Fine feathers

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Fine feathers mandala (9″ x 9″ ink and watercolour)

If peacocks made snowflakes, maybe they’d look like this… I was thinking about the mandala calendar for this year and thoughts of winter months inspired this one.

I love the poem Tom wrote for this. It’s all festive swirl and glitter with hidden depths. Tom says: This one has a (very) little of James Joyce’s famous short story “The Dead” in it, which is often touted as the greatest in the English language, although I’d put Kipling’s “The Gardener” up against it. Here’s a link for those who (like me) haven’t read this yet or would like a refresher. http://www.online-literature.com/james_joyce/958/

Kaleidoscopes of winter snow
fall across the icy sky
upon the ladies as they go
to Christmas soirees, “By the by,
I must admit I love that shawl,
with orchids, stars, a forest tall,
it looks so warm and cozy-soft,
like otters snuggled in a croft
beneath a landscape, frozen, cold
where carolers sing songs of joy
their voices by the stillness buoyed
up to the sky’s wide peaceful fold
as stars look down upon our lives:
like blowing snow we swirl and rise.”

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

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Flower fey mandala

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Flower fey mandala (9″ x 9″ ink and watercolour)

The inspiration for mandalas is still strong! I am enjoying sitting (and spending hours and hours) to draw and paint these! Completing the ink work is the longest phase because there is so much detail and then even more fun – deciding on the colour palette to really bring the image alive. Joyful. As usual, this one evolved as I went along. I did not expect the faces until they appeared!

Tom’s poem goes magically along with the image.

Adrift upon a sea of flowers
dreaming softly side by side
turning through this night of ours
as dusk to dawn we gently glide
from face to face within our dreams
trying on each one that seems
to fit the moment or the place
it vanishes without a trace
into the mystery at the centre
where a deeper beauty grows
beneath a lotus, not a rose:
a door where starlight yearns to enter
as we move on to other hours
snuggled here among the flowers.

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

 

ink landscape

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ink landscape (9″ x 10″)

I did this a few months ago messing around with new ink and various brush techniques – an experimental piece. Recently Tom caught sight of it in my sketch book, got inspired and wrote this delightful poem!

I really rather like it here
upon this little hill
Nothing much is far or near
the air is warm and still

This lovely tree casts shade for me
the view is just sublime
A place to contemplate and see
there is no truth but time

Its passage measures all the ways
we learn, forget, and change
Marking out our years and days
which always seems quite strange

For we have only just enough
to do what we must do
So fill it well with love and stuff
and contemplate what’s true.

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

garden of delight …mandala

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garden of delight (9″ x 9″)

I sat down and started doodling in watercolour a few days ago. Usually, I start with the ink drawing, but this time the inking was done last. Perhaps it’s not surprising that this mandala is mostly plant motifs after spending lots of time recently hiking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Even the green plums were inspired by fruit I saw ripening beside the sidewalk this week. It’s a very rich time of year! …the watchful eyes …well Tom responded to those in his delightful poem – which is where I took the title.

In this garden of delight
where peaches hang and chances might
be taken under watchful eyes
I’m feeling bold and not so wise
as to let the moment pass
and so I bend to kiss a lass
when from behind a tree there sounds
a soft “meow”, the voice rebounds
from tree to branch to leaf to stem
and where was one there now is “them”:
a panoply of watchers wild
who leave us both for now beguiled
by gazes focused, clear, intense
instilling just a bashful sense
of standing naked in the light
of creatures who have walked the night
and yet we two still turn and kiss
for moments pass, and might be missed.

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

gratitude mandala…

20180324-Gratitude-mandala
gratitude mandala

I decided to try something somewhere in between the mandala method I have been doing recently which are intuitive and unplanned and the ones I was doing earlier which were fairly structured. The idea (we’ll see if it continues) is to meditate on a word and then see how it impacts what I do. In this case, the imagine sprang into my mind pretty much as drawn so I sketched it out to make sure the celtic knots would work and then inked it. The butterfly was a late addition to the party but I think he belongs.

Tom’s poetic meditation on gratitude:

Complex weaving of our lives
into beauty unexpected
lifting us to build and thrive
keeping true and undeflected
by the buffeting of days
that would push us from our ways
running side-by-side through time
steady on along the line
that arcs from start to end, a bow
of light refracted in the dew
between we happy, lucky two
to fly together, high and low.
Whatever else tomorrow brings
Two voices each to each we sing.

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

summer riot mandala…

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summer riot mandala

This one was really asking for vibrancy …and it ended up quite a riot of colour hence the name! Although this mandala is definitely summer themed, since the coming weekend is Easter, if you want, you could imagine those are Easter eggs hidden in there. 😄

Tom seems to have noticed this one was particularly colourful as well!

When too much colour fills the world
it spills into the summer flowers
brightly etched and roughly knurled
raising up their fecund powers
to create new generations
with pollenistic exhalations
spreading life beneath the sun
as the summer’s long days run
from dawn to dusk and back again
the fields of fragrant flowers wave
while dragonflies find what they crave
beneath the summer sun’s long reign.
The world is painted bright and wild
Each colour on the others piled.

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

more raccoon and otter ink sketches

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otter poses

More sketches of animals in ink.

Apparently Otter is quite a character!

Well hello! So glad you’re here!
Isn’t it just grand today?
Never such a thing, my dear,
has been ever seen, I say!
There’s this and that and over there
and look again, go everywhere!
Such a glorious event
so sure to leave a modest dent
in the annals of our time.
Never have so many known
the very best, as I have shown.
To not be here would be a crime!
Now come sit down and have a chat
And tell me what you think of that?

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Raccoon

Raccoon on the other hand is much more concerned with doing the right thing…

Dowsing down upon the beach
some tasty morsel washing clean.
Neglecting it would be a breach
of all that’s good and right, it seems
that often children in these times
don’t care for elder ways, such crimes
against good taste and proper form
leaves me feeling lost, forlorn.
But then I think of my own youth
when I would run around so wild
the older folk seemed tame and mild…
so now it’s my turn, that’s the truth!
And I will keep to custom taught
And honour thus my place and lot.

images (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poems (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe