Dear Deer Mouse

Dear Deer Mouse (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Another example of the smaller wildlife around. I have been trying to paint creatures that can be shown about life-size in this format. There always seem to be more possibilities.

Don’t forget if you’re viewing this on your computer that the painting is likely smaller that what you’re seeing. Just 4″ x 4″!

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

The red squirrels we have around where I live now are quite small – not like the fat grey and black squirrels I have seen in various Canadian city parks. These local wild squirrels live a more marginal life, I guess and need to keep eating and on the move away from predators. I admire their tenacity …and they’re cute!

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Autumn Lake

Autumn Lake (12″ x 24″ oil on canvas)

This piece started life as a study for a large commission and then became a painting that I liked in its own right. The feeling of this imagined landscape is of Ontario lake country in the fall. The leaves of the birches have turned gold while the occasional maple splashes red. A barred owl gazes out and the moon is full in the early evening sky.

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

A Knock at the Door

A Knock at the Door (Book written by Tom and illustrated by me!)

I am so pleased to see the second volume of the Inner Islands Trilogy in print! I loved illustrating it and following the adventures of the wonderful characters Tom created. All of the illustrations were drawn in pen and ink with brushed ink washes.

You can order it from Amazon at this link from Canada
From this link from the U.S.
And from this link from the U.K.

Illustrations (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
Written and cover layout (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe

April

April (11″ x 14″ oil on stretched linen)

This one was a commission. I had it mostly done back in March when everything shut down but I did a couple of final tweaks recently and finally got to hand deliver it to the new owner. I was quite pleased with how it turned out – the setting and the dog’s expression were such a pleasure to paint. And I’m happy to say the new owner was delighted. In case you’re wondering, this beloved pup was part (mostly?) Irish wolfhound.

Tom wrote a touching poetic tribute to go with the painting.

There is a dog that moves the hearts of men,
whose soulful eyes see further than our own:
far into realms and regions past the ken
of those of us whose spirits dare not roam
beyond these castle walls of bone and flesh
and into spaces where the angels fly
unhampered by how gears of logic mesh
to make this cold illusion where we die
and are not swept into the heart of God
where our absent friends are joyously
awaiting us. Do not mistake a dog
for one without a soul. At peace and free:
where there is love, there still she is alive
to greet us in the morning as we strive.

image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe

more raccoon and otter ink sketches

20180314-Otter
otter poses

More sketches of animals in ink.

Apparently Otter is quite a character!

Well hello! So glad you’re here!
Isn’t it just grand today?
Never such a thing, my dear,
has been ever seen, I say!
There’s this and that and over there
and look again, go everywhere!
Such a glorious event
so sure to leave a modest dent
in the annals of our time.
Never have so many known
the very best, as I have shown.
To not be here would be a crime!
Now come sit down and have a chat
And tell me what you think of that?

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Raccoon

Raccoon on the other hand is much more concerned with doing the right thing…

Dowsing down upon the beach
some tasty morsel washing clean.
Neglecting it would be a breach
of all that’s good and right, it seems
that often children in these times
don’t care for elder ways, such crimes
against good taste and proper form
leaves me feeling lost, forlorn.
But then I think of my own youth
when I would run around so wild
the older folk seemed tame and mild…
so now it’s my turn, that’s the truth!
And I will keep to custom taught
And honour thus my place and lot.

images (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poems (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

mini-mandala – birds and buds

20180120-birdsnbuds
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

Otter! …ink studies

20180101-Otter-studies
Otter studies

First art of 2018! Here are a couple of drawings of river otters. These are on watercolour paper starting with a fountain pen and finished with a Chinese brush and ink wash. It’s imperative that the ink I am using – carbon black – is quite water resistant otherwise all the details would have been lost.

Tom likes otters too! Here’s his poem celebrating their mischievous character.

As changeable as summer light
when thunderstorms go by
flashing rain and lightning bright
then clearing blue the sky

So is Otter in the sea
and by the river banks,
embracing change in changeless glee
engaging in such pranks

As to cause most mischief for
least effort: that’s the fun!
And when a human comes to roar,
far off has Otter run!

 

20180102-Otter
Otter!

Another otter sketched on rice paper. I like how smug he is!

Tom wrote him his own poem …Otter is quite sure he deserves it!

“If you don’t want me coming ‘board
you shouldn’t leave the hatch
open, unlocked, not dogged down,
just captured by a latch

that will not stop the likes of me
so clever with my feets
from opening up and wandering
around your cotton sheets

that once were free from otter-prints
but now are signed quite well
with muddy water, algae too,
and sorry ’bout the smell!

Yet I’m sure we both agree
’twas worth it in the end:
my joy was mighty, don’t you see,
so thank you, my dear friend!”

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