I wanted to explore patterns in a way inspired by William Morris. Lemons with their shapely yellow fruit, graceful leaves and pretty blossoms were a perfect subject to play with. It was a pleasure to spend an afternoon creating this piece.
Tom’s poem puts the piece into a larger context.
Deep falls the sky behind the lemon trees
that grow beneath a blue which England knows
only through the hint of summer breeze
and ships that carry treasure in their holds:
fine fruits from distant lands where tropic suns
beat upon the backs of all who toil
in field and orchard, where the Empire runs
amok amidst the beauty and the spoil.
In fecund seasons endless bounty waits
for those who do not scruple at the cost
of houses overseeing fine estates
where none wander and yet all are lost.
Yet too this England grows a different kind
who will tend her gardens in our time.
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.
An image of the contrast between the recent masses of cherry blossoms and the local crows had popped into my head a couple of weeks ago …so finally I heeded the call and painted this!
I love Tom’s poem that celebrates in words the contrast I expressed in paint!
I guard the colours of the night
amidst the panoply of day
keeping blackness shining bright:
ensuring shades don’t fade or stray.
The brightness of the flowers glows
like jewels within some treasure trove
to complement my perfect cloak
of irridescence, fine, bespoke
from that great Tailor who has made
the blossoms of the summer trees
and also too such beasts as me
whose beauty lies in deeper shades.
I am on wings of wonder borne
dark meteor ‘cross summer’s morn.
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 one was experimental in terms of subject and composition. Starting from a photograph (thanks again Claire!) I manipulated the placement and angles and edited the elements down to what I thought best expressed the feeling I was trying to convey. Happy with that aspect! While the photo was showing blossoms in Taiwan, the blossoming cherry trees here in Vancouver have been a wonderful part of my introduction to living here.
And here is Tom’s sonnet for the painting. Too bad the painting doesn’t have the scent of the actual blossoms – but after reading the poem you’ll think it does! 😉
in the core of springtime dwells the flower
bud upon the long enleafened branch
waiting for the bee to grace her bower
releasing pollen’s fecund avalanche
into the cool clear dewy air of morning
to fall through quiet, wafting on the breeze
life itself on zephyrs now aborning
carrying sweet scents from flowered trees
down the city streets and neighbourhoods
across the boulevards and avenues
crying out the joy of cherrywoods
as just the thing to heal a life askew
Early morning joggers pause and breathe
the gift of springtime from the morning trees
image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe