Dancers (6″ x 12″ watercolour on paper)

Another piece that popped into my head and had to be realized. I thought the face looked a bit like Audrey Hepburn but the image was from my imagination.

Tom wrote a wonderful sonnet to accompany this one. I took the title for the painting from his poem.

Is there a dancer dreaming of the flowers
or a flower dreaming of the dance
waving on the winds that sweep and scour
the stage while all the chorus line’s advance
is checked by stems too short for metre’s travel
and so they bow and shimmy in reverse
before their strict formation can unravel
into a flock of petals, or still worse
inelegant and wobbly razzle-dazzle
unfit for such refined and proper blooms
despite just feeling oh so slightly frazzled
knowing that the end of dancing looms?
For days the flowers dance upon the breeze
bringing all who see them to their knees.

image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe

today’s doodle… dancers


I didn’t start with a particular dance in mind – it just seemed full of movement. Maybe there are tam-tams playing – that seems about right 🙂  a park, and tam-tams… summer’s end…

UPDATE: New summers-end poem from Tom – thanks!!

For we who dance at summer’s end
will sway to beats that pulse and bend
along the geodesic line
toward the equinocal time
where darkness balances the light:
this long day wanes, encroaching night
extends its fingers up the sky
but still we dance, though winter’s nigh!

poem (c) 2013 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer

dancing the night away…


Another quick doodle today – and more experimentation with texture.

UPDATE: New poem from Tom to give a new spin to the image (sorry couldn’t resist!)

Across the ballroom floor they fly
two forms in single motion
binary in unity
prime numbers of devotion:

To dance, each other, and the prize
competing for the judge:
disposer of the accolades
and praise so oft begrudged.

Today they know they’ll win as one;
tomorrow they might lose
but this perfect moment lasts
so long as they both choose.

(c) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

SECOND UPDATE: Another poem from Tom with a very scientific twist (lol) – refer to comments!

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

ready for the ball?

so what's the prince waiting for?

I’m not quite sure if she’s feeling smug or impatient… this was a very quick doodle trying to capture a more elusive type of expression – and you can read into it what you want! … with this rather loose style, it looks a more like Cinderella before the fairy godmother did her bit!

UPDATE: Here’s Tom’s poem – this girl has attitude!

You wanna piece of me? I’m sayin’
this dress won’t mend itself!
So if you wanna dance you’re payin’
or get back on the shelf!
I’ve had enough of little boys
who think they’re big tough men:
they’re still playin’ with their toys,
no cockerel for a hen
who’s got the chops I got, boyo,
you see this body here?
You wanna piece of this? Oh no!
You gotta have no fear!
So step right up and do your best.
I’ll knock you right back down
unless you pass my special test
and give me my own crown!

Copyright (C) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

happy dance…

where did everybody go?

Tom mentioned a while ago that he thought I should draw some elegant terns sometime – so here they are! Let’s see what he sends in as a response – he certainly won’t be able to resist!

I am trying out a new multi-image format. Elegant terns are most expressive in their movement so this seemed the best way to show them – don’t they remind you of a Snoopy happy dance?!

When trying to be expressive with animals I almost always think first of  The Abominable as the model for how it can be done – if you never have, check it out – cute, touching and full of animals!

UPDATE: Just in from Tom in the comments!

Frame 1 (Cue music):

“I’m a dancing tern
Watch and learn…

Frame 2:

“You and I
We can fly
Or swooping on fish we can dive…!”

Frame 3:

Alternative 1:

elegant terns fly
when they realize true joy
lacks all irony

Alternative 2:

shouldn’t have asked her
if she’s ever gotten laid
since she was an egg

(c) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer