On the beach

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On the beach (16″ x 20″ oil on canvas)

Here is another painting from the wonderful west coast of Vancouver Island. This was a very popular spot for people to take their dogs. Lots of happy pups cavorting on the beach and in the water. This painting was too large to do alla prima but I still worked quite quickly so that the under layers were still wet and moving enough when I added on the next day. It was three consecutive days of painting.

Tom’s wonderful poem speaks of things not seen directly in the painting, expanding on the visual in the imagination.

A cove that curves in shadow cool
beneath the overhanging trees;
clear waters, shallow tidal pools
reveal the secret of the seas:
that as above so too below
the seaweed wavers row on row
like flowers in the empty fields
and fishes dart as do the eels
like birds through sultry summer air
between the stems, above the buds
avoiding clouds that dance and scud
like waves concealing glimpses rare
into the world that dwells below
while above the flowers blow.

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

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Pacific View

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Pacific View (8″ x 10″ oil on gessoed wood cradle)

I was quite please how this little painting turned out. It was painted alla prima based on a photo from this summer’s Tofino trip. There are three tiny people in the picture – and since the painting is small, they really are tiny – but recognizable as some family members of mine …at least to me!

Tom wrote a lovely poem for this one!

Somewhere out near the edge of forever
an island rides the waves
drifting down the currents, never
ceasing exploration save
to pause and watch a distant shore
where families walk the strand
happy in their lives and more
secure upon the land
than spending decades on the sea
wild roaming ‘cross the foam
until at last they come alee
and know that they are home.

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

On the path to Tofino …oil painting

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On the path to Tofino (6″ x 8″)

Had the wonderful opportunity to visit the far western edge of this country recently – that is the west coast of Vancouver Island with its incredible Long Beach, charming Tofino, and amazing sunsets! We stayed at Middle Beach Lodge which was lovely. This painting was from a view along the path from the lodge to Tofino …and yes, the wild roses were blooming. The scent of the sea and rich undergrowth of the enormous cedars was a heady combination.

Here is Tom’s wonderful poetic take on this time and place.

Somewhere in the vasty distance
out across the endless sea
moving waves meet wind’s resistance
turning toward us, you and me
who stand upon this western shore
having all and wanting more
while the waves eternal kiss
sand and stone in sunlit bliss
beneath the summer flowers in bloom
whose wafting scent illuminates
our memories in days that wait
for all our yesterdays atuned
to this present joyful place
awash with waves that leave no trace.

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

Rhododendron garden …oil painting

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Rhododendron garden (16″ x 20″)

It is a crazy beautiful time of year for those who like flowers! Here on the west coast, the rhododendrons make a particularly spectacular show. Recently, we had the occasion to be in Bowen Park in Nanaimo where there is an area dedicated to these bushes. It was a riot of color. There was a wedding party there at the same time having photographs taken – I would have been worried about the flowers upstaging the bride! Anyway, this is not the exact scene as I played with the composition but was strongly inspired by that visit. This was a larger piece for me (16×20) – there was just so much to show!

Here is Tom’s lovely poetic response. I learned a new term this week “ekphrastic poetry” which is poetry particularly written in response to a piece of art. I am honoured that Tom has been regularly providing ekphrastic poetry for my art!

Variations on a theme
of colour, light, and forest shade:
rhododendrons by the stream
bloom beneath the sylvan glade
within the garden where the dark
beneath the leaves hides thrush and lark
who dart and flit and hide from view
but pause to sing a song that’s true
while the gentle breezes blow
and bees abuzz from flower to flower
take the sweet and leave the sour
then back to home and hive they go.
This patch of beauty unalloyed
brings to all a touch of joy.

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

Lasqueti sunset …oil painting

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Lasqueti Island sunset (6″ x 8″)

One evening last summer …the air and bay were calm as the sun sank lower and lower until it was a small glowing ball above the trees.

Here is Tom’s inspired poem!

Dusk flows in like liquid light
across the mirror-surfaced bay
harbinger of coming Night
momento of the ending Day:
long shadows for the stars prepare
a sky that dark and light will share
while reflective ripples hold
the sun’s last rays in shadowed folds.
Day’s bold colours, Night’s pure black
meld together, pastel shades
create a beauty unafraid
of time’s slow ebb from flood to slack.
Bright sun in cold black water glows
Where soon more distant stars will show

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

cottage evening …oil painting

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cottage evening (9″ x 12″)

I’ve been wanting to paint this view for a while. Looking down the lake as the light starts to fade is a magical view for me and nostalgic with childhood memories and the call of whipoorwils and loons.

Here is Tom’s poetic response.

whispers of the sunken evening
drift across the mirrored lake
as our feet go walking, weaving
toward our bed where day will break
upon two tousled heads together
nestled down, birds of a feather
while the morning loon embraces
all the world with echo’s traces
now we watch the daylight fade
as stillness falls across the land
here beside you I will stand
against the evening’s ambuscade
of cold and dark that rises high
until the stars enlight the sky

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