painting study – the poet…

the poet - sketch
the poet – sketch

Time to think about a new painting for my class – even though I won’t have time to complete it before the end of the course next week.
This idea came to me when a friend was describing a painting she had seen. The strong image in my head turned out to be very different from the actual painting and I decided that it would be an interesting project to try to make my image into reality.
This one is called “the poet” but is meant to be an imaginary portrait of Li Bai, one of the most – if not the most – famous Chinese poet. Perhaps he is looking too studious… Anyway, it is not an exercise in historical accuracy!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom perfectly captures the mood of the scene and even a bit of the flavour of Li Bai’s poetry!!

Walnut writing desk
rice-wine close at hand

I look down… wondering.
What name evokes “immortal”

yet completes the poet’s rhyme:
“moon’s reflection cold and white”?

(c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe

(cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer

today’s doodle… uncertainty

not sure what the future will bring…

She does seem very worried about something. I actually started out wanting to do some kind of landscape but this is where the stylus led me! Well, I hope I have that out of my system!

UPDATE: This in from Tom in transit. Poetry from an airport!

Dark horizon
Flash of lightning
Storm abrewing?
Coming dawn?
Future boding
Well or failing
To live up
To promise gone?

(c) 2012 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

Today’s doodle – reconnecting…

reconnecting

Well, that was a much longer break from the blog than I had anticipated! Sometimes you just have to do something different for a while.
Today’s doodle is a quick one to get back at drawing on the computer. I am not completely happy with it but I do like that even though the drawing is very quick, there is a feeling of emotional content implied in the faces…

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

mystic sea-bear…

swimming through the deep…

In which Rothgar, the sea bear, swims on through the depths and Songs of Albion comes to a conclusion.

I have been having some very similar thoughts to those of my writing partner Tom Radcliffe on finishing the last image for this project. We have been at this in one form or another since December 2008. I didn’t believe it until I checked my earliest drawing file. Wow. That’s quite a sustained effort. Of course it was mostly over the last year and a half that I was producing the actual images that we used during this past year – summer solstice 2011 to summer solstice 2012. The image above will be the last one. It’s due to be posted on Friday this week. I don’t exactly think it’s a spoiler – any guesses as to what’s going on?? Good luck! lol

As Tom mentioned when he was finishing up the written part, it’s a bitter-sweet moment… we enjoyed the work, learned a lot and yet it didn’t take off in even a minor way. 😦  Perhaps this was the wrong forum for our genre (something between a graphic novel and an illustrated story). Maybe it will grow wings as an e-book. Maybe it sucks. (We don’t think so – but hey, we’re biased!)

Anyway, for the next while I will be going back to random doodles until I figure out what is next…

à bientôt

UPDATE: Lovely poem from Tom for Rothgar the sea-bear

Rothgar swimming through the deep
where the darkness lurks and peeps
from out behind the quantum veil
hiding Fae who hang a tale
on English wanderers who lost
and won again, now tempest-tost
they set out on the Ocean Stream
to find a world not what it seems!

(c) 2012 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

a mystical moment…

time swirls while standing still…

Tom (Radcliffe) and I are getting very close to the end of our year with Songs of Albion. I will write more about that when I complete the last image – 5 to go! The text is getting harder and harder to imagine into image form – thanks for the challenge Tom!! This moment is one of those when the normal linear experience of time seems to be suspended… anyway, if not clear, I hope at least it’s pretty! lol

UPDATE: New poem from Tom! Thank you 🙂

time’s soft turning inward form
finds two figures lost, forlorn
swept in silence folding in
stretching space in quantum din
expanding possibilities
branching futures forming trees
whose leaves are scattered in the storm
time’s soft turning inward form

Copyright (C) 2012 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

and more helpers…

we’ll just get this loaded up in a jiffy!

I was pretty pleased with how this image for Songs of Albion turned out. I like the feeling of movement in the figures. It also amused me that they are just marching into the water to load up the boat.

UPDATE: New poem from Tom! It may give you some idea of what’s going on… but if you really want to know, read Albion!

Marching down into the ocean
unperturbed by wet or cold
making not the least commotion
bearing quietly their load

to the gig hard by the shore
where all are ferried to the ship
there unloading, stowing, more
until it’s time to turn and skip

back to land and back to village
where the packing’s almost done
without waste or loss or spillage
til the day’s full course is run.

Now the ship is fully burthen
laying low upon the tide
still the breeze begins to freshen
whispering of ocean wide

while the Fae wave from the beach
bidding visitors farewell
overhead the seagulls screech
time and tide the truth will tell

as the ship turns out to sea
sailors rig the canvas high
from their landward shackles free
rejoicing in the ocean sky!

Copyright (C) 2012 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

Villagers team up to help…

linking arms to work together...

Once again advance viewing of an image coming up in the next few weeks for Songs of Albion. Without the story it is not really possible to know exactly what is going on but that’s OK. I am trying at this point to use the illustrations to show vignettes, not the whole picture. For one thing, the whole picture takes way too long to draw and for another, the close up that hints at the whole can be much more interesting. Hope you agree!

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer