Summer hum

20191006-Summer-hum
Summer hum (11″ x 14″ oil on stretched linen)

The feeling of the warmth and sleepy yet full vitality, of a summer afternoon –  blackberry bushes alive with the sounds of bumblebees stocking up on pollen. This painting was finished just in time for my recent open studio and I was delighted at the reactions. The feeling I was trying to convey definitely made its way from eye to heart. That’s the best thing I, as an artist, can hope to achieve!

Maybe it’s the scale (the bees for example are about double life-sized) but the photo does not convey the feeling of the painting very well. That’s always a bit of a problem but for some reason, with this one there’s a bigger difference.

And here is Tom’s delightful poem which riffs on the notion of “the boys of summer”.

The bees of summer take the field
running ’round the diamond flowers
praying that the day will yield
a bounty worthy of their powers
to seek that sweet-spot in the sun
as from base to base they run
always heading back to home
to swing again and go alone
as fast as ever they can fly
gathering the crowd’s applause
who in winter’s frozen pause
will remember warmer skies.
The bees of summer never cease
while the score may still increase.

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

Sunflower spirals mandala…

20170212-sunflower-spirals
Sunflower Spirals

Has my life been busy!
…and here finally is the water colour finished version of Sunflower Spirals. I still love the bumblebee the best – so here’s a close up. 🙂

20170212-sunflower-spirals-quadrant
Sunflower Spirals detail

I have a few more weeks of intense busy-ness and then the plan is definitely more time for art! 

In the meantime, finding joy in apparently mundane daily tasks as I prepare for big changes in my life!

UPDATE: A delightful new sonnet from Tom for this image!

The solar phoenix burns and is reborn
as a flower turning up its face:
the sympathetic magic of its form
mirroring its namesake yet with grace
that’s all its own, the bright coronal plumes
fluttering upon the summer breeze
while buzzing in the orbit of the bloom
there moves a busy planetary bee
through the knotted pathway at the edge
where spiral seeds meet glowing petals bright
forming up in fields beside a hedge
where summer life is humming true and right.
Beneath blue sky the flower softly turns
Savoring the summer as it yearns

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer

Poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

Interlocking spirals mandala…

20161112-sunflower-mandala-b-w
Fibonacci patterns …sunflower mandala

Here is the latest work in progress. Somehow I got fascinated with how sunflowers pack the in their seeds …took a while to draw but looks cool! …and since I’ve been having so much fun with Celtic knots, there is one wreathing the seeds.

20161112-sunflowermandaladetail
sunflower mandala detail with bumblebee!

Couldn’t resist including a bumblebee. Love these guys!
Once I have added colour, I will post again. 🙂

Tom has already written a delightful poem for this image!

Bumbling ’bout the boundary of the flower
wandering from stamen to another
pistil where the pollen gives its power
to grow into a seed while bees recover
from their tour of each and every blossom
checking for some nectar sweet and good
reveling in beauty bright and awesome
wandering in fragrant neighbourhoods
where knots are tied around the bloomin’ world
binding all diversity together
into arcs where ratios are curled
to pack in seeds no matter what the weather.
Now every bee is pollinating hard
Ensuring future flowers fill the yard.

image (c) 2016 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2016 TJ Radcliffe