your faces, lit by firelight
    Finely tuned to captivate emotion
    Gazing inward, turning back to night
    Circling the flame's eternal motion
 We are your faces, waiting for a time
    When you will wear us out in light of day
    Speaking through us, trying to be kind
    Or angry, sad, bemused... some other way
 We are your faces, we know who you are
    When you take us off as darkness falls
    Above the lighted circle distant stars
    Wheel across the sky at curfew's call.
 We are your faces, masking you from pain
 We are your faces, speaking in your name

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

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Blossom, branch and sky – oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/15 by greenteadoodles
20170511-blossom-branch-and-sky

blossom, branch and sky

This one was experimental in terms of subject and composition. Starting from a photograph (thanks again Claire!) I manipulated the placement and angles and edited the elements down to what I thought best expressed the feeling I was trying to convey. Happy with that aspect! While the photo was showing blossoms in Taiwan, the blossoming cherry trees here in Vancouver have been a wonderful part of my introduction to living here.

And here is Tom’s sonnet for the painting. Too bad the painting doesn’t have the scent of the actual blossoms – but after reading the poem you’ll think it does! 😉

in the core of springtime dwells the flower
bud upon the long enleafened branch
waiting for the bee to grace her bower
releasing pollen’s fecund avalanche
into the cool clear dewy air of morning
to fall through quiet, wafting on the breeze
life itself on zephyrs now aborning
carrying sweet scents from flowered trees
down the city streets and neighbourhoods
across the boulevards and avenues
crying out the joy of cherrywoods
as just the thing to heal a life askew
Early morning joggers pause and breathe
the gift of springtime from the morning trees

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

Lavender field of Provence – oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, landscape, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/12 by greenteadoodles
20170510-lavender-field

Lavender field of Provence

I have actually never traveled in Provence but images like this make it pretty appealing! Soon I hope. 🙂 The photo that was used as inspiration, was made available to those taking the online course I mentioned previously. I am quite pleased with how the painting came out as I continue to explore the alla prima way of producing oil paintings on one session with a wet into wet method. What a pleasure to have such a vibrant subject as an excuse to use all those juicy colours! …Although who needs an excuse 😉

Tom wrote a playful poem to go with this painting. Once again the poet’s eye catches the essence of the painting and also brings his own perspective.

Amidst the stems of grass and flower
ants and insects in their bowers
languish lazily

Up the stems and down the leaves
over trousers, into sleeves
they wander mazily

In the distance far from home
where they never ever roam
clouds drift hazily

Keeping to their small locale
Where the flowers bob and bow
blooming crazily!

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

English Bay …oil painting

Posted in art, landscape, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/08 by greenteadoodles
20170505-English-Bay

English Bay

We were walking along the shore in Kitsilano a week or so ago and were treated to a spectacular sky with the sun starting to set and gaps in the clouds allowing light to stream through. I didn’t take a picture at that time but the image stuck in my head so that when I went back more recently I took some photos with the idea of combining photos and memory into a painting. As a result this small (6″x6″) painting is a somewhat imaginary landscape which is English Bay but not from an exact viewpoint. I plan to return to this – there are so many ways it could be painted!

Tom wrote a lovely poem for this painting which catches the mood and essence of the piece in just a few words.

Sky of promise
Touching quiet sea
Held within the ragged arms of land
Blazing moments
Reaching out to me
Falling from the air into my hand

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

expressive mask mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/05 by greenteadoodles
20170505-expressive-masks-mandala-resized

expressive mask mandala

Well, this has to be one of the stranger mandalas I have done so far! It started with an idea about six faces integrated and separated by the Celtic knots. The last thing to be added were the six small faces. I am not sure what they represent – one’s conscience? ancestors? descendants? imps? There may be no single meaning to the various faces and expressions so the viewer can overlay their own meaning.

Here’s Tom’s poetic take on it which took a darker, allegorical turn.

Subtleties of secular expression
each in opposition to the other
balancing the soul’s intense progression
’round the stations of my truest lover:
steady, saddened, joyous, shocked, concerned.
contemplative of her soul’s possession
of a body ruffed by wreathen ferns
wondering at time’s unchecked succession.
Anger fading to annoyance then
acceptance, understanding, contemplation,
wryly knowing all that one may ken
of the centre’s subtle conflagration.
The mystery of mysteries remains
Yet still we stand, defending life’s domain.

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