Feline kin

20191104-two-cats-demo
Feline kin – 6″ x 12″ oil on raised panel

This started as a demonstration during my October open studio. I pretty much finished it during the studio tour, but it turns out that I really do need most of my focus on a painting while I’m working on it! Lol. Anyway, after a few touch ups, it turned out OK. I even quite like some aspects of it.

Tom wrote a delightfully imaginative poem for these kitties from which I took the painting title.

What do these green eyes contemplate
beyond mere human ken?
Pupils shrink then dilate
to see from here to then…

far into worlds beyond the known
they stare at random points:
the tip of light’s unruly cone
where time is all disjoint.

For cats can look beyond this Earth
and into other realms.
They dream of forests where our worth
is measured by the elms

while other foliage stands by
to weigh its judgment in
and owls swoop past with silent cries
to greet their feline kin.

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

Ying in the Window

20190729-Ying-in-the-window
Ying in the Window (11″ x 14″ oil on linen)

Even though I put the dimensions on the images of the paintings, it is hard to tell on the screen the impact the size has on the art. This one is a bit larger than I have been working recently and so the cat is larger than life-sized. Feeling bold, I used my largest brushes and painted it alla prima in one 3 hour session. The cat is loosely painted but definitely a portrait of a specific cat and the background – an abstraction of the view out the window beyond – has a pleasing Klimt-esque quality. Sometimes, while painting there’s a feeling of ease and “rightness” – this one had that for me.

Another charming poem from Tom for this piece!

A cat upon the windowsill
all done with years of wandering,
at last a place to warmly chill
while contemplating, pondering
the biggest question of her day:
is it best to sit or lay
oneself upon a a window ledge,
or prowl around and haunt the edge
of every room where there might be
a scrap of kibble, or a slice
of bacon dropped by raiding mice
no cat seems ever quite to see?
The choice is hard, but now it’s made
and in the sunshine she is laid!

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

Ying on a blanket – oil painting

20171124-Ying-on-a-blanket
Ying looking cozy (6″x6″ oil on gessoed board)

Ah the challenges of painting black fur! The key is, her fur isn’t really black. There are darker cooler areas in the shadow and warmer highlighted areas in the light – just the relative value of all of it is quite dark. To keep it fun, there is brown, purple, blue, even some red and yellow all in the “black” fur …and as result she fits right in on that plaid blanket.

As you can see from Tom’s poem we understand our cats and love them anyway. 😉

I really don’t believe you see
what matters to a cat like me
is that my every little wish
is met with acquiescence.

I am expecting you will know
just what I want. Now please do go
and bring my dinner of fine fish
for time is of the essence:

if it’s delayed I’ll miss my nap
and we cannot be having that
so serve it quickly on a dish
or face your obsolescence.

But once I’ve eaten I will sleep
and dream and give a quiet “meep”
as I chase butterflies and sheep
through fields of joy’s quintessence!

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

purring cats mandala…

20171107-mini-mandala-4-paintedR
purring cats mandala

What can I say? A playful drawing begged for playful colours! And now the tiny cats are easy to see. UPDATE: See below to really see those kitties!

20171107-mini-mandala-4-painted-detail
Purring cats mandala – now you can see them!

As usual, Tom saw all kinds of things to inspire his whimsical poetry.

Cotton candy clouds of wine
fill so full the valley cups
to the hill’s soft plimsol line
where the downs go to meet up
with the mysteries of the night
which rise while lovers dance in flight
toward completion, whole and right,
on to dawn’s emergence bright
from behind the hollow hills
where white cats lie nestled deep
practicing their purring skills
until they’re perfect, then they sleep
amidst the sun and shade of trees
while lowing herds cross o’re the leas.

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

mini-mandala 4

20171105-mini-mandala-4
mini-mandala 4

Well, I was in a curious and very detailed frame of mind for this one! I think the best part though is likely the 15 tiny cats.

Following this – maybe the oddest yet – mandala, here is Tom’s weird and delightful poem! It makes me giggle every time I read it!

Once upon a wobbly tower
a cat was cuddled in a bower
deep within the greenwood’s dell
where the sunlight softly fell
through the highest canopies
of lollipops and candy trees
down beneath the cotton clouds
where the tramping feet of crowds
can’t disturb the sleep of cats
warm and safe on leafy mats.

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

a portrait of Ming …oil painting

20170420-Ming
Ming contemplates

I decided to try a portrait of one of my cats yesterday and was pleasantly surprised with the resulting painting. I had a lot of fun playing with colour and value and catching that gleam in her eye. 🙂

Tom was inspired to write a poem to go with the painting that captures her personality wonderfully too!

alert intensity looks out
a presence in repose
confidence without a doubt
begat by extra toes

sharp attention to a point
where what is not might be
space and time meet at a joint
that only cats can see

soft Ming is watching worlds role by
and distant future scenes
as upon the chair she lies
content to reign as queen

painting (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

the amaryllis…

Tom's amaryllis
Tom's amaryllis

A friend sent me a photo of his prize amaryllis. Tom does not usually have much luck raising plants. Even saying he doesn’t have a green thumb at all is something of an understatement – which makes this gorgeous amaryllis all the more extraordinary. Actually, I just found out while googling to make sure I was spelling it right that this is not an amaryllis but a hippeastrum commonly and erroneously called amaryllis! Who knew? You’ll have to forgive me for keeping the common name in the title – if it’s what everyone uses, eventually it will be the correct one I suppose…

Anyway, I wanted to do the flower justice but felt it was lacking something on its own so I had a second try and added in Tom’s cat. I’d love to know which you prefer.

Tom's amaryllis with Sheewash the cat
Tom's amaryllis with Sheewash the cat

images (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer