Archive for the drawing Category

snowflower mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/08/16 by greenteadoodles

snowflower mandala

What could be more refreshing during August than thinking about snowflakes?! Given the time of year, thinking about snowflake patterns led to wondering about similarities with the wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace. In the end, this mandala is inspired by both but is neither one nor the other – and just when you’ve decided that it is really mostly a snowflake, there’s a butterfly – spring azure – lurking around the perimeter to make it flower-like again. Here’s a photograph that started me thinking about the texture of the Queen Anne’s Lace. (Check out his blog – he’ll make you see wildflowers with new eyes!)

Tom wrote a delightful poem full of both summer and winter for this one!

Subtle turning of the seasons
Marching bands of heat and cold
Crystals ringing changes, reasons
Why all flowers fade and fold
As the season of the snows
Overtakes warm summer lands
Winds of winter skirl and blow
Pearls of ice turn on the strands
Of twisting currents through cold air
Lacing patterns, tracing flowers
Melting as the summer fair
Escapes from frozen empty towers
Life propelled by turning centre
Changes leave before they enter

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

moonlit grove mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , on 2017/06/13 by greenteadoodles

moonlit grove mandala

All colours are on the blue side of the spectrum to give the feeling of a moonlit evening.

As with other tree mandalas I have done, the trees are interconnected with a pattern of Celtic knots and an eye motif is integrated into the design which speaks to a kind of awareness. I started thinking about trees this way last year after reading the book “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben.


quadrant – with rabbit

And here’s a brand new poem from Tom responding to the painted version of this mandala …words that enhance and fulfill the image.

Trees might speak in cold moonlight
rumours swirling through the leaves
contemplating wrong and right
dreaming of a day to seize.
Crescent moon by Earthlight fulled
rules the zenith, riding high.
Apples weighted by the pull
toward the centre. Whispers, sighs
pass from bough to branch to root
down to where the Earth abides.
Watchful rabbit, owl’s hoot
safely distant on the tide
of silver shining in the night
turning darkness fair and bright.

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

embracing grove mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/06/10 by greenteadoodles

embracing grove mandala

A new mandala! Back to one of my favourite themes …trees! This time I used a division of ten for the first time – usually it’s eight or twelve. To me, it has an innocent Garden of Eden feeling – before the bite.


embracing grove mandala – detail

A apple waits in the centre of each tree…

Tom’s sonnet inspired by the image takes on a medieval feeling.

deep within the beating heart of trees
open spaces open invitation
to a knight who rides the land so free
and a maid of bold clear-eyed temptation
spreading limbs and roots within the grove
leafy shadows dapple dance and quaver
as a gust sweeps through the central trove
leaving them in silence while they savor
gasping moments breathing in the sound
hearing sights and tasting touch beside
each other lying on the welcome ground
the grass beneath a slowly rising tide
sunlight paints their naked innocence
hearts and minds in pure coincidence

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

illuminated mask mandala

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/18 by greenteadoodles

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

expressive mask mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/05 by greenteadoodles

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

spring lake edge mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/27 by greenteadoodles

spring lake edge mandala

As usual the colour really transforms the black and white mandala. The palette for this one was particularly spring-y with the greens and purples. I almost lost the minnows but you can still see them swimming in the shallows. 🙂 Makes me want to take a ramble down to the lake’s edge and see if the blue flags are blooming yet!

Tom wrote another special sonnet for this water-coloured version. Once again the poetry brings out a shared yet different vision together making a complete piece of art.

there is an island in the empty sea
its shores awash with waves from distant climes
overcoming reefs to strike the lee
crashing up against a wall of time
through the coastal swamp to higher ground
through the jungle toward the living centre
through the wilding spaces that astound
through the gates where only lovers enter
to the secret hiding at the core
where flowers grow within a tangled thicket
opening to all the world and more
guarded by a knot of wicker pickets
at the centre motion comes to rest
lovers laugh at time’s uncertain jest

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

water’s edge weavings mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/24 by greenteadoodles

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