autumn pond…

20171218-autumn-koi-pond
autumn pond

Another painting from my visit to the Sun Yat-sen Garden in Vancouver. This one focused on the lily pads and reflections from the shore and sky.

Tom’s haiku for this one is …just perfect.

another world waits
through the water’s weathered glass
koi pass bare branches

And if you have a taste to see what this garden looks like …and feels like, check out this short film commissioned by the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Garden Society of Vancouver. Tom wrote the screen play and it really captures the place in a special way.

 

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

 

A Fishes’ Tao…

A Fishes' Tao
A Fishes’ Tao

Well, this is the next in the series of my …animandalas. The form is still inspired by mandalas but has evolved to the point where I felt it wanted its own name. 😉 This time images of fish were swimming around my brain and starting from the yin-yang fish at the centre, through the kelp forest out to the flying fish at the edge, so much fun to create!

a quadrant - closeup view
a quadrant – closeup view

By special request, a close-up to show the level of detail.

UPDATE: Poem from Tom! Thanks and yay!

deep within blue ocean’s silent whirl
pools of darkness tidal currents curl
soft black ribbons round unspoken fish
entwined in mind where emptiness meets wish
upon the twinkle in a minow’s eye
while through kelp the seried ranks swim by
and large above the flying fishes leap
undreaming through the air while fast asleep
aware of only surfaces and shiny
scales that sing the music of the world
across tsunami waves that guard the briny
deep within blue ocean’s silent swirl

poem (c) 2016 Tom Radcliffe

image (c) 2016 Hilary Farmer

curious koi and haiku…

curious koi
curious koi

Another in the series from the last post. Tom’s haiku is clearer in this one since fewer layers were added after the text.

opening their eyes
curious koi might enquire
after the abyss

(c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe

It is hard to see this painting well in a photograph since the texture catches the light. Actually, the painting looks very different under different lighting conditions. The detail below was taken later in the day and shows another feeling… more abyss-like!

the abyss
the abyss

Playing with texture but using a similar palette with metallics to make a visual connection with the previous water lily painting.

image (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer
12″x12″mixed media on panel

On another note, you will find a new link – twig and leaf – in my blog roll. Here’s a recent lovely post.

Have a great week!

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

yin yang fish…

yin yang fish

Aren’t they the cutest yin yang fish ever?! There is a significant tradition of using fish shapes to represent the yin yang symbol. Mine is a cute cartoon style version – so happy and cuddly!
I was just doodling and this is what happened – hope you enjoy 🙂

UPDATE: Cute and cuddly poem to match these fish – thanks Tom!!

When two fishies fall in love
they sometimes snuggle up
fin to fin and head to tail
like wine within a cup:

each touching all, conforming close
to contour and to form
smiling all the while: they know
they’ll never be forlorn!

In complementary shapes they make
a perfect pair ideal
their yin and yang in balanced smiles
revealing how they feel.
:-D

Copyright (C) 2012 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

o fishy fish…

just swimmin' around

A recent computer drawing I did trying to achieve a more painterly effect. For some reason I really enjoy creating underwater images even though I don’t scuba dive etc. I have snorkelled (once) and found it fascinating. Perhaps it is time to try that again!

UPDATE: New sonnet from Tom for the fish to swim by…

The blue-green waters fade away to black
Sun’s light above, eternal dark below
The tide in flood will soon be running slack
Until the ebb responds to “to” with “fro”.
Between the light and dark, the flood and ebb
Long kelpen fronds embrace the living sea
Deep in their midst the fishes lurk, the web
of Ocean catches them and sets them free.
They serve no master, make no war or cause
Just swim along through Ocean’s lighted pasture
Tigers of the sea bereft of claws
Riding tides twixt triumph and disaster.
Behold the fish in all its fishy ways
Living life in peaceful sunlit days.

Copyright (C) 2011 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer


two years old!

happy koi

This past week my blog turned two years old! I was in the midst of doing character studies for the new project but here is a little celebratory doodle. One of my most visited posts ever is strangely enough “the meaning of koi” which expounds on said topic – lucky, lucky fish! So I thought they were a suitable doodle topic along with a water lily… just ’cause. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

UPDATE: Celebratory poem from Tom – thanks!!!

Beneath the water-lily’s flower
Lurk the koi in cooling bower
Where the breadth of sun-bathed pads
Shades the fish from all that’s sad

O happy koi in water clear
Bringing luck to all come near
Such subtle spirit-healing power
Gold beneath the purple flower

Copyright (C) 2011 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer

to dream…

floating dream

Here’s a quick doodle in response to Tom’s poem about the dreaming couple… this image immediately came into my head. Dreams of floating with stars and diaphanous fish…

UPDATE:  A lovely poem from Tom which explains (?) the image…

And in this sleep of reason what fish might come
swimming through the waters of the night
while she rides the dark between the stars
blowing on the stellar wind, a kite
strung by her soul down to her lover’s bed
where he dreams base matter as she flies
past shoals of souls awaiting karmic turns
toward the source, the sun, about to rise.

Copyright (C) 2010 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

kelp dreams…

kelp forest... well, glade

More water and creatures… hope you like!

UPDATE: From Tom in the comments a lovely poetic evocation of exactly the feeling I was trying to achieve with the image…

Follow down to twilight dusk
where the fish and kelp-crabs dwell
past the shipwreck’s empty husk
deep beneath the surface swell

Out of airy sunlit waters
down to where the holdfasts cling
where abyssal secret creatures
listen as the mermaids sing

Here beneath the floating fronds
live the denizens of yore
letting slip the surly bonds
protected from the tidal bore

Tangled in the kelpen strands
catching plankton from the flow
that rises up from secret lands
deeper darkness down below

Caught between the day and night
living balanced on the tide
neither of the dark nor light
here they live and here they hide

From the pirate gulls above
from the Krakens of the deep
safe in Ocean’s boundless love
safe within this cloistered keep

Copyright (C) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

tidal pool…

star fish...

This is meant to look like a tidal pool. All kinds of fauna can be in the pools left behind when the tide goes out – in this case a star fish may be perhaps a bit lonely until the tide brings the ocean back and some new fishy friends…

I was trying to get a painterly texture here and I think that part is fairly successful – the pool doesn’t look as wet as I wanted though… practice, practice…

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer