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.
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
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
A view of my parent’s country garden in the summer. I love the lush density of the flowers and the richness of the colours! …and yes, I know that these flowers are not all perennials but they come up every year and that’s perennial enough for me!
A tangle deep, wrapped in enigma
growing wild without the stigma
of replanting year by year:
perennials that know no fear
of frost nor snow nor deer nor rabbits
growing wild has been their habit
since a time long out of mind
toward the sun they turn and climb
over each and reaching high
growing wild beneath the sky
A study of the local Gulf Islands landscape. The ink part was done with carbon black ink in a fountain pen with an ultra fine but flexible nib – really nice to draw with! A quick wash of watercolour brought it to life.
Tom’s evocative haiku! (I took the title of the piece from the haiku – not vice versa.)
face turned up, warm sun
cedar island dreams
A memory of a winter walk over “the mountain” in Montreal …the squeak of the snow underfoot and air freezing in nostrils… This view from a path in the Parc du Mont-Royal is based on a photo taken recently by a friend – thanks Elena! I love the glow of the sun rising over the St. Laurent in the distance as well as the long shadows in the foreground. I experimented with this small (6×8) painting using thicker brushstrokes of paint to capture the shimmer of light.
Once again, Tom’s words paint the scene into poetry and celebrate the moment.
fire across the winter sky
burning down the frozen hours
rising up above the lie
of snow between the wooden towers
presaging the dance to come
where the world is lost and won
by the shadow and the light
in sweeping depths, abyssal heights
embracing moments on the tide
of light that’s pouring through the trees
stirring an unmoving breeze
along the path where truth abides
between cold past and future tense
moments turning here to hence
I really loved how the quality of light and the grandeur of the sky came across with this one. This is a view of English Bay from around Kitsilano Beach. I took some liberties with the colours enhancing them to give the feeling of that glorious sky.
Tom’s poem paints the scene with words.
as above, so too below
waters burnished by the glow
of golden sunset falling down
wreathing islands with a crown
of cloud and light as evening falls
while some distant seagull calls
across the waters calm and deep
where the day in silence sleeps