wintery anticipation…

what is this white stuff??

A very random doodle today. Actually we’ve been having a very mild fall so far but the weather is supposed to change tomorrow so winter must have been on my mind!

She seems to be in the midst of saying something but I’m not sure what it is…

UPDATE: Just in – a lovely and bilingual approach to the illustration in the for of a Pushkin sonnet no less!

“I love this season’s consumation:
Je ne suis pas un hiver-phobe!
Mais oui, it’s still a small frustration
when the city dons her robe
of downy white; so soft, enchanting,
yet quite enough to set me ranting!
Le métro est en retard!
The slippery streets make driving hard!
But walking is for lower classes,
non pour une ingénue like me
caught adrift on snowy seas
until her handsome hero passes
who will my dreadful stress assuage
And be my knight, mon homme de neige!”
:-)

Copyright (C) 2011 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer

pretty bird…

 

long tailed bird

 

After drawing several creatures of the sea, I thought I might try a few of the sky… This one is a “doctor bird”. I wonder what this little guy is looking so askance at!

I hope you like the new style. I’ve started using a Chinese brush (digital of course) and the effect is quite pleasant I think!

UPDATE: New from Tom in the comments a hilarious poetic response to the image!

It’s awfully high up on this branch!
You too, you too, would look askance
if you’d landed way up here
then realized you have a fear
of heights!

I think that I’ll just take a breath
forget the plunge of certain death
that awaits beneath these things
upon my back: could they be wings?
So light!

Of course! Now I remember what
they are, I am. I just forgot!
Some days I drive myself insane
I’m such a silly goose bird-brain!
Alright!

You see the problem is my tail,
it’s huge and elegant: I sail
through the skies so gracefully
but my brain’s distastefully
a mite!

So now and then I do forget
just who I am or why I’m wet
when I flutter in a bath
but I look gorgeous on the path
of flight!

Copyright (C) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

whoooo…?

whoooo goes there???

I wouldn’t like to give that owl the wrong password!

I was messing around with the filters on my drawing and this is the result. I am not sure that I prefer the effect in general but for this owl it seems to give a nice texture. I removed the texture from the eyes and tongue to keep them glossy looking. (Thanks for the idea my friend!) Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think!

In the meantime, check out this comic from Nedroid… He’s got my training program at the moment beautifully expressed! (Well, minus the hover text – lol)

UPDATE: This just in – new poem from Tom in the comments capturing the essence of owlness…

In every wood there are a few who watch:
the Guardians, who stand before the gates
where forest touches field.

Old Owl is one, sharp-eyed and sharp of beak,
who challenges the night with screeching calls,
stands firm and will not yield.

The secrets of the trees are safe and sound
while Owl watches all that moves below
her high arboreal lair.

Then she takes wing and falls in silent flight
across the dusky sky to dawn patrol
the Portals of the Air.

Copyright (C) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

ANOTHER UPDATE: Do check the comments if you think you might be amused by another poem from Tom – this one in comic free verse form… I think it’s just been invented…

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

Issa’s cat dines out – part 3…

catch of the day
catch of the day

Caught red-pawed!

Issa’s cat is caught!
But a cat may look a king
right in the eye.

Poetry thanks again to Tom Radcliffe in the comments! There is also an interesting commentary there if you want to check it out.

On another note, you can see the adventures of quite a different sort of animal when a camel gets feisty with a bucket on cute overload. It’s pretty amusing – don’t forget the hover text is more than half the fun!

This sequence now available en français on Le 12!

Image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

Issa’s cat dines out… part 1

"all good things..."
"good things come..."

There can be some distractions on the road looking for love… and Issa’s cat is fairly easily distracted.
The scent of fish is strong near the cafe by the wharf and a cat could score a fine dinner if his timing is right! Just waiting for the perfect opportunity to get something a bit tastier than fishbones…

A fragrant fish
piques that most feline feature:
curiosity!

A new haiku to accompany the image thanks to Tom Radcliffe in the comments!

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

another character study…

what could he possibly be thinking about?
what could he possibly be thinking about?

I am still thinking about the webcomic and the characters that need to be developed for it. Here is another glimpse.

For a look at how it’s really done, check out this link to one of my favourites as his cute and fuzzy cast takes another visit to the theatre – always good for a laugh! http://www.abominable.cc/2009/05/20/a-deal-with-the-devil/

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

Bodhidharma…

Damo meditates with a cup a tea
DaMo meditates with a cup a tea

Bodhidharma, also known as DaMo in Chinese, is famous for many things. Born in India around the year 440, he converted to Buddhism and traveled to China where he is credited with introducing Zen Buddhism (called Chan in Chinese). According to tradition, he spent much time at the Shaolin Temple establishing the famed martial arts practiced there and also managing to meditate in a cave for 9 years.

During his years of meditation, he fell asleep (once!) and in his determination to keep it from happening again, he cut off his eyelids. Where his eyelids fell, the first tea plants sprang up to help him (and all the rest of us lesser mortals) stay awake while enjoying the pleasures of tea at the same time. (Well, the pleasure part isn’t mentioned in the histories.) This explains why representations of Bodhidharma always show him with bulging, lidless eyes.

Other ways of telling that a painting you’re looking at is of DaMo is that he is either crossing a river on a hollow reed (how he was said to have crossed the Yangtze), sitting in meditation in a cave and usually facing a wall, or often, with one shoe on a stick over his shoulder. The story goes that some time after DaMo’s death, an official said that he had met him in the mountains heading back west and saying that he was returning to India. He was carrying a staff on which hung a single sandal. The monks back at the temple got curious and decided to open up the tomb. They found just one sandal inside.

Much of this content is common lore regarding DaMo/Bodhidharma but a lot of information can be found in the preface to The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma translated by Red Pine.

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

as lakewater rises into mist…

misty lake
misty lake

I was thinking about this poem as I created this image. It’s one of my favourite Rumi poems translated by Coleman Barks. It’s in a little volume I have, called The Glance.

The singer sings about love, until
the Friend appears in the doorway.

Kitchen smoke drifts up into clouds
and becomes a thousand-year-old wine.

I am here, not reckoning the credit
accumulated or future speculation.

I am the vineyard and the barrel
where the grapes are crushed, the

entire operation, whose transaction
pours this glass of wine, this moment,

this poem. A man stumbles by with
baggage, papers from the house, regret

and wishing, not knowing which to
tend to. Neither. After you see

the face, concerns change, as
lakewater rises into mist.

(If you click on the picture, you can see it larger.)

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer