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

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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

Kelp

“Kelp” (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

I have been drawn to paint underwater scenes lately. Too bad I couldn’t paint plein air down there! Anyway, this is a study for a larger piece that I am now working on. I’ve also been creating work for a multi-artist show of small works and a commission too so definitely busy.

Hope the early days of the New Year are keeping you inspired!

(C) 2023 Hilary Farmer

Forest Mystery

Forest Mystery (11″ x 14″ oil on canvas)

This was an intuitive painting inspired by local forest walks but definitely not literal. We do have cascading water falls at this time of year but the foliage is more monochrome green. I livened it up with pinks and reds as if there could be rhododendrons blooming already. A good way to play and warm up at the beginning of a new year.

(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

Blooming at the Edge

Blooming at the Edge (9″ x 12″ oil on panel)

I took photos of an apple tree in bloom by the ocean a while ago and finally decided it needed to be a painting. It seemed so fragile there in a way and yet obviously had been surviving in that location for a long time.

I live on one of the Gulf Islands off Canada’s West coast. After a recent winter storm, we were out of power for about a day. No big deal. We’re used to that. But then, our main (actually only) communications line hit the main power line (both crossing from one island to another) in the wind and ended up in the ocean. No phone land lines, no wifi and very little cell phone service with sporadic access to data …and most importantly – no 911 service. Five days later we got a temporary fix. Anyway, all that to say “Blooming at the Edge” is sometimes a more active struggle than you might think!

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Malaspina Galleries and Descano Bay – November

Malaspina Galleries (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

The best known tourist attraction on our small Gulf Island is called Malaspina Galleries. This natural sandstone formation dramatically creates an arched room open on the ocean side. You can see there are trees growing on the “roof” above. Some late season fine weather meant I was able to go out painting one afternoon in November with a friend. She had painted here many times before but it was a first for me. It was quite challenging to catch this quirky spot in a painting but I was quite pleased in the end.

Descano Bay – November (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

It was too nice to just head home after that first painting so we went to another spot nearby. Here, I really wanted to capture the sparkles in the water even though it was pretty blinding! I had to take a peek and then paint for a while then peek again. I was delighted when a family of three paddled into view and stayed around for long enough that I was able to add them to the piece. The canoe and people give a sense of scale and add movement to the scene.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Migration

Migration (7″x10″ oil on Arches oil paper)

I like to paint (with oils) on paper sometimes. With an inexpensive substrate, it feels like there is less pressure to produce something saleable. Here, I was just feeling an autumn mood with dried grasses under foot and birds overhead heading off to somewhere warmer. The sun peers through hazy clouds since we did have some late in the season forest fires in the area. The brushwork is quite loose and you can see that I have also scratched into the paint – often just with the end of the brush.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer