Experimental! I have tried doing oil painting mandalas before but this is larger and so I could include more detail …maybe too much detail! There is an obvious floral theme but if you look closer, there are birds all around the outside pointing towards the centre.
Tom’s take on this one inspired the title of the piece.
Birds in camouflage abound
within the bride’s high-flung bouquet
tumbling far above the ground
sent in joy upon its way
toward the waiting hands of all
who stand on toes and reach up tall
to grasp the prize of prizes now,
the talisman that tells them how
their turn is next in love. It bursts
asunder with a flock of birds
that spin in brightly coloured herds
above the crowd now in reverse.
Yet she who’s steadfast, true, and bold
still stands to catch the flower’s hold.
Have I mentioned it’s been hot here? I continue to have a rather tropical inspiration permeate my work!
Here is a magical poem from Tom …a riff on T.S. Elliot’s “Usk”.
Do not step and break the branch
where snakes slip soft
on forest floor
bright birds dip beaks but not too deep
of ancient mysteries that dwell
down the Amazon
contains the secret
in grey air
a high safe nest
a serpent’s lair
A bright and tropical feeling piece I painted when it was really too hot to be in the studio! I guess that’s why it turned out like this 😀
Tom saw things and then wrote this magical poem!
Beneath this cloak of many colours
beats a heart of fire and flight
rising up it flits and flutters
through the forest of the night
spreading wings of beauty wild
to soar above the dull and mild
turning past the falcon’s gyre
riding winds of pure desire
across the sunlit lands below
where lakes and streams trace out the ways
of humans passing mundane days
from dawn until the gloaming’s glow.
On flies the phoenix through the air
Above a world all unaware.
I had so much fun painting the first “Crow and blooms” that I decided to do another! An incredible burst of rhododendrons is gracing the neighbourhood so they form the backdrop for this crow.
Tom wrote a curious and thought-provoking poem for this crow!
I think perhaps you have assumed
too much about the world at large
so look upon the blousing blooms
and tell yourself, “I am in charge
of everything I can control
and nothing else: the dice may roll
and come up seven, eight, or two
and with that truth I’ve naught to do.”
But when the dice are finally done
then how I ride the winds of chance
or bide my time upon this branch
will be my choice, for lost or won.
For though the wind blows where it might
I will yet rule my turn of flight.
Painted in spring colours! I saw some of these bushtits – amazingly tiny birds – late last fall and I think they’re back! Spring comes early here in Vancouver and proceeds at a very decorous pace. Not at all what I have been used to in Montreal where it sometimes seems that spring lasts just one day sometime in May and it’s straight on to summer!
Here’s Tom’s freshly written poem!
Sheltered by the leafy swirl
of berries, buds, and blossoms
bushtits bounce and preen and swirl
among the branches. Awesome
ingenuity is there
in their perfect form,
flitting thither, without care
before the world is born
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,
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.
This crow doodle, like the previous one, is based on crows seen while walking by Trout Lake. They were just doing their own thing, ignoring each other …and us. Seems like Tom picked up on that vibe as well. Once again he has captured the moment and the voice of the crows. Hilarious! Love it!!
We hardly seem to talk these days
Our interests have just grown apart
All I do is stand and gaze
Listening to my beating heart
While Cedric searches on the sand
And Walter in the water stands
Remembering his long-gone band
O life how can you be so bland?
For I recall our wayward youth
Swooping through the endless air
Three teenage crows gone on a tear
In search of love and truth.
Now fellows let us rise once more
For life need not be such a bore!
A quick crow doodle. There is something engaging about these highly intelligent birds. Here on the West coast, they have carved out a habitat they share with traditional shore birds such as gulls.
Luckily, Tom likes crows too! I love how he catches what seems just right for the voice of a crow.
I stand amidst the pebbles fine
upon the margin of the brine
reveling in my command
of all who wander on the sand.
Passersby they hesitate
and pause as they perambulate
through their existential state:
I make them think and make them wait!
Then off I dance in slanting breeze
to settle in another place
across the shingle, by the trees
where I strut and prance and pace
for I’m above the common folk
who sleep while I am truly woke.
While I was drawing this one, I was thinking (unseasonably) of swallows gathering grasses for their nests and dreaming of the eggs they would hatch in Spring. What joy as they ascend to the sky!
The poet saw that and more. Check out Tom’s poem – it’s a medieval romance!
A knight’s pavilion in an open field:
swift swallows flit and turn above the bower
where a lady to her knight might yield
perhaps in thanks for rescue from a tower
or simply for the pleasure of the dance.
They move together under silken sheets
by the swallow’s call both are entranced
simmering in liquid summer heat
beholden to no master but the chance
of one true moment, lifting up the veil
and waking from their long romantic trance
as together into truth they sail
knowing there’s no ending to their tale.