Archive for oil painting

a portrait of Ming …oil painting

Posted in art, cats, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , on 2017/04/20 by greenteadoodles
20170420-Ming

Ming contemplates

I decided to try a portrait of one of my cats yesterday and was pleasantly surprised with the resulting painting. I had a lot of fun playing with colour and value and catching that gleam in her eye. 🙂

Tom was inspired to write a poem to go with the painting that captures her personality wonderfully too!

alert intensity looks out
a presence in repose
confidence without a doubt
begat by extra toes

sharp attention to a point
where what is not might be
space and time meet at a joint
that only cats can see

soft Ming is watching worlds role by
and distant future scenes
as upon the chair she lies
content to reign as queen

painting (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

the light of Provence …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/19 by greenteadoodles
20170419-Provence-light

the light of Provence

The focus here was to achieve the feeling of a sunlit day in Provence – the dance of the dappled light and the happy flowers below the window.

Tom’s sonnet for this painting imagines being behind that window. Lovely!

Light among the shadows hiding darkness
behind the glass transparent where the room
is cool with dappled dimness as the summer
day ascends and banishes the gloom
from secret places dark within the house
dust motes dance across the beams so bright
roses tap against the window panes
holding up a handful more of light
inviting out the occupants to day:
“Come into the warmth of welcome summer!”
call the flowers now in happy song
marching to the season’s swaying drummer.
Day is dancing, dappling the walls:
Melancholy melts and sadness falls.

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

spring is cherry blossoms …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, haiku, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/13 by greenteadoodles
IMG_2916

spring is cherry blossoms!

A small painting before Easter weekend to celebrate this long, slow Vancouver spring. It may be cooler than usual but that sure makes all the blossoms last!

This is just 6″x6″. The size is fun for quick studies and experiments – very freeing! This painting is based on a friend’s photo that she graciously let me use as inspiration. Thanks Claire!

Tom wrote a quirky haiku to go with these Taiwanese cherry blossoms. 🙂

foreshortened phloem
flower’s fragrant fabric
fine filigreed fire

painting (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

peonies pink and white …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , on 2017/04/10 by greenteadoodles
peonies pink and white

peonies pink and white

I have started up oil painting again – yay! I have done three very small (6″x6″) paintings for an online painting course – Once Upon a Time in Provence with Dreama Perry. I can’t recommend her courses enough – so much inspiration! I will not be posting the paintings I am doing as part of the course and following her instructional videos as they are her copyrighted material in terms of composition, method etc. However, as I go along, I will post other pieces I am doing.

This is a 9×12 oil on gesso board of two peonies in a blue jar using the alla prima method where oil paint is layered wet on wet in a single session. Here the challenges I was focused on were painting the white peony using a subtle variety of colours for the shadows and getting a pleasing effect of transparency and shine for the glass jar.

Tom’s poem to go with this one is a little melancholy but reminds us to see beauty and love life in the moment.

so pretty on the table in the sun
warming up the lonely room with colour
pushing back the shadows and the dun
dreary dullness in the days of dolour
a bright reminder of more happy times
living beauty grown in fertile soil
giving pleasure as the churchbell chimes
calling mourners all to gentle toil
remembering the layered past beyond
this circled sadness of the present instant
skipping stones across a summer pond
listening to the loon in purple distance
a momentary beauty still in life
bringing solace in the midst of strife

painting (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

oil paintings… plein air!

Posted in art, painting with tags , , , , on 2015/07/05 by greenteadoodles

Has it really been this long? I guess it has! Well it has been a very busy spring (now summer) but happily I managed to squeeze in a plein air painting workshop – something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Charles Vinh, who I have taken other classes with, led the two day workshop. It was lovely to spend that much time outside painting and the weather was great even if we did have to postpone day two for one week due to rain.

The first spot we chose to set up was on a small path by a pond surrounded by rushes and willows. I enjoyed the challenge of making the texture of the oil paint as watery as possible. Step one was to get the dark layer that could be painted over later.

Day one - first time oil painting outside

Day one – first time oil painting outside

The water was much too blue compared to reality after the first day so on day two, the water became a more realistic greeny-brown and details were added creating the feeling of a warm summer day by a pond.

...after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

…after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

The second painting was started on the first day in the afternoon. The second site also had some water – yeah! There were also some particularly beautiful trees.

second painting on day one

second painting on day one

On the second afternoon, details and highlights were added including the reddish blossoms on the larger tree. Here the atmosphere is hazy and warm.

second painting after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

second painting after a second day outside and some touch ups at home

Not sure when I will get out to do this again but the workshop has definitely given me the confidence and the appetite for more – I highly recommend it. Happy painting! (or any outdoor summer activity really 🙂

paintings (cc) Hilary Farmer 2015

UPDATE: Lovely summery sonnet and Wind in the Willows homage from Tom via the comments to go with the paintings. Thanks Tom!

Layered days laid down upon a base
of gessoed canvas plain and bare and pale
capturing a glimpse of nature’s face
between the gentle hill and watered dale
where perhaps a duck or two might lurk…
a mole or water rat might hold the bank,
like the lilies, daily sweat they shirk
yet still they stand in front of all the ranks
of creatures who inhabit paradise
today, tomorrow, down the fall of time,
when this pond is covered by the ice
of winter still they’ll dwell in beauty’s prime.
A summer’s day encoded in this oil
will live beyond the season’s mortal coil.

(c) 2015 Tom Radcliffe

oil painting… resplendent quetzal!

Posted in art, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2015/01/11 by greenteadoodles
extraordinary exotic bird

extraordinary exotic bird

After painting the cardinals last fall, I wanted to try a more exotic bird species. There are some amazing birds out there! Since I had never seen one of these beautiful birds in the wild, I used a combination of a number of photos I found on line as a basis for the bird and the background. This site has a striking quetzal photo and some interesting information.

The quetzal lives in the canopy of the rainforest and a loves to eat wild avocados, so I am showing him (yes, it is a male quetzal) in that setting. The style is not completely  realistic but I have tried to show the quirky appearance of this bird and get something of the iridescent shimmer of the feathers. I may yet make some tweaks before I decide that the painting is finished and sign it (beyond the digital signature shown here).

Hope this brings some warmth to the winter deep freeze so many are experiencing!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom in the comments. It took longer than usual to get back to the right mindset for writing poetry that would match a painting of a quetzal. Happy you’re back in the mood – thanks Tom!

Beneath the empty tropical blue sky
beneath the canopy of hungry leaves
beneath the cloak of feathers brightly dyed
there beats a heart of peerless peace and ease
within a breast of red a coat might envy
below a head of strangely fuzzy green
above a tail that causes quite a frenzy
whene’er a milliner comes on the scene.
Yet high upon his branch the quetzal calm
surveys with dignity and steady gaze
gripping with uniquely trogon palm
well-hidden in the forest-foam of baize.
Such beauty isn’t made for human sight
but for his dowdy love in jungle night.

poem (c) 2015 TJ Radcliffe

painting (cc) 2015 Hilary Farmer

leaf studies enhanced with birds!

Posted in art, painting with tags , , , , , , on 2014/11/16 by greenteadoodles

Well it has been quite a while. Very busy with work and doing many things but not much painting. So finally getting back to this pair that seemed to be lacking something. I think now that they may actually be finished – just missing the real (not digital)n signature.

female cardinal

female cardinal

I think she’s rather sweet 🙂

male cardinal

male cardinal

… and he just looks cheeky enough.

Picture them facing each other… or back to back if they’re having a bad day!

Cheers and hope to be posting more regularly!

UPDATE: Awesome poem from Tom in the comments to go with these paintings. Thanks!!

Come live with me and be my chick
I’ll bring you nesting-leaf and stick
And we will all the pleasures try
From depth of Earth to height of sky!

If bright colours were good troth
And poetry a law-sworn oath
Then with thee I’d gladly fly
For never would a lover lie.

I’ll help you dodge the long-eared owl
Leaving it to hoot and howl
As we escape through oak and elm
Free from fears that overwhelm.

Brave soldiers wearing red are wont
To praise their courage as the font
Of all that’s good and strong and wise
Yet still too many deal in lies.

I’ll crack hard acorns with my beak
To feed our hatchlings ere they speak
Find you cicadas on the wing
When in August heat they sing.

Bring me leaf and stick for nest
And I’ll count myself well-blessed
To build our castle in the sky
Then with you in pleasure fly!

Poem (c) 2014 Tom Radcliffe

paintings (cc) 2014 Hilary Farmer