Painting a larger piece with the theme of birds in flight seemed natural after creating the smaller ones. The scale of this one allowed much more in terms of setting. The whole thing evolved intuitively as the layers built up. One of the final elements was the bridge crossing a narrow chasm in the foreground. I suddenly realized there was a path to look out over the ridge. That must be some spectacular view! I enjoyed the idea of that other view which here is just hinted at but the main feature is the sky full of birds darting and skimming through the air – the feeling of exultation.
This abstract exploration ended up with some artifacts from fairly early in the layering process that didn’t want to be covered up – flowers, a hummingbird and maybe the moon. This is definitely a case where the original is hard to capture in a photograph. When I paint this way, the textures and layers are quite challenging for me to show on line.
In my mind this one is reaching for “Monet meets Chagall”. 🙂
Tom wrote a really lovely poem that speaks to this painting beautifully.
coalescing currents curl
from out of deeper darkness
flowing down to pools that swirl
with stillness beneath starless
skies where hope abides and wing’d
shapes may one day fly through the
chaos life will strive to reach
afar across this world where
coalescing currents curl
image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe
I have been playing with more abstract (and abstract adjacent) painting this year. This one was built up over many layers ending up somewhere between impressionism and abstraction. At some point in the process, the moon appeared in the sky and stayed. The feeling was quite dreamy and more subtle than this photo shows but I can’t get another because it sold quickly.
Tom wrote a delightful sonnet with a rhythm of anapestic tetrameter (like Dr. Seuss) which really suits the mood of the painting.
The farmer’s abed and the Moon is reborn
so we’ll dance and we’ll sing from the eve until morn
when we’ll lie down exhausted and sleep through the day.
In the shadows of grasses and flowers we will lay
until the soft darkness ensilvered by stars
creeps out of the gloaming and brings us awake
to drink from the dew by the light of bright Mars
and sip the sweet nectar of flowers ’til we slake
our thirst and our hunger. Our bodies adorned
with trews made of petals, so silken and gay
we’ll jig to a hornpipe like England’s old tars
who served that old pirate, Sir Francis the Drake.
For we are the Fairest of Folk in this land
obeying no law but the bright Moon’s command.
image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe
My first round painting! So much fun to try this. I kind of love it. 🙂 Hard to photograph though because of seeing the background so I blacked it out digitally.
I adore Tom’s playful poem for this! It made me see my own painting in a new way. 😀
A mouse-eyed view from way down here:
it sees the world all round
and sneaks along without a fear
upon the secret ground.
A blade of grass is ever-tall
to creatures of the Earth.
The trees and stars both rise and fall
above a mousie’s birth.
“For I was born,” might say a mouse,
“with Maple crossing Mars
and Douglas Fir in Retrograde…
the fault’s not in my stars
but in the trees that chart a course
across the stars so chill.
For as they turn so does the world…
and yet, I have my will.
Although I cannot move the trees
I’ll bend my life’s own course
and chew down grasses to the lees
and dance without remorse
beneath the high and distant sky
where silent stars all drift
above still trees where soft winds sigh…
my life is Fortune’s gift!”
image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe
Another view from our lovely visit to Tofino this summer. This time I was focused on the warmth of the sky tones and the shimmer of the water. The moon was clearly visible as the sky was dimming with the setting sun.
Tom was inspired by the image to write this lovely poem.
Uncertain hours between the day
and when there falls soft summer night
emboldens me to finally say
just what I feel. The Moon so bright
embellishes both sea and land
with pastel tones that paint the strand
where soft reflections summon forth
memories both south and north
of time together, warm and cold
your shape tight held against my own
your eyes on mine, two souls, alone:
in dusk the changing light makes bold.
“I’ve loved you always, evermore;
once lost at sea, I’ve touched your shore.”
image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe
A quick doodle to celebrate the season… so busy with everything related to said season that I haven’t been posting much here and the buffer for Albion is getting smaller. Hopefully I can catch back up over the holidays.
Wishing you the Best of the Season and a Wonderful New Year.
UPDATE: New sonnet from Tom to capture both the cold and the warmth of winter…
The winter night in glinting diamond silence
sparkles in cold light, the Solstice Moon
glows bright upon the hills with blue fluorescence
across the open spaces deeply strewn
with virgin snow: a wonderland of ice
where lovers might take pause to contemplate
the beauty of this frozen paradise
where nothing moves and everything awaits.
Their hands are joined within a single glove
the touch of skin a promise for the night
to come while silently the stars above
reflect the frozen diamonds of the night.
One single thing belies the winter the cold:
The warmth of hands that other hands enfold
Copyright (C) 2011 TJ Radcliffe
(cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer
And now for something completely different – a ship in the mist… a sneak peak at an illustration from our new project which will be coming soon to a computer near you… stayed tuned, we want to start posting Midsummer’s Day!
UPDATE: New poem from Tom – some further hints for the new project…
For when the Moon is waxing strange
and currents run just so
a portal opens to the world
where elder legends go…
(c) 2011 Tom Radcliffe
image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer
I guess it’s not really that scary when you keep the scale of the ship in mind… and I have the feeling that a creature like that would not be days from shore so perhaps they will make landfall the next day!
Let’s see where the story goes next when Tom has a chance to post a new poem in the comments!
UPDATE: Please read the comments for one of the best poems yet!
image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer
A brief break to the ongoing “What if” poetic tale, to finally bring you the last page for the Rabbit on the Moon series!
As ever, you can see it en français on le 12 as well!
images, text variant and formatting (cc) 2009 & 2010 Hilary Farmer
French translation on le 12 courtesy of Maxime Dallaire – thanks Max!
Crouching under some trees, Chang’e gazed up through the branches at the moon which had become full that very day. She had been feeling strangely drawn to it for many weeks now. Footsteps were approaching.
image and text variant (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer