Tangled Garden

Tangled Garden (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

Recently I decided to go out locally with a friend plein air painting. We had an idea to go to a nearby farm field and paint the cows in their bucolic setting! Great idea but the farmer had moved the cows and there wasn’t one to be seen. I will spare you the details of how each place we decided to try fell flat for one reason or another. I think we were on our fifth idea – and putting miles on in our search – when my friend suggested calling a friend of hers and going to their garden. Well that turned out to be wonderful! They gave us wine and snacks and I got to paint the last hollyhocks of the season and an enormous bumblebee …a lovely afternoon of painting after all.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Fireweed Bee

Fireweed Bee (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

Another mini painting, this one inspired by my own garden. We have some fireweed growing on one side against a fence. If you’re not familiar, fireweed is pretty, grows very tall and has flowers that come out over several weeks working their way up each stalk. So all kinds of bees have been visiting every day to get the fresh pollen. These plants hum joyously with life for most of the summer.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Bramble Bumble

Bramble Bumble (4″ x 4″ oil; on raised panel)

Continuing to feel the need for a feeling of summer sunshine and warmth. This local tri-colour bumble bee is enjoying the pollen of the blackberry blossoms. Blackberries are a bit controversial here because the (now) most common variety is a non-native invasive species …but sooo delicious. The native wild ones are even better – when I can find them!

image (C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Queen Anne’s Bee

Queen Anne’s Bee (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

While I am working on some larger ongoing pieces, I thought I would continue painting some minis. Sometimes, I need to let the larger paintings sit – to dry a bit before adding more layers but also to let them percolate before I go full steam ahead and obliterate things that I may actually want to keep. I can be impulsive that way. 😉

Anyway, this mini is inspired by a meadow full of wild flowers and humming with bees that I visited while in Ontario this past summer.

image (C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

La Bee en Rose

La Bee en Rose (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

The last in this series of mini paintings celebrating small creatures. Sorry (not sorry) about the title! I find the bilingual pun amusing. 😀

I love sweet fuzzy bumble bees and this one is definitely getting all the pollen from the rose that’s possible. It’s a bit hard to remember the warm sunny weather we were having when I painted this one with the November rain pounding down overhead …but looking at this small painting does bring back that summer feeling.

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms (11″ x 14″ oil on canvas)

Playing with twisting branch shapes and spring blooms, this was done from my imagination. It is a very freeing way to work! …And a bee because then you can smell the apple blossoms and hear the hummmm of activity when looking at the painting.

Here is Tom’s delightful haiku for this piece.

crooked branches trace
stark shapes across winter sky
where bees buzz in spring

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Bumble 3

Bumble 3 (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

OK, this is the third and last bumblebee of this series …but who could blame me? They are so cute and this one even has a heart on its back. I scaled down my brushes a bit to do these but you can clearly see the brush strokes because the painting is so small.

Here is Tom’s poem for this one. I think this bumblebee deserves his nap. 🙂

Not every bee’s a working worker:
some like me are known to chill
upon a leaf. But I’m no shirker!
I just rest when all is still.

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Bumble 2

Bumble 2 (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

I had so much fun painting the last bumblebee that I did another. It’s a challenge to get the fuzziness just so and the transparency of the wings too. Don’t forget how tiny the paintings in this series are – just 4″ x 4″.

Tom’s poem reflects the bustling busy-ness of the bees!

Scurry, shuffle, search and sniff,
gather pollen all the day.
Circle, flying, catch a whiff
of new flowers… On my way!

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe