Mouse of Summer

Mouse of Summer (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

So here’s the other mouse – this is a summer scene and the wee mouse is tucked in among the daisies. Another fun one to paint with pops of mauves and pale yellows in the daisy petals …and what a cute little face.

(C) 2023 Hilary Farmer


Mouse of Spring

Mouse of Spring (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

I have painted two new minis (I’ll post the other soon) for a show of tiny art. So excited that the largest size allowed is 4″ x 4″! So mine will look large 😀

With “Mouse of Winter” painted previously, I decided to paint a couple more mice to make up my three pieces for this multi-artist show. This spring mouse is surrounded by apple blossoms so sweet. Even when painting very small I like to use all my usual techniques such as adding thick paint and scratching back into the surface. I sure hope they dry in time!

(C) 2023 Hilary Farmer

Rabbits and the Moon

“Rabbits and the Moon” (8″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of the Rabbit!

Having spent time in Taiwan and China, I have a fondness for the culture and wanted to share this little painting I just created. Way back in the mists of the dawn of this blog (OK it was 2009), I retold and illustrated the famous story of the Rabbit and the Moon goddess Chang-e – “Why there’s a Rabbit on the Moon”. It’s in multiple pages but here’s one of my favourites. Anyway, this new piece is completely different and yet perhaps the roots of this oil painting are in the elements of some of those illustrations I made using GIMP so long ago.

And yes I know that Chinese New Year starts on the new moon but this piece really wanted a full moon – artistic license!

(C) 2023 Hilary Farmer

Raven Sky

Raven Sky (30″ x 40″ oil on canvas)

I have been working on this larger piece for a while. The colours are more muted than I often use but fit with my mood and the season – late autumn with its short and gloomy days. Ever-present ravens still flap overhead though animating the sky. To my thinking, this painting just shows three or four ravens as they move through time and across space. Details below.

Raven Sky (detail upper left)

Layering oil paint then scraping to reveal colours below results in a sky that glows like an opal.

Raven Sky (detail lower left)

Ravens do like to perch on the very top of the tree!

Raven Sky (detail center bottom)

I love how this glows and the sketchiness of it.

Raven Sky (detail upper right)

Some bird shapes are more subtle than others…

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Mouse of Winter

“Mouse of Winter” (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

My latest mini. I do love painting these wee ones! Small creatures on small paintings are just the thing to try out new ideas and techniques. Here as well as regular oil paints, I used some R&F pigment sticks of pure oil colour. I also did some scraping and scratching to get the look I wanted.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer


“Sheep!” (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

I’ve been wanting to paint sheep (or cows or horses) from life for a while and this was my first try. The day did not exactly cooperate and neither did the sheep! The dots you can see in the oil paint are because it started raining …and of course the lovely initially curious sheep wandered away – no doubt being more sensible that the human they found somewhere out of the weather. Anyway, I had actually anticipated that might happen so I took a couple of snaps of one of the sheep before she wandered off so I was still able to have a couple featured in the foreground and not just distant blobs. As I was going to pack up, the sun came out with some lovely slanting light across the field which I added and really brought this one to life. I touched up the foreground sheep in the studio but left the rest quite sketchy and suggestive. It really captures the afternoon.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer