I decided to paint a larger work using the earlier small koi pond paintings as inspiration. As the size of a painting increases, the challenges can become exponentially greater. When paint starts drying, my usual alla prima techniques won’t work and it can be a struggle to keep the brushwork loose and fresh. Still, I hope I captured the feeling of the cool autumn evening watching the drifting willow leaves and lazily swimming fish.
Next time, I will try for the same feeling with a greater economy of brushstrokes!
Here is Tom’s haiku – he always uses just the right number of words 🙂
crooked branches bend
koi following time’s long curve
down straight water paths
Another painting from my visit to the Sun Yat-sen Garden in Vancouver. This one focused on the lily pads and reflections from the shore and sky.
Tom’s haiku for this one is …just perfect.
another world waits
through the water’s weathered glass
koi pass bare branches
And if you have a taste to see what this garden looks like …and feels like, check out this short film commissioned by the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Garden Society of Vancouver. Tom wrote the screen play and it really captures the place in a special way.
This small (8″x 8″ oil on canvas) painting is based on a photo I took a couple of weeks ago at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden here in Vancouver. It was a cloudy day but bright so I took advantage of the afternoon to do a little sight-seeing in my still relatively newly adopted city. The koi quietly swimming by while the willow leaves drifted on the surface of the water was a beautiful moment. It is a very picturesque Chinese garden and so there will likely be more paintings to come from my visit.
Tom’s beautiful haiku also captures the moment.
sky falls on water
dry leaves burn in autumn sun
koi pass by below
Another in the series from the last post. Tom’s haiku is clearer in this one since fewer layers were added after the text.
opening their eyes
curious koi might enquire
after the abyss
(c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe
It is hard to see this painting well in a photograph since the texture catches the light. Actually, the painting looks very different under different lighting conditions. The detail below was taken later in the day and shows another feeling… more abyss-like!
Playing with texture but using a similar palette with metallics to make a visual connection with the previous water lily painting.
image (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer
12″x12″mixed media on panel
This past week my blog turned two years old! I was in the midst of doing character studies for the new project but here is a little celebratory doodle. One of my most visited posts ever is strangely enough “the meaning of koi” which expounds on said topic – lucky, lucky fish! So I thought they were a suitable doodle topic along with a water lily… just ’cause. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!
UPDATE: Celebratory poem from Tom – thanks!!!
Beneath the water-lily’s flower
Lurk the koi in cooling bower
Where the breadth of sun-bathed pads
Shades the fish from all that’s sad
O happy koi in water clear
Bringing luck to all come near
Such subtle spirit-healing power
Gold beneath the purple flower
Sometimes when I start drawing, I really have no idea what it’s going to end up like – this was one of those times! Perhaps I am being subconsciously affected by the strange fact that the most common search that finds my blog is “the meaning of koi”! because of this post from a while back. Go figure. Anyway, it is possible that this scene is in the world of the story being written by Tom in the comments – I am hoping that it is warmer there than our dimension’s Montreal winter for obvious reasons!!