Thistle

20191120-thistle
Thistle – 8″ diameter oil on raised panel

I have a few other paintings that were done earlier, but I wanted to share this one right away since Tom’s poem made me think of Remembrance Day recently past. When I painted it, I was enjoying the form, colour and texture …but I appreciate that Tom sees things in my paintings that give another layer to them, a whole other life.

The heather’s deep, my bonny lass,
where horses haven’t trampled down
the sturdy men and brittle grass
this day when all our sorrows drown
and somewhere pipes are calling still
across the glen and through the hills
to bring us back from wrack and war
which we will study no’ the more.
We do not answer, rise, nor march
to follow down the piper’s call
for we will feast in other halls
beneath the sky’s eternal arch.
Above us still the thistle grows
Our prickly, coarse, and perfect rose.

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

Summer hum

20191006-Summer-hum
Summer hum (11″ x 14″ oil on stretched linen)

The feeling of the warmth and sleepy yet full vitality, of a summer afternoon –  blackberry bushes alive with the sounds of bumblebees stocking up on pollen. This painting was finished just in time for my recent open studio and I was delighted at the reactions. The feeling I was trying to convey definitely made its way from eye to heart. That’s the best thing I, as an artist, can hope to achieve!

Maybe it’s the scale (the bees for example are about double life-sized) but the photo does not convey the feeling of the painting very well. That’s always a bit of a problem but for some reason, with this one there’s a bigger difference.

And here is Tom’s delightful poem which riffs on the notion of “the boys of summer”.

The bees of summer take the field
running ’round the diamond flowers
praying that the day will yield
a bounty worthy of their powers
to seek that sweet-spot in the sun
as from base to base they run
always heading back to home
to swing again and go alone
as fast as ever they can fly
gathering the crowd’s applause
who in winter’s frozen pause
will remember warmer skies.
The bees of summer never cease
while the score may still increase.

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe