tropical abstract 1

20180724-tropical-abstract-1
Tropical abstract 1 (6″ x 6″)

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.

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

Crow and blooms 2 …oil painting

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Crow and blooms 2 (6″ x 6″)

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.

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

mini-mandala …birds and buds in colour

20180203-birds-and-buds
birds and buds

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

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

 

mini-mandala – birds and buds

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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

the cardinal and the chickadee…

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the cardinal and the chickadee

Holiday greetings! May the peace and joy of the season be yours!

Here is Tom’s adorable poem!

The Cardinal and the Chickadee
were sitting on a branch.

Said the Chickadee to Cardinal,
“It makes me want to blanch
to think that I’ve forgotten
that thing I can’t remember.”

“Do you know,” the Cardinal said
“It’s almost gone December?”

“I know! I know!” said Chickadee,
“Yet still I have forgot
a thing to do with joyous times
and presents that we’ve bought!”

“Perhaps a visit from a bird
all dressed in Santa-red
might jog your brain, you poor old thing,”
was all the Cardinal said.

“Of course! That’s it!” said Chickadee,
then sang a happy song.
“It’s Christmas, yes, it’s Christmastime!
I knew it all along!”

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 TJ Radcliffe

crow interlude – 3…

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three crows…

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!

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 TJ Radcliffe

crow doodle interlude…

20171107-shore-crow
shore crow

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.

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 TJ Radcliffe

 

mini-mandala – 3

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A Swallow’s Dream

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.

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 TJ Radcliffe

 

 

leaf studies enhanced with birds!

Well it has been quite a while. Very busy with work and doing many things but not much painting. So finally getting back to this pair that seemed to be lacking something. I think now that they may actually be finished – just missing the real (not digital)n signature.

female cardinal
female cardinal

I think she’s rather sweet 🙂

male cardinal
male cardinal

… and he just looks cheeky enough.

Picture them facing each other… or back to back if they’re having a bad day!

Cheers and hope to be posting more regularly!

UPDATE: Awesome poem from Tom in the comments to go with these paintings. Thanks!!

Come live with me and be my chick
I’ll bring you nesting-leaf and stick
And we will all the pleasures try
From depth of Earth to height of sky!

If bright colours were good troth
And poetry a law-sworn oath
Then with thee I’d gladly fly
For never would a lover lie.

I’ll help you dodge the long-eared owl
Leaving it to hoot and howl
As we escape through oak and elm
Free from fears that overwhelm.

Brave soldiers wearing red are wont
To praise their courage as the font
Of all that’s good and strong and wise
Yet still too many deal in lies.

I’ll crack hard acorns with my beak
To feed our hatchlings ere they speak
Find you cicadas on the wing
When in August heat they sing.

Bring me leaf and stick for nest
And I’ll count myself well-blessed
To build our castle in the sky
Then with you in pleasure fly!

Poem (c) 2014 Tom Radcliffe

paintings (cc) 2014 Hilary Farmer

 

elegant terns… oil paintings in progress

elegant terns dancing
elegant terns dancing
elegant terns in repose
elegant terns in repose

I have recently started what will likely be a series of paintings of birds – especially shore birds. I love the way they tie sky and water together – and I want to spend some time experimenting with painting water. It is a challenge so far but will improve I trust.

Why the yellow sky? I was inspired by some traditional Japanese screen paintings which use a lot of gold leaf and also the interesting use of colour by more recent artists such as the Fauvists. It is a way of giving myself freedom to play by not being too realistic from the start.

Elegant terns make a great subject because they appear to have so much personality and are particularly dynamic in their movements.

The two above paintings are in different states of completion. The top one has been worked on for three sessions and should be finished the next time I can work on it. The lower one has just been worked on for one session so far. I quite like the soft feeling but at the same time, want to increase the contrast by strengthening the black and white. I will post them again when they are finished if I like how they turn out.

My four year blogiversary was two days ago – it’s been  an interesting process to track my own progress  – and I am still enjoying it!

oil paintings 12″x 12″ (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer