Arranging flowers

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Arranging flowers (11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas)

I have been playing more with acrylics lately than I have for a long time. Feeling experimental! This peonies in a vase composition was painted from my imagination using lots of layering, mark-making and impasto – another piece that felt very freeing.

Tom’s haiku is a perfect accompaniment!

cut blossom glass vase
petals falling in the sun
lazy summer morn

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

Tulips

20200501-Tulips
Tulips (20″x 20″) oil on canvas

This larger tulip painting doesn’t look much like the study posted previously but I think they each have different things going for them. I especially enjoy the undulating leaves in the foreground in this one.

Here is Tom’s haiku written for this painting. As he said – “Small poem for a large painting! They seem innocent and open, but the wood behind…”

pink, red, open, closed…
tulip blossoms greet spring sun
keeping no secrets

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

Winter ditch

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Winter ditch (8″ x 10″ oil on raised panel)

Maybe it comes from my days working in architecture, but I enjoy looking at things in “plan view” (straight down). And recently, the beauty of the minutia we usually ignore right at our feet is drawing me in. There is so much life and colour there, once I stop to really look. The summers here get quite warm and very dry so I’m enjoying the rain and wet …well most of the time!

Here’s Tom’s haiku to go with this painting. 🙂

living rill feeds green
ripe grasses catching sunlight
ditch runs with spring rain

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

Winter bouquet

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Winter bouquet (16″x 20″ oil on canvas)

 

When I bought this bouquet, it had other colours of flowers in it as well, but I just felt like trying something more monochrome. Pretty pleased with how this turned out. Even though it’s quite a bit larger than I have been painting, I got the painting laid out and largely developed in one session and finished it up in another while the oil paint was still nice and moveable. So not quite alla prima but close.

Once again, Tom has found something profound to say about my painting – this time in haiku form.

bright white cut flowers
cut glass vase catches sunlight
mourners murmur grief

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

Flower of spring

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Flower of spring (11″ x 14″ oil on raised panel)

I painted this towards the end of summer. The image of these early blue spring flowers had stayed in the back of my mind for months and so I finally got around to painting them. Commonly called blue squill, they are most beautiful as a grouping …like stars scattered in the grass.

Tom’s haiku celebrates their (possible) origin.

fine flower of spring
dreams of far Siberia
beneath warmer suns

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Rose fantasy …oil painting

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Rose fantasy (6″ x 6″)

Like the previous painting, this one was a product of my imagination. I was focused on pattern and tone but after setting up the overall composition, this was a rare (for me) case of the painting telling me what it needed. A wonderfully joyful process!

Tom wrote a haiku to accompany this one. As usual, it feels just right for the piece!

bold rising colours
complex swift simplicities
evoke the rose

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

 

thinking spring …oil painting

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thinking Spring (6″ x 6″)

After the chill in the air from the precious painting, I was in the mood for something evoking warmer times ahead! This piece is based on a photo from a friend in Taiwan – thanks Claire! – but the flowers look a lot like local azaleas.

Here is a haiku from Tom!

drowsy azaleas
buds dreaming of pink flowers
amidst dark green leaves

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

evening koi pond …oil painting

Autumn-Dance
Evening Koi Pond (20″ x 20″)

I decided to paint a larger work using the earlier small koi pond paintings as inspiration. As the size of a painting increases, the challenges can become exponentially greater. When paint starts drying, my usual alla prima techniques won’t work and it can be a struggle to keep the brushwork loose and fresh. Still, I hope I captured the feeling of the cool autumn evening watching the drifting willow leaves and lazily swimming fish.
Next time, I will try for the same feeling with a greater economy of brushstrokes!

Here is Tom’s haiku – he always uses just the right number of words 🙂

crooked branches bend
koi following time’s long curve
down straight water paths

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

 

autumn pond…

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autumn pond

Another painting from my visit to the Sun Yat-sen Garden in Vancouver. This one focused on the lily pads and reflections from the shore and sky.

Tom’s haiku for this one is …just perfect.

another world waits
through the water’s weathered glass
koi pass bare branches

And if you have a taste to see what this garden looks like …and feels like, check out this short film commissioned by the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Garden Society of Vancouver. Tom wrote the screen play and it really captures the place in a special way.

 

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