Bright Varied Thrush

Bright Varied Thrush (8″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

Painting birds is so joyful for me so I wanted to revisit the varied thrush but this time in oils. This piece was not painted alla prima. I let the first layer dry and then was able to scratch through to some of the bright under-painting where I wanted. Check out near the bird’s claws for example. I was quite pleased with the balance between representing something real and having an abstracted feeling. There is a very free feeling in that colourful background.

Here is Tom’s poem that goes with this painting. He actually wrote this one separately from the painting but it turned out to be perfect for it!

Branches glow like ladder-rungs
up, up the trunk in springtime sun:
a thrush alights upon the bark,
it’s orange breast a joyful spark
of colour after winter’s grey
that ushers in the brighter days.

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Lady bug

Lady bug (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

I was going to call this “Forget-me-not my Lady Bug” but that seemed too big a title for such a tiny painting! Anyway, another fun piece to create. I hope you enjoyed this series!

And here’s Tom’s poem for this Lady!

So much to do: the social calls,
the charities, the proper tone
to be maintained, lest standards fall.
A lady by her work is known!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Spreading Wings

Spreading Wings (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Butterflies are so beautiful! …and challenging to paint. I tried to not get too caught into all the intricate details while still making it look authentic.

Tom’s poem for this painting will help conjure Spring for sure!

Hallelujah! Hear the news!
The spring is here and sun is warm!
Spread your wings and pass the booze!
Join with me in coming swarm!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Hummingbird on a Wire

Hummingbird on a Wire (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Another Anna’s hummingbird because …they are just so sweet. I had fun playing with colours as well as form.

Here is Tom’s short poem for this tiny painting.

So kind of humans to erect
a fence like this through open fields
where the flower’s first effect
is to make me many meals!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Bumble 3

Bumble 3 (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

OK, this is the third and last bumblebee of this series …but who could blame me? They are so cute and this one even has a heart on its back. I scaled down my brushes a bit to do these but you can clearly see the brush strokes because the painting is so small.

Here is Tom’s poem for this one. I think this bumblebee deserves his nap. 🙂

Not every bee’s a working worker:
some like me are known to chill
upon a leaf. But I’m no shirker!
I just rest when all is still.

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Bumble 2

Bumble 2 (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

I had so much fun painting the last bumblebee that I did another. It’s a challenge to get the fuzziness just so and the transparency of the wings too. Don’t forget how tiny the paintings in this series are – just 4″ x 4″.

Tom’s poem reflects the bustling busy-ness of the bees!

Scurry, shuffle, search and sniff,
gather pollen all the day.
Circle, flying, catch a whiff
of new flowers… On my way!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Anna’s hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Another tiny creature for a tiny painting. Hummingbirds are so sweet and we do see them around quite a lot where we live. As we plant more flowering plants in the garden I hope they will spend more time in view instead of speeding off.

Tom wrote this: (I love the hummingbird’s perspective he imagines!)

Precisely feathered, warmed by sun
I sit upon a summer twig
while in the trees the bumblers hum
wishing they were like me: big!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Butterfly Blackberries

Butterfly Blackberries (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

I have just finished a series of eight mini oil paintings. I thought it would be fun to try tiny creatures on tiny paintings. It was! 🙂 Remember, it may look large on your screen but these are very small.

Tom has written delightful short poems – one for each. Enjoy!

Now really, Darling, don’t you see
that when I’m posed beside this berry
my colours bold and wild and free
are so much brighter, fun, and merry?

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Seasonal bird – bonus!

Varied Thrush (6″ x 8″) acrylic on Arches paper

I started doing a fun series of birds in December and posted one per day for the “Twelve Days of Christmas” with a short poem from Tom for each. Apparently, I couldn’t quite stop so here is one more.

One day in late December, our yard was visited by dozens of Varied Thrushes. I didn’t grow up with these birds so they are surprising and especially delightful to me. Of course, I needed to paint one to add to my seasonal birds. This piece of paper was a bit bigger than the others so I had even more scope for abstract play in the background.

And here is Tom’s poem!

A variation on a theme of joy
that darts through lambent colours of the wood
beneath the winter sun. A spirit buoyed
by all in life that’s gentle, kind, and good.

image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe