Starting with a poppy in the centre of this mandala seemed in tune with this time of year. Poppies and remembering.
Life is rather unsettled at the moment so it may be a while before I watercolour this. I wanted to share the black and white version anyway – since black and white also seems in tune with November.
Tom’s stirring poem:
Storm winds blow the scattered leaves of autumn
through the empty air, across the fields,
into ditches, craters, holes, and trenches
where a sniper aims for lost ideals:
service, duty, glory, resolution,
patriotic feeling, good and right,
huddled in the rank’s malign confusion
readying to rise and charge and strike.
The minutes tick around the face of time
measuring the heartbeats of the dead
breathing in the shadows, asking why
the blood of men so innocent is shed
for empire and for nation and for fear,
when all who seem so far are truly near.
In memory of Private George Lawrence Price, the last Canadian to die in WWI, two minutes before the Armistice:
For the next few weeks there will be less (or no) oil paintings and more watercolour or ink pieces. We are moving soon and the idea of trying to move wet oil paintings makes me cringe. Anyway, it is great to have other, quicker drying media that are also fun!
Dancing patterns of leaves fascinate me at this time of year and the colour play can be subtle or bold making for potentially endless variety. It’s very freeing because basically, all decisions work out looking good!
I always love Tom’s poems but this one is especially wonderful, I think.
Stems of autumn, soft decay
permeates their fallen leaves
yet still some beauty, green and grey,
falls between their stalks and sleeves
as season’s cycle yearns and turns
autumnal colours flare and burn
to scent the air with voiceless smoke
that rises from the forest’s coke
within the loam’s dark furnace hot
where summer crumbles into coals
and for the days of warmth there tolls
a curfew’s bell of iron wrought.
Falling figures through still air
dance for all that may be there.
This was a day when everything felt easy. Other times you need to struggle through the process but days like this are a joy.
…and here is a wonderful poem from Tom to go with this painting.
fractured crystal of the sky
scattering the evening light
as the darkness drawing nigh
ushers in the quiet night
to cloak world in winter cold
as lonely souls each other hold
and round the fire a tale is told
of bygone heroes, brave and bold
until the teller silent falls
and voices rise in ancient song
praying winter won’t be long
as the restless crows each call
while the stars come out in pairs
between the angled branches bare
Maybe not the very last of the season but with just a few in the box, it seemed like a good title. Juicy and sweet, they have to be eaten carefully …or with abandon, letting the juice run down your chin and arms!
The glowing purple-red of the plums contrasts with the dull green cardboard box.
More of the season’s bounty – delicious “prune plums”. Ever since I learned that prune is the French for plum, this name has seemed curiously redundant. 🙂 I believe these are the type of plums that are dried into prunes hence the logic of the name in English but they were delicious fresh!
As usual, this was painted alla prima (in one quick session). The background green-ish yellow colour was chosen as complimentary to the plums.
Find joy in the simple things and may the day bring you contentment!
Third in the series with Bartlett pears this time – a lovely green with subtle warm tones hinting towards red and yellow. The ribbed blue bowl added a fun counterpoint to the organic pear forms. The background contains the complimentary colours of the subject. This 6″x 6″ oil on gessoed board was painted alla prima and as with all three “pair of pears”, painted entirely with a #10 flat brush.
May the simple things in life bring you joy and contentment!
Continuing the autumnal harvest theme with more pears – this time red Anjou pears. Such a gorgeous colour! The painting came together with the complementary green(ish) colour of the background and some hints of green in the pears.
Once again, alla prima fun – oil paint on 6″ x 6″ gessoed board.