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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
It has been some time since I posted a mandala! This one was actually started back in January and after a long pause, I finished it this week. It’s a bit early to be craving summer but flowers and such are always a pleasure to draw and I tend to go with whatever evolves out of my meditative mandala creation process. Hopefully looking at it will bring summer to your heart, if not your surroundings!
Here is Tom’s wonderful, playful poem just written for this mandala!
Behold soft pennants brightly waving
above the boldly blooming flowers
awakening Creations’s cravings
beneath a passing summer shower
that waters daisies in the fields
whose petals form a soft white shield
between dry Earth and open sky
where an errant dragon flies
to meet a knight more brave than wise.
All the field’s abuzz with life
awaiting Knight v. Dragon strife
whereby cold truth will conquer lies.
Dry paper blossoms catch the breeze
The dragon glides above the trees.
It has only been fairly recently in my life that I have had the opportunity to spend much time near an ocean. One of the beautiful mysteries that result from the rising and lowering of the tides are the tidal pools. These pockets of water range in size and contents but even small ones usually have some signs of life and a good long stare is rewarded with a miniature darting crab, the spotting of an anemone, limpit or sea urchin. Once your eyes are in tune, a tiny world comes into focus.
Tom grew up with tidal pools so his haiku is in sync with the pool and the season.
anemones and urchins
cool spring tide rises
A happy dog to wish you Happy Chinese New Year! This is a small ink and watercolour I did for a card.
And a happy poem to celebrate from Tom!
Puppy dog, “Woof!” he barks with joy
as the Moon and year turn New
heralding the call, “Good boy!”
while time is passing over, through
the weirs that humans set to catch
one fleeting moment, striking match
that sets the fireworks alight
to bring us joy upon the night
when bounding in from twelve years gone
the faithful dog at last returns
his loyalty forever burns
like the light of new year’s dawn.
Faithful, friendly, happy, true
may this year bring all to you!
It seems like a long time since I have posted a mandala! I have been much more focused on other types of ink drawings and oil painting recently but I did finish this small (6×6) one. Do you think maybe I am thinking about spring already!
Tom wrote a poem for it full of warmth and energy – just what we need at this time of year!
The spinning vortex of bright spring,
to the outer edges flings
the buds of bursting flowers.
Leaves in warming sunlight wave
like flags upon the breeze
snapping sharply on their staves
of branches. In their lea
a titmouse rests in perfect calm
awaiting season’s turn
to bring the summer’s warming balm
and ease the vernal churn.
First art of 2018! Here are a couple of drawings of river otters. These are on watercolour paper starting with a fountain pen and finished with a Chinese brush and ink wash. It’s imperative that the ink I am using – carbon black – is quite water resistant otherwise all the details would have been lost.
Tom likes otters too! Here’s his poem celebrating their mischievous character.
As changeable as summer light
when thunderstorms go by
flashing rain and lightning bright
then clearing blue the sky
So is Otter in the sea
and by the river banks,
embracing change in changeless glee
engaging in such pranks
As to cause most mischief for
least effort: that’s the fun!
And when a human comes to roar,
far off has Otter run!
Another otter sketched on rice paper. I like how smug he is!
Tom wrote him his own poem …Otter is quite sure he deserves it!
“If you don’t want me coming ‘board
you shouldn’t leave the hatch
open, unlocked, not dogged down,
just captured by a latch
that will not stop the likes of me
so clever with my feets
from opening up and wandering
around your cotton sheets
that once were free from otter-prints
but now are signed quite well
with muddy water, algae too,
and sorry ’bout the smell!
Yet I’m sure we both agree
’twas worth it in the end:
my joy was mighty, don’t you see,
so thank you, my dear friend!”