Farm pears

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Farm pears (8″ diameter oil on raised panel)

I painted this one from a photo I took at my parents’ a couple of years ago. They have a few fruit trees and that particular year, the pear trees were obligingly full of fruit – plump and hanging low on the branches.

Perhaps I should change the title to “A Study in Green” from Tom’s playful poem.

A Study in Green

“It is a mystery!” said Holmes
examining a pear
and recollecting weighty tomes
to learn what might be there.

“You see, through looking-glass I see
these fruit so ripe upon their tree
yet when I gaze with mine own eye
I do see nothing! Just blue sky!”

“You have the glass most angled, Holmes,”
good Watson did reply.
They both were lying on the ground
beneath the summer sky

amidst the greenly ripening pears
ignoring all the farmer’s stares
who had hired them to discover
where his wife would meet her lover.

“Oh, I see!” said Holmes at last
and bounced up to his feet
inspecting carefully the grass
still green in summer heat.

“This is the place! I do declare
where the lovers made their lair!
Just look how olive drab the shade
has turned the turf where they have laid!”

“How could you know?” the farmer asked,
and Holmes gave his reply:
“The lover was myself, of course!
And now it’s time to fly!”

Tom added: “The greens of this piece made me immediately think, “A study in green”,
which jumped me to “A Study in Scarlett”, which was the first Sherlock
Holmes novel. :-)”

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

Beacon Hill wildflowers

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Beacon Hill wildflowers (8″ x 10″ oil on raised panel)

A scene from spring in Victoria – the grasses are alive with colour from all kinds of wildflowers while the trees are still bare, waiting for more warmth. Getting all those shades of green is always a challenge and I wanted to hint at the flowers without getting into too much detail.

Tom’s lovely poem perfectly captures that feeling of early spring.

Wet warm showers of April, sweet,
fall between the sprays of light
from the spring-time sun that meets
the rain with promises so bright
they dazzle we who climb the hill
and see the flowers, wild and still
until a gusty breeze ruffs down
their cheery slapdash coloured crowns
and rocks a barren winter oak
whose branches are yet bare and free,
although a tiny bud we see
where the sap has now awoke
beneath blue skies of sun and rain
that bring the world to life again.

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

Evening sky

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Evening sky (8″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

Another painting inspired by this past summer’s trip to Desolation Sound, a beautiful place of infinite variety.

Tom’s poem celebrates the the place, the wildlife and the light …and the experience of being there. (Note that “nightjar” is another name for a nighthawk, an insectivore that darts about in the late evening catching its dinner.)

Clouds that wander high and bright
above the forest of the night
where nightjars nest and eagles fly
beneath the ever-changing sky

over waters cold and deep
where octopi and fishes sleep
and dolphins dance while whales progress
as summer breezes soft caress

the trees and islands, rocks and sea,
where in the cove we are set free
from common care and daily grind,
easing soul and freeing mind

to wander wide and ever bright
beyond the forest of the night
where nightjars nest and eagles fly
beneath the changeless evening sky.

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c0 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Tangled garden

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Tangled garden (11″ x 14″ oil on raised panel)

This chaotic tangle of flowers reminded me of a country garden run wild. There’s just a hint of a fence or a shed and I really like how the blooms dissolve into the sky.

A lovely whimsical poem from Tom for this one.

It’s not just anyone we wear
these bright summer colours for,
but only you, we truly swear,
who’ve come to see us by the door
of this old shack where once there lived
a hermit. He had much to give
but kept it all for only us:
he planted, tended, went to dust.
So now we’re all that still remains
in memory of one whose will
was loneliness and life fulfilled
by solitude and gentle rains.
So only those whose hearts surrender,
to this place may see our splendor.

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

Red blooms

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Red blooms (6″ x 6″ oil on raised panel)

An energetic explosion of colour! These rhododendrons were glowing and backlit in a photo I took last spring. The sun was even shining through the leaves so painting it seemed like a good antidote for the dull grey days of late fall. For this painting I added Cad red to my palette – it really pops.

Tom has written lots of poems for my flower paintings by now. It’s pretty amazing that he continues to see new things and have original ideas about them to work into poems!

The limbs of planets forming
around a birthing star
glowing in the morning
turning with the bar

of dust and gas and light
that keeps the stars in line:
dying, rising, slight
perturbations fine

against a background dark
with empty deathless night.

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

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Ham

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Ham (book cover)
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Ham (front and back covers)

This is a project that has been in the works for some time! Tom who writes all the wonderful poetry for my art on this blog, has written an amazing, amusing, whimsical, touching, medieval, narrative poem! I contributed the cover art – note how Sir Gawain is above it all but his horse is looking askance at the pig! There will be an illustrated version one day too. You can get an idea of the flavour of the poetry by reading the back cover above.

Here are some links where to purchase:
Amazon kindle
Amazon paperback
Amazon Canada kindle
Amazon Canada paperback

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Ham by TJ Radcliffe (c) 2019
cover art (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer

Feline kin

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Feline kin – 6″ x 12″ oil on raised panel

This started as a demonstration during my October open studio. I pretty much finished it during the studio tour, but it turns out that I really do need most of my focus on a painting while I’m working on it! Lol. Anyway, after a few touch ups, it turned out OK. I even quite like some aspects of it.

Tom wrote a delightfully imaginative poem for these kitties from which I took the painting title.

What do these green eyes contemplate
beyond mere human ken?
Pupils shrink then dilate
to see from here to then…

far into worlds beyond the known
they stare at random points:
the tip of light’s unruly cone
where time is all disjoint.

For cats can look beyond this Earth
and into other realms.
They dream of forests where our worth
is measured by the elms

while other foliage stands by
to weigh its judgment in
and owls swoop past with silent cries
to greet their feline kin.

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