I was feeling in a playful, flower mood …and still thinking pink I guess! This one just evolved with no reference and I decided afterwards that they look a lot like wild roses. I like the stained glass effect.
Tom’s lovely poem populates the image with bugs and birds. Hidden from the observer of the painting, it is not hard to imagine them just out of view.
A wall of flowers blocking off the way
to some hidden paradise of dark
where a bug might shelter from the rays
of sunlight, hiding from a hungry lark
in search of food for chicks still safe-ensconced
at home in nests of grass, the cozy haunts
of birds who know their children need such care
and keep them safe and warm before the air
is flapped beneath their enterprising wings
to lift the chick away above the ground
exploring all that’s lost and can be found
from the heights where soon the lark will sing.
Behind the wall the bug has found its home
But in the dusk will dare again to roam.
This is another painting inspired by a visit to a rhododendron garden a month or so ago. It was quite wonderful, colourful, and vibrant. Interestingly, although I decided to leave the bee from my reference photo out, Tom somehow saw it in the painting anyway! Those blooms were certainly inviting to the busy pollinators!
When a bee approaches fecund flowers
along a line so straight and always true
its senses buzz with subtleties and powers
that draw it where sweet blossoms bloom anew
with nectar sweet and pollen rich, inviting
a happy bee to search and find, alighting
upon the petals nearest to the anther,
pirouetting like a tiny dancer
to sweep long hairy legs that catch a load
of all that workers, queens and lazy drones
are craving most within their honeyed homes:
so eagerly she flies the homeward road
leaving far behind the sheltered grove
where blossoms bloom in red and pink and mauve.
It was just a couple of years ago while visiting a garden in England that I saw artichokes growing for the first time. They were so stunningly gorgeous I am surprised it has taken me so long to get around to painting them!
Tom has written another of his delightful poems for this piece both catching and adding to its spirit.
Bright petalled shrapnel growing as grenades
set to explode in bursts of flagrant peacei
geometric blossoms serenade
the eye of the beholder and release
their starburst beauty into garden skies
fireworks ignite and swiftly rise
as buzzing bees explore the purple blooms
drawn now hither by their sweet perfumes.
Life bursting forth from seed to stem to flower
growing great and heavy in the sun
each striving to be second now to none
in fecund glory, beauty, nor in power.
Flowers catching fire are poised to light
The summer world with blossoms bursting bright.
AND NOW …I am so excited (and not a little terrified) to be putting my art out there for the world to see …and buy! This blog will continue as Green Tea Doodles even though over the years – has it really been nine years?! – my focus has shifted from tea and computer doodles to watercolours and oil painting. As I discover and follow my creative path I am happy to have you share that experience with me.
…and I’d LOVE you to visit the website. Here’s the link to hilaryfarmer.com and as well there is a permanent link in the “hamburger menu” at the top of the blog page.
A huge glorious morning glory climbing on my parent’s porch railing …I was feeling like painting just one large bloom and this suited my purposes beautifully. It was curiously striped instead of being solid blue like the “heavenly blue” variety but had its own charm and I had fun playing with the composition and background.
As usual, Tom’s take on the image is beautiful in its own right! He tells me this is a standard sonnet form with a Pushkin rhyme scheme …just because.
Rosette of morning, opening to spring
proudly bearing witness to the fact
that winter’s end is definitely a thing
and summer’s pouring through the cataract
of time as warming days turn into weeks:
over the horizon Solstice peeks
through foliage entangled in the trees
and swayed by gentle summer’s zephyr-breeze.
Each day is met with petals opening wide
to all that hours of sunlight may yet bring
into the fields where climbing vines all cling
to posts and trees with nothing left to hide.
The summer brings us all to bare our all
To dance like flowers knowing not the fall.
After the bold pattern of the last painting, I wanted to try something much more delicate and subtle. Last summer when we were visiting Victoria, we saw some very lush hydrangea bushes near the Empress Hotel. This is a glimpse of that impression.
In Tom’s poem, inspired by the painting, a gentle story grows…
Soft and delicate, ensconced
upon the upper private lawn
of some estate where for the nonce
a deer peeps out and too a fawn
from forests hedging trimmed green space
where creatures wild have had no place
until the recent turn of year
when there have been no people here.
So nature creeps back from the dark
of tangled woods and caverns cold
until the mother deer so bold
leads her offspring on a lark
to nibble on the flowers sweet
and feel long grass beneath their feet.
Here is another small painting very loosely inspired by a William Morris pattern. Love that arts and crafts movement!
Where I see flowers and vegetation, the poet saw something very different!
Drawing in toward shadowed realms
beckoned on in to the depths
swift turning pathways overwhelm
a universe where warp and weft
lay flat upon each other’s weave.
The twist of space undoes the sleeve
of care that’s gripped by time and place
and loose it runs, increasing pace
until its speed exceeds the law
of these benighted lost dimensions
bound by forces in contention
vanishing in wormhole’s maw:
past the barriers of light
beyond the open doors of night.
It is a crazy beautiful time of year for those who like flowers! Here on the west coast, the rhododendrons make a particularly spectacular show. Recently, we had the occasion to be in Bowen Park in Nanaimo where there is an area dedicated to these bushes. It was a riot of color. There was a wedding party there at the same time having photographs taken – I would have been worried about the flowers upstaging the bride! Anyway, this is not the exact scene as I played with the composition but was strongly inspired by that visit. This was a larger piece for me (16×20) – there was just so much to show!
Here is Tom’s lovely poetic response. I learned a new term this week “ekphrastic poetry” which is poetry particularly written in response to a piece of art. I am honoured that Tom has been regularly providing ekphrastic poetry for my art!
Variations on a theme
of colour, light, and forest shade:
rhododendrons by the stream
bloom beneath the sylvan glade
within the garden where the dark
beneath the leaves hides thrush and lark
who dart and flit and hide from view
but pause to sing a song that’s true
while the gentle breezes blow
and bees abuzz from flower to flower
take the sweet and leave the sour
then back to home and hive they go.
This patch of beauty unalloyed
brings to all a touch of joy.