pink rhododendrons …oil painting

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pink rhododendrons (6″ x 6″)

This is another painting inspired by a visit to a rhododendron garden a month or so ago. It was quite wonderful, colourful, and vibrant. Interestingly, although I decided to leave the bee from my reference photo out, Tom somehow saw it in the painting anyway! Those blooms were certainly inviting to the busy pollinators!

When a bee approaches fecund flowers
along a line so straight and always true
its senses buzz with subtleties and powers
that draw it where sweet blossoms bloom anew
with nectar sweet and pollen rich, inviting
a happy bee to search and find, alighting
upon the petals nearest to the anther,
pirouetting like a tiny dancer
to sweep long hairy legs that catch a load
of all that workers, queens and lazy drones
are craving most within their honeyed homes:
so eagerly she flies the homeward road
leaving far behind the sheltered grove
where blossoms bloom in red and pink and mauve.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

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Morning glory …oil painting

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Morning glory (6″ x 6″)

A huge glorious morning glory climbing on my parent’s porch railing …I was feeling like painting just one large bloom and this suited my purposes beautifully. It was curiously striped instead of being solid blue like the “heavenly blue” variety but had its own charm and I had fun playing with the composition and background.

As usual, Tom’s take on the image is beautiful in its own right! He tells me this is a standard sonnet form with a Pushkin rhyme scheme …just because.

Rosette of morning, opening to spring
proudly bearing witness to the fact
that winter’s end is definitely a thing
and summer’s pouring through the cataract
of time as warming days turn into weeks:
over the horizon Solstice peeks
through foliage entangled in the trees
and swayed by gentle summer’s zephyr-breeze.
Each day is met with petals opening wide
to all that hours of sunlight may yet bring
into the fields where climbing vines all cling
to posts and trees with nothing left to hide.
The summer brings us all to bare our all
To dance like flowers knowing not the fall.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

Hydrangeas …oil painting

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Hydrangeas (6″ x 6″)

After the bold pattern of the last painting, I wanted to try something much more delicate and subtle. Last summer when we were visiting Victoria, we saw some very lush hydrangea bushes near the Empress Hotel. This is a glimpse of that impression.

In Tom’s poem, inspired by the painting, a gentle story grows…

Soft and delicate, ensconced
upon the upper private lawn
of some estate where for the nonce
a deer peeps out and too a fawn
from forests hedging trimmed green space
where creatures wild have had no place
until the recent turn of year
when there have been no people here.
So nature creeps back from the dark
of tangled woods and caverns cold
until the mother deer so bold
leads her offspring on a lark
to nibble on the flowers sweet
and feel long grass beneath their feet.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

Botanical swirl …oil painting

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Botanical swirl (6″ x 6″)

Here is another small painting very loosely inspired by a William Morris pattern. Love that arts and crafts movement!

Where I see flowers and vegetation, the poet saw something very different!

Drawing in toward shadowed realms
beckoned on in to the depths
swift turning pathways overwhelm
a universe where warp and weft
lay flat upon each other’s weave.
The twist of space undoes the sleeve
of care that’s gripped by time and place
and loose it runs, increasing pace
until its speed exceeds the law
of these benighted lost dimensions
bound by forces in contention
vanishing in wormhole’s maw:
past the barriers of light
beyond the open doors of night.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

Rhododendron garden …oil painting

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Rhododendron garden (16″ x 20″)

It is a crazy beautiful time of year for those who like flowers! Here on the west coast, the rhododendrons make a particularly spectacular show. Recently, we had the occasion to be in Bowen Park in Nanaimo where there is an area dedicated to these bushes. It was a riot of color. There was a wedding party there at the same time having photographs taken – I would have been worried about the flowers upstaging the bride! Anyway, this is not the exact scene as I played with the composition but was strongly inspired by that visit. This was a larger piece for me (16×20) – there was just so much to show!

Here is Tom’s lovely poetic response. I learned a new term this week “ekphrastic poetry” which is poetry particularly written in response to a piece of art. I am honoured that Tom has been regularly providing ekphrastic poetry for my art!

Variations on a theme
of colour, light, and forest shade:
rhododendrons by the stream
bloom beneath the sylvan glade
within the garden where the dark
beneath the leaves hides thrush and lark
who dart and flit and hide from view
but pause to sing a song that’s true
while the gentle breezes blow
and bees abuzz from flower to flower
take the sweet and leave the sour
then back to home and hive they go.
This patch of beauty unalloyed
brings to all a touch of joy.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

Happy daisy day …oil painting

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Happy daisy day (6″ x 6″)

Not sure why but today was a daisy day! They just make you smile, don’t they? Well me anyway! The paint was dancing on my brush …and so the daisies were dancing too.

And the daisies are dancing in Tom’s joyful poem!

Daisies dancing in the spring
conjuring the summertime
around the fields they leap and fling
themselves against the walls of rhyme
until their song of summer breaks
into a wild ecstatic shake
of petals drawing magic near
from out the sky so blue and clear
into long twilight where there dwells
more beauty than the world can hold
still the dance so long and bold
carries on until the knell
of day at last brings summer sleep
and rest before tomorrow’s leaps.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

 

 

Tulips and spirals …oil painting

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Tulips and spirals (6″ x 6″)

I guess I’ve had spirals on my mind lately and this is how they expressed themselves this time! The tulips are the feathery double-petaled type and so look like pink and yellow roses.

Tom wrote this gorgeous poem. I guess he saw roses too!

Beneath the bending swirls of sky
the roses blouse in bending breeze
while the universe goes by
in a silent twirling frieze
of galaxies linked by the tides
of gravity while Earth abides
alone in all the cosmic splendor
and yet unwilling to surrender
to the cold equations of
the empty sky and sterile stars
that twinkle brightly from afar
knowing neither loss nor love.
Beneath the stars in careless flight
Flowers grow against the night

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe