I have been working on this painting (off and on) for months. I did post it once before but then after some time went by I decided to add even more layers. The overall photo doesn’t really show it well so I added some detail shots. I really do enjoy this process of building up and scraping away to reveal what’s underneath in places. It started out as a meditation on a friend’s garden I had visited and that is still there, but it dissolved and resolved into something else.
Tom wrote a deeply beautiful poem for this one.
Earth, water, air, and fire combine, combust, conflate, conspire to form the mystery of all things: the solid ground, a ghost that sings of other Edens lost to time and futures flying in their prime toward the secret, never seen. They flit and flutter, twist and lean to glimpse beyond this life’s abyss and catch a moment’s endless bliss.
This one started as a few abstract squiggles and evolved into a memory of a tree from the farm I grew up on. An old gnarled tree, it was really tall for a crabapple. It was gloriously covered in blossoms in the spring and small hard fruit in the fall that my mother made mysteriously delicious jelly from.
Tom’s poem is just perfect for it.
Four-score and ten: my season’s span from summer warmth to winter snows from spring’s first bud to autumn’s fan of drying leaves. My circle’s closed
by blossoms blousing in the breeze which grow to apples in the heat turned hard and tart by fall’s first sneeze then frost like diamonds dusts my feet.
Four-score and ten: my season’s span ’til hence I go where I began.
Painting birds is so joyful for me so I wanted to revisit the varied thrush but this time in oils. This piece was not painted alla prima. I let the first layer dry and then was able to scratch through to some of the bright under-painting where I wanted. Check out near the bird’s claws for example. I was quite pleased with the balance between representing something real and having an abstracted feeling. There is a very free feeling in that colourful background.
Here is Tom’s poem that goes with this painting. He actually wrote this one separately from the painting but it turned out to be perfect for it!
Branches glow like ladder-rungs up, up the trunk in springtime sun: a thrush alights upon the bark, it’s orange breast a joyful spark of colour after winter’s grey that ushers in the brighter days.
OK, this is the third and last bumblebee of this series …but who could blame me? They are so cute and this one even has a heart on its back. I scaled down my brushes a bit to do these but you can clearly see the brush strokes because the painting is so small.
Here is Tom’s poem for this one. I think this bumblebee deserves his nap. 🙂
Not every bee’s a working worker: some like me are known to chill upon a leaf. But I’m no shirker! I just rest when all is still.
I had so much fun painting the last bumblebee that I did another. It’s a challenge to get the fuzziness just so and the transparency of the wings too. Don’t forget how tiny the paintings in this series are – just 4″ x 4″.
Tom’s poem reflects the bustling busy-ness of the bees!
Scurry, shuffle, search and sniff, gather pollen all the day. Circle, flying, catch a whiff of new flowers… On my way!
Another tiny creature for a tiny painting. Hummingbirds are so sweet and we do see them around quite a lot where we live. As we plant more flowering plants in the garden I hope they will spend more time in view instead of speeding off.
Tom wrote this: (I love the hummingbird’s perspective he imagines!)
Precisely feathered, warmed by sun I sit upon a summer twig while in the trees the bumblers hum wishing they were like me: big!