Tranquility

Tranquility (11″ x 14″ oil on panel)

I spent several days on this one layering up the paint and carving out the shapes …exploring until I felt I had achieved the feeling I was looking for …tranquility. This was done as a commission but with complete free rein in terms of subject and execution. I feel both grateful and humbled to be given this kind of freedom in a commission. The location where it will hang has a spa-like calm feeling so I wanted to build on that with this painting. The yellow waterlilies (or spadderdocks) are reminders for them of canoeing on the Ontario lakes they love.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Twin Beaches – May

Twin Beaches – May (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

I have painted plein air at this location a few times now and every time it’s so different. The level of the water and the direction of flow of the tide …the colour of the water …and the sky, the quality of the light – so much can change by season and by time of day. Of course things are changing even during the time it takes to create a small painting. On this day, the tide was coming in quite quickly but I mostly kept the original water level. I loved the colours in the shallows and on the wet sand.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

The Commons – Waiting to Bloom

The Commons – Waiting to Bloom (8″ x 10″ oil on raised panel)

Back in April, Elsa Bluethner and I gave a workshop on plein air painting at a local festival. It took the form of information sharing especially about approach and equipment and then we each did a demo. Mine looked towards the south showing a pretty gate to a community garden. This spring has been very cool and things are taking a long time to bloom. The small fruit tree in the foreground was just trying to start opening its buds.

Despite the cool grey day, everyone seemed to enjoy the event. I think we may be starting up a plein air club soon …as soon as it finally warms up!

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Degnen Bay Plein Air

Degnen Bay – Cold Spring Afternoon (8″x10″ oil on raised panel)

I went out plein air painting with an artist friend early in April to a protected bay on our coast. Lucky us that’s only about a 15 minute drive. There were a few boats moored here but I decided to focus on the fleeting sky and cloud structure and the effect of that on the water. Especially happy with the sky!

I didn’t want to start another 8×10 but my friend was still painting and had a 6×8 linen panel she was willing to give me to try. So here’s the second painting of the afternoon looking another direction. We were getting rather chilled so I ended up tweaking this one back in the studio.

Degnen Bay – Evening Light (6″ x 8″ oil on linen panel)

Once again, I decided to focus on the natural aspects of the scene – the lengthening shadows and new green of the spring trees while mostly ignoring any man made structures.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Exultation

Exultation (24″x36″ oil on canvas)

Painting a larger piece with the theme of birds in flight seemed natural after creating the smaller ones. The scale of this one allowed much more in terms of setting. The whole thing evolved intuitively as the layers built up. One of the final elements was the bridge crossing a narrow chasm in the foreground. I suddenly realized there was a path to look out over the ridge. That must be some spectacular view! I enjoyed the idea of that other view which here is just hinted at but the main feature is the sky full of birds darting and skimming through the air – the feeling of exultation.

“Exultation” (detail)
“Exultation” (detail)

Time and Tide

Time and Tide (30″ x 30″ oil on canvas)

A larger painting that I will be including in my upcoming featured artist slot in a local gallery. I love the feeling of movement and as well the capturing of a feeling of time. There is a sense of both high and low tide; both morning and evening; transparency and reflections.

Time and Tide (detail upper left)

The shapes of the waves are stylized and rhythmical. The clouds are wind-blown ribbons.

Time and Tide (detail middle)

The shapes of the waves turn into fish…

Time and Tide (detail bottom right)

Hints of sea stars, sea anemones, sea weeds and more…

Time and Tide (detail bottom left)

A gull wonders if it’s time to fly off with the others.

Time and Tide (close up detail bottom middle)

Texture, shape and colour. 🙂

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Twin Beaches – March

Twin Beaches – March (8″x10″ oil on raised panel)

First plein air painting of the year. It was a lovely day to spend an afternoon outdoors painting. For a change I went with another painter friend which was pleasant and interesting. I paint quickly but she paints even faster – very useful when the light keeps changing. She did two paintings the same size as mine in the time I did one – and yes, beautiful work. Check out Elsa Bluethner’s website!

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Evening Murmuration

Evening Murmuration (8″ x 10″ oil on linen panel)

I started with the idea of a murmuration in my mind. The dips and turns of the birds flying together, the rustle of their wings… Later, the colours came telling me it was evening. Birds dart and soar, perhaps snatching the odd insect out the the air before retiring to roost for the night.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Heron Dream

Heron Dream (20″x20″ oil on canvas)

This one is full of the details of life at the ocean’s edge, but it also has the feeling of something allegorical. Although I am not exactly sure I can analyze what the allegory is! The heron – that ancient bird – seems like a sentinel guarding this life. It feels like a sort of ending. An eternal moment frozen.

Heron Dream – detail from the lower left
Heron Dream (detail from the upper left)

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Hidden Path

Hidden Path (8″ x 10″ oil on canvas panel)

A spontaneous piece. I was thinking about the forest around where I live and the ravens here and this is what came about. Perhaps beyond the literal, this path reminds me that although the way forward may be blocked or not clear, taking the next steps can reveal it. The way around or through is just over there.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer