Market apples

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Market apples (8″ x 10″ oil on raised gessoed panel)

Everything at the market is so inspiring at this time of year! I deliberately chose the apples that still had some leaves attached – partly because then I can tell that the apples are really fresh …but mostly because I like to paint the leaves. The wooden bowl I put the apples in has an oval shape – the view is pretty much looking straight down. I painted this alla prima and had lots of fun playing with colour as usual.

Tom wrote a nostalgic feeling poem for this one.

Early mornings on the way to school
in crisp September under shifting skies
I’d pick an apple, hard and tart and cool:
a burst of flavour telling me no lies,
just flooding all my senses with its taste
and texture, scent, and colour, then the crack
of every bite in autumn silence. Haste
devoured it to the core. No looking back
upon a lonely childhood would be fair
without those moments pure and full, delight
in what the world might be, what’s waiting there
for anyone who reaches for a height.
Apples gave us knowledge, so it’s told
Apples gave me beauty, bright and bold.

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

Apple three ways

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Apple three ways (8″ x 18″ oil on canvas)

I was recently playing around with some impressionist painting techniques. I used as a starting point a fun youtube video by Ann Feldman. She illustrates six techniques so I picked and blended and generally had fun with it. It was good to reinforce some lessons I don’t always think about while I’m painting …or maybe it was more that I was being deliberate and more intentional about how I used the techniques. In any case, a fun and educational afternoon!

Tom found inspiration in the painting for another of his amazing and fresh poems!

Apple is as apple does:
the eye of the beholder
adds a wisp of artist-love
and brings to life a bolder

vision of what might be real
behind perception’s veil
seeing deeply what we feel
as mere awareness fails

to grasp the essence of the world
in all its mystery hidden
delving down as we are hurled
past barriers forbidden

into the aspects, affine, strange
that move upon the surface
hinting at a deeper range
revealing higher purpose.

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

Apples on a pedestal …oil painting

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Apples on a pedestal (9″ x 12″)

More apples. This time there was more space to breathe around the subject and the footed bowl and background became an important part of the composition. The colours and pattern of the background looked good in my minds eye and were a pleasure to paint. The piece came together really smoothly.

Tom’s poem approaches the subject from another viewpoint compared to the previous apple poem …another kind of knowledge. Once again it seems just right for the painting!

Upon a pedestal ensconced
above a blue tabula rasa
just waiting for some renaissance
artiste, who from forbidden Lhasa,
high in Himalayan climes,
has walked the paths and learned the rhymes
of gurus old and lamas young
until she knows what’s wrought or wrung
from patterns cast upon the wall
of Plato’s cave are hardly all
that we can know when truth is sung:
for the artist sees the deep
where hidden knowledge lurks and leaps.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer

poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

Joy’s apples …oil painting

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Joy’s apples (6″x6″)

Sometimes, the paint and the brush and the moment all come together …a joyful afternoon of painting!

Tom’s poem takes an interesting turn – a meditation on the role of apples in the enlightenment? I love it!

These golden apples in the sun
fallen from the rooted branch
by the force of Newton spun
into a tale, an avalanche
of strange insight to the world
while through vasty depths we’re hurled
by gravity, momentum too
lifted up by mighty thews
of mystery: the apple’s fall
set in motion worlds and more
dancing ‘cross the spinning floor
led by giants, standing tall.
An apple drops in autumn light
and banishes the endless night.

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