mini-mandala – birds and buds

20180120-birdsnbuds
birds and buds

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,
whirligig-ing powers,
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.

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

Otter! …ink studies

20180101-Otter-studies
Otter studies

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!

 

20180102-Otter
Otter!

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!”

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

the cardinal and the chickadee…

20171222-cardinal-chickadee
the cardinal and the chickadee

Holiday greetings! May the peace and joy of the season be yours!

Here is Tom’s adorable poem!

The Cardinal and the Chickadee
were sitting on a branch.

Said the Chickadee to Cardinal,
“It makes me want to blanch
to think that I’ve forgotten
that thing I can’t remember.”

“Do you know,” the Cardinal said
“It’s almost gone December?”

“I know! I know!” said Chickadee,
“Yet still I have forgot
a thing to do with joyous times
and presents that we’ve bought!”

“Perhaps a visit from a bird
all dressed in Santa-red
might jog your brain, you poor old thing,”
was all the Cardinal said.

“Of course! That’s it!” said Chickadee,
then sang a happy song.
“It’s Christmas, yes, it’s Christmastime!
I knew it all along!”

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

raccoon in ink – 2

20171216-young-raccoon
eyes wide

Today’s raccoon is a young’un with no worries …adventuring without a care!

Tom’s poem for him wonderfully captures that mood.

Some days a little beast must wander
here and there and over yonder
wide-eyes watching everything
wondering what time will bring.
All the world is new and bright
glowing in the morning light
dripping dew and rising mist
Earth by Sun is gently kissed
as I go off exploring wide
down the beach where ebbing tide
reveals a world that’s strange a new
and full of tasty things to do!

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

raccoon in ink – 1

20171214-thoughtful-raccoon
hmmm…

I have been having a lot of fun with my ink drawings of crows so I thought I’d try some other animals. This raccoon seems to be concerned about something. Just what is he looking at?

Tom took a look at this and saw that while this guy might hesitate a moment, he’s going to be headed into raccoon mischief any moment!

I know it’s not a good idea
but it’s not easy to resist…
I lack the wisdom of Sophia,
can’t let a random chance be missed
to open up a door that’s closed
to grab a thorny climbing rose
to never leave a gap un-nosed
to use my fingers and my toes
in mischief mild and hijnks low
for life’s too short to be a bore:
adventure lies behind that door,
and if it don’t, at least I’ll know!
But I will pause to contemplate…
Then happy chaos I’ll create!

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

 

garden veil mandala…

20171204-garden-veil-mandala
garden veil

Pink flowers, green leaves, a tawny cat …and a lacy white tracery.

20171204-garden-veil-mandala-detail
garden veil – detail

Here is Tom’s lovely poem.

Lacy network, leafy ruff
worn about my lady’s throat
made from all the finest stuff
like her veil and petticoat.
Through her veil the garden’s wild
panoply of flowers beguiled
as away her time she whiled
by the pool whose bottom’s tiled
with stones and fragments of her soul.
Deep she leans across the pond
reflecting on a memory fond,
before time took it’s mortal toll.
Somewhere children laugh behind
Bringing hope and joy to mind.

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

crow interlude – 4…

20171206-east-van-crow
East Van Crow

As I mentioned there are lots of crows here in Vancouver – and I like them! This one posed for a few photos so I got some good material for sketching. As usual, Tom was able to use my drawing as a springing off point for a clever poem in a hilariously believable crow’s voice.

“Ladies, gentlemen, and all
I do most humbly agree
with your sentiments: my call
is patriotic, strong and free.
Children all across this land
should every day be made to stand
and caw like crows, not sing some bland
anthem, for my voice is grand!
So I bow, performance done
here upon this lowly post
just happy I have made the most
of fading days in autumn sun.
What’s that you say? You disagree!
Then I am off to yonder tree!”

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