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

Koi memory

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Koi memory (8″ x 10″ oil on gessoed wood cradle)

A memory of koi ponds …in slightly improbable hues. Playing without any references to see what my memory and subconscious would do.

I love Tom’s haiku take on this!

pavement, autumn rain
streetlight patterns dappled bright
fish swimming upstream

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

 

autumn koi …oil painting

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Autumn Koi

This small (8″x 8″ oil on canvas) painting is based on a photo I took a couple of weeks ago at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden here in Vancouver. It was a cloudy day but bright so I took advantage of the afternoon to do a little sight-seeing in my still relatively newly adopted city. The koi quietly swimming by while the willow leaves drifted on the surface of the water was a beautiful moment. It is a very picturesque Chinese garden and so there will likely be more paintings to come from my visit.

Tom’s beautiful haiku also captures the moment.

sky falls on water
dry leaves burn in autumn sun
koi pass by below

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