crow doodle interlude…

20171107-shore-crow
shore crow

A quick crow doodle. There is something engaging about these highly intelligent birds. Here on the West coast, they have carved out a habitat they share with traditional shore birds such as gulls.

Luckily, Tom likes crows too! I love how he catches what seems just right for the voice of a crow.

I stand amidst the pebbles fine
upon the margin of the brine
reveling in my command
of all who wander on the sand.
Passersby they hesitate
and pause as they perambulate
through their existential state:
I make them think and make them wait!
Then off I dance in slanting breeze
to settle in another place
across the shingle, by the trees
where I strut and prance and pace
for I’m above the common folk
who sleep while I am truly woke.

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

 

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Spring Blossoms…

20160424-Spring-Blossoms
Spring Blossoms fresh from Taiwan…

Long over-due post! Just a quick watercolour to celebrate the warm sunshine. In fact I was doing more oil painting over the winter taking part in an e-course “Dream, Love, Paint” which I highly recommend. I decided not to post the work from the course – more about the process than the result! …and also the set up, images and technique were directly from the teacher so it didn’t seem correct to post them as my work.

Hoping to carve out more time for oil painting soon and post some new works but in the meantime, I’m rediscovering watercolours a bit with an eye on doing some plein aire with them – oils are more challenging in terms of traveling etc even though I love working with them. Watercolours have their own challenges but it’s all OK if one decides to just call the “mistakes””happy accidents” instead! lol

The “Spring Blossoms” painting is inspired by a photo a friend in Taiwan posted on her Facebook page a while ago and gave me permission to work from – thanks Claire!!

UPDATE: New self-described “goofy haiku” from Tom – thanks Tom!!

plump plum petals primp
pleasingly posed performance
pretty petticoats

painting – water colour and ink on paper – (cc) 2016 Hilary Farmer

Poem (c) 2016 Tom Radcliffe

today’s doodles – two versions of a portrait

first try - "too realistic"
first try – “too realistic”

Well my friend Tom (who regularly posts poems on my blog) commissioned a portrait in the style of the crows in the previous post. If I haven’t posted for a while, it’s because it’s taken a while to sort out how I might do that. I have never done even a traditional portrait before so this was quite a challenge! The first try above was not as much in the style as Tom was looking for. I was pleased that it actually had a reasonable likeness but then got back to work!

that's more like it!
that’s more like it!

This version is pretty quirky and I think it captures some of the inner Tom. He seems to like it too!
The poem below was part of the original inspiration for the portrait.

Identity

I am made of rusty steel
and old sun-hardened leather;
flagellating ligaments
of gut and binder twine.
Behold the man:
an awkward compilation
of inadequate exigencies
unversed in protocol.
Analogue approximations
rule my sovereign deviations
while digital domains complete
halting victory’s defeat.
An adequate attempt at love
is all that I desire;
rough and ready, that’s enough,
a poet’s burning lyre.

images (cc) 2015 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) Tom Radcliffe

today’s doodle – two crows…

two crows joy
two crows joy

For some reason, I was thinking during the week that the next bird in the series needed to be a crow. When I started to look for interesting photos for inspiration, I was reminded of the rhyme “one crow sorrow, two crows joy…” and so of course decided to do two crows – more of a challenge too! I actually did a computer doodle on that theme some time ago (2011!). In any case, I found this fabulous photo (scroll down – it’s the eighth photo in their post) and got to work.

This time, I left the drawing strictly black and white with just a bit of pencil shading – which seemed right for the subject. I had originally thought that it would be 3 1/2″x 5″ like the last doodles I posted but the crows took over the page and spilled onto the margin. Once again, inspired by “Zentangle”… I am pretty pleased with the effect.

UPDATE: New poem from Tom just right for the image as usual – thanks Tom!

We’ve gotta stick together, Bud,
upon this cable’s span
clinging ‘gainst the gusty winds
that blow from Autumn’s fan.

I’ll lean on you, you lean on me
we’ll be OK together
no matter what tomorrow brings,
nor even what the weather.

You’re lookin’ slightly hollow there
your wickerwork’s askew
but stick with me and sure as eggs [*]
you know I’ll stick with you.

Then in the Spring we’ll fly away
and build us nests of gold:
fresh straw and twigs, the very best,
for Fortune’s with the bold

and who is bolder than we two
who cling to this thin wire
up in the sky while groundling folk
stand firmly in the mire?

It isn’t always pleasant here
but ain’t the view just fine?
And when you’re famous-rich I’ll say
you was a friend of mine!

poem (c) 2015 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2015 Hilary Farmer

today’s doodles – barn swallows and owl

swallows on a wire
swallows on a wire

Since my last post I have been pretty busy but at least three weeks of that was a busy vacation! That’s the best kind of busy 😀

Last fall, I was playing around with something called “Zentangle”. It was pretty fun but didn’t ever seem me. Last weekend, I decided to try the technique out on something real instead of an abstract form. The swallows above are the result… with a fair amount of “cheating” – that is I didn’t really follow the rules. Anyway, I was fairly happy with the result so I decided to do another this weekend and that is the owl below.

Northern Saw-whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

It is really fun to express the form and even emotion using patterns instead of rendering the birds in a truly realistic way. These are both done with ink on paper and are about 3.5″x5″. After the ink was done, I did some shading with pencil for volume and a hint of colour with water colour pencil. I didn’t use any water on them though because the paper isn’t very thick and would have buckled.

I found the photo of the owl here. It’s small on the page but you can click to make it larger and see where the inspiration came from. I know owls are fierce predators but they are awfully cute too!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom in the comments! Delightful! thanks!!
Swallows

“I’m feeling something abstract here,
upon this strand of wire,
as if the Artist had no fear,
was willing to acquire

a method new, a novel set
of rules to break and bend
with pencil shading, ink of jet–
it seems just slightly zen!”

Owl

“O, I say… do you not see
the pattern weaving deep
within the fabric of the world
where silent truths still sleep?

What a pity, for in truth
there’s beauty undiscovered
by all who see just surfaces
and think they have uncovered

all there is to know and see
through all of space and time
but those who know the pattern’s there
they see the world sublime!”

images (cc) 2015 Hilary J. Farmer

poems (c) 2015 TJ Radcliffe

today’s doodle… more trees

trees
trees

Today’s quick doodle… trees! I must be thinking about the trees I am planning to plant this spring… as soon as the weather permits!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom – lovely! thanks!!

Within a summer evening, dark
beneath a crowded sky,
spreading branches shelter Earth
while silent stars go by.

I take a pause beside the road
to have a moment’s rest
and see a forest in the field,
a copse upon the crest

of a little hill above
still waters of a pond
where a brace of ducklings sleep:
they dream of skies beyond

the ken of mortal men like me,
a lonely passerby
who contemplates the living trees
while silent stars go by.

poem (c) 2014 TJ Radcliffe
image (cc) 2014 Hilary Farmer

today’s doodle… girl’s profile

profile
profile

A quick doodle today that I started a few days ago… playing with texture and colour.

Busy times – not sure when I will get back to a regular schedule.

UPDATE: new poem (possibly silly) from Tom.

Upon a time a boy of wood
became true flesh and bone,
so mayn’t then a girl of glass
turn from hard-as-stone
to supple, fluid, graceful life
with just a hint of truth
of her glassy origins
touching skin so smooth?

poem (c) 2014 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2014 Hilary Farmer