Ying in the Window

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Ying in the Window (11″ x 14″ oil on linen)

Even though I put the dimensions on the images of the paintings, it is hard to tell on the screen the impact the size has on the art. This one is a bit larger than I have been working recently and so the cat is larger than life-sized. Feeling bold, I used my largest brushes and painted it alla prima in one 3 hour session. The cat is loosely painted but definitely a portrait of a specific cat and the background – an abstraction of the view out the window beyond – has a pleasing Klimt-esque quality. Sometimes, while painting there’s a feeling of ease and “rightness” – this one had that for me.

Another charming poem from Tom for this piece!

A cat upon the windowsill
all done with years of wandering,
at last a place to warmly chill
while contemplating, pondering
the biggest question of her day:
is it best to sit or lay
oneself upon a a window ledge,
or prowl around and haunt the edge
of every room where there might be
a scrap of kibble, or a slice
of bacon dropped by raiding mice
no cat seems ever quite to see?
The choice is hard, but now it’s made
and in the sunshine she is laid!

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

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Self-portrait

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Self-portrait (12″x12″ oil on gessoed panel)

Well, it was time to try a self-portrait. There is a likeness and I had fun painting it so as an experiment, I am happy. Maybe I didn’t need to use every colour though – the background is extremely exuberant! 😀

Tom’s poem – written as usual on seeing the painting – surpassed it, turning out more beautiful than the painting. This is another poem that makes me want to follow up with a new painting!

A face to wake to in the morning
rising with the brimming dawn
where adventures are aborning
anywhere that light has shone.
Wryly watching all the beauty,
never shirking artist’s duty,
capturing the world’s strange ways
of being through the summer days.
She paints the beauty of the night,
nor to gaudy day denies
the magic of her loving eyes:
all the world, so clear and bright.
Those eyes that see me in the day
And in the night while firelight plays.

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

Bluebells

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Bluebells (8″ x 8″ oil on gessoed wood cradle)

This one was pure joy to create. I started with the idea of campanula – a flower also know as harebell and bluebell. They are so pretty and dainty. After a couple of sketches, I started applying the transparent layer of oil paints to my smooth gessoed surface. A pattern (similar to but not exactly like the sketches) evolved and continued evolving as I started applying opaque colour. I quite enjoy the way the pattern looks a bit like stained glass.

As usual, Tom has matched his words to the painting catching the mood perfectly!

Bluebells ringing in the sun
calling out now each to each
“Here is summer! Ain’t this fun!
Let’s go dancing on the beach!
Or rocking in this open field
where the music is concealed
within the sound of birds and bees
chirping, buzzing, through the trees
while we toss our joyous heads
and passing breezes ripple through.
Come let’s dance, just me and you!
All your cares and fears be shed!”
For though they are firm-fixed in place
Their dance is full of joy and grace.

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

Happy daisy day …oil painting

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Happy daisy day (6″ x 6″)

Not sure why but today was a daisy day! They just make you smile, don’t they? Well me anyway! The paint was dancing on my brush …and so the daisies were dancing too.

And the daisies are dancing in Tom’s joyful poem!

Daisies dancing in the spring
conjuring the summertime
around the fields they leap and fling
themselves against the walls of rhyme
until their song of summer breaks
into a wild ecstatic shake
of petals drawing magic near
from out the sky so blue and clear
into long twilight where there dwells
more beauty than the world can hold
still the dance so long and bold
carries on until the knell
of day at last brings summer sleep
and rest before tomorrow’s leaps.

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

 

 

rhododendrons …oil painting

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rhododendrons (6″ x 6″)

Another in my growing series of small oil paintings of flowers. This one was inspired by pictures I took last year about this time of local flowering bushes. They looked pretty exotic to me with their shiny year round foliage and plump, juicy blooms. I am starting to get used to the different flora here but it still seems a bit strange that it’s now the beginning of spring both on the calendar and for the flowers!

Tom wrote a wonderful poem for this one!

Scarlet dresses sweep and dance
through their brief and heady turn
around the ballroom. They advance
from bud to blossom as they burn
with the blooming life of spring
careless of what summer brings.
For now the moment is their all:
to live as if no Autumn’s fall
will ever mute their colours bright.
Today they reign as princesses
whose beauty n’er diminishes
in the face of time’s swift flight.
Their glow will light all future ways
However short may be their days.

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

day’s end …oil painting

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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