frozen dawn …oil painting

Posted in art, landscape, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/01/29 by greenteadoodles

frozen dawn (6″ x 8″)

A memory of a winter walk over “the mountain” in Montreal …the squeak of the snow underfoot and air freezing in nostrils… This view from a path in the Parc du Mont-Royal is based on a photo taken recently by a friend – thanks Elena! I love the glow of the sun rising over the St. Laurent in the distance as well as the long shadows in the foreground. I experimented with this small (6×8) painting using thicker brushstrokes of paint to capture the shimmer of light.

Once again, Tom’s words paint the scene into poetry and celebrate the moment.

fire across the winter sky
burning down the frozen hours
rising up above the lie
of snow between the wooden towers
presaging the dance to come
where the world is lost and won
by the shadow and the light
in sweeping depths, abyssal heights
embracing moments on the tide
of light that’s pouring through the trees
stirring an unmoving breeze
along the path where truth abides
between cold past and future tense
moments turning here to hence

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


afterglow …oil painting

Posted in art, landscape, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/01/26 by greenteadoodles

Afterglow (9″x12″)

I really loved how the quality of light and the grandeur of the sky came across with this one. This is a view of English Bay from around Kitsilano Beach. I took some liberties with the colours enhancing them to give the feeling of that glorious sky.

Tom’s poem paints the scene with words.

as above, so too below
waters burnished by the glow
of golden sunset falling down
wreathing islands with a crown
of cloud and light as evening falls
while some distant seagull calls
across the waters calm and deep
where the day in silence sleeps

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

summer memory …oil painting

Posted in art, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/01/24 by greenteadoodles

summer memory (9×12)

While “enjoying” the cold and dark and damp, something that keeps me going is the memory of long summer days …and especially those spent on the water. What a peaceful joy that can be!

I think Tom agrees!

safe within the bay’s deep arms
sheltered from the storms and harms
of weather wild and rough deep seas
crashing somewhere to the lee
against the shores of distant isles
separated by the miles
of empty ocean, scudding wastes
far from here, this sheltered place
where there’s time for pause and rest
until again the sea’s behest
beckons us to raise our sails
and ride the waves in summer gales

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

mini-mandala – birds and buds

Posted in animals, art, drawing, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/01/22 by greenteadoodles

birds and buds

It seems like a long time since I have posted a mandala! I have been much more focused on other types of ink drawings and oil painting recently but I did finish this small (6×6) one. Do you think maybe I am thinking about spring already!

Tom wrote a poem for it full of warmth and energy – just what we need at this time of year!

The spinning vortex of bright spring,
whirligig-ing powers,
to the outer edges flings
the buds of bursting flowers.

Leaves in warming sunlight wave
like flags upon the breeze
snapping sharply on their staves
of branches. In their lea

a titmouse rests in perfect calm
awaiting season’s turn
to bring the summer’s warming balm
and ease the vernal churn.

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

winter light …oil painting

Posted in art, landscape, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/01/19 by greenteadoodles

Winter Light (8″ x 10″)

Another painting from a walk in Stanley Park in later December. The low slanting sun lit up some branches and tree trunks with a bright luminous glow – one of those sights that stays with you. Like the last painting, this one was painted alla prima. I think when the painting is being completed in one session, I put fewer expectations of perfection on myself and the result is freer and more full of life.

Tom was inspired to write a playful poem for the imagined wildlife of this scene.

Burnished branches standing in the dark
of taller trees, so jealous of the light
that warms the winter chill from broken bark,
reminding passers-by of summer’s bright
seductive evenings. Once not long ago
beneath spring skies two squirrels ran about
chittering while running to and fro
each ignoring all the other’s shouts
of joy and anger, frustration and love
until their dance completed in a tangle
in the branches far and high above
wherefrom a tail might be loosely dangled.
Now in the winter’s chill they’re safe and warm
Curled and sleeping far from winter storms.

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


day’s end …oil painting

Posted in art, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2018/01/17 by greenteadoodles
Day's End

Day’s End (8″ x 10″)

A walk in Stanley Park towards the end of December was full of inspiration for me. The low sun gave a special glow to the sky and water. I included some people walking along the seawall give a sense of scale to the piece. Back to a small alla prima piece …so happy!

Tom wrote an especially wonderful poem for this one. It may make you think of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”  but is really very different.

Stopping by Water on a Winter Evening

Winter light on silhouettes,
reflecting pools of evening dark,
standing here without regrets
as the sunset lights a spark
drifting down the cooling air
across the water calm and fair
toward the mystery of the shore:
trees will stand forevermore
upon these mountain slopes so steep
plunging down into the sea
as the future waits for me
in the silence, dark and deep,
for I have miles to go and yet
here I stand, without regret

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

evening koi pond …oil painting

Posted in art, haiku, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/01/15 by greenteadoodles

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