A portrait of my brother playing the viola. I painted this from photos I took while visiting this past summer. So glad I got to visit family then – no in person family time for Christmas this year. 😦
Anyway, this is an oil sketch on paper but I thought it turned out quite well. I may do a slightly larger one on canvas at some point. He’s a dedicated musician and composer so I am happy to catch something of that combined intensity and ease here.
All the best of the season to everyone and may 2022 be a kinder year for us all.
A quick oil sketch showing the colours and forms of the flowers – peonies, ranunculus, lisianthus, and more.
Here is Tom’s poem!
These are the colours of our wedding day: deep and rich and bright. They’re kind of fun,
and besides they stood and heard us say,
“You know, I really think you are the one” or words to that effect as we two stood
facing our tomorrows side-by-side:
committing to the useful and the good,
knowing what’s not taken will abide.
These simple colours riding high on stems
held within your hands as down we walked
across the grass that brushed our fancy hems as in the trees the birds and sunlight talked:
they stood with us as we both vowed our vows and gave their blessing with their graceful bows.
We were walking along the shore in Kitsilano a week or so ago and were treated to a spectacular sky with the sun starting to set and gaps in the clouds allowing light to stream through. I didn’t take a picture at that time but the image stuck in my head so that when I went back more recently I took some photos with the idea of combining photos and memory into a painting. As a result this small (6″x6″) painting is a somewhat imaginary landscape which is English Bay but not from an exact viewpoint. I plan to return to this – there are so many ways it could be painted!
Tom wrote a lovely poem for this painting which catches the mood and essence of the piece in just a few words.
Sky of promise
Touching quiet sea
Held within the ragged arms of land
Reaching out to me
Falling from the air into my hand
image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe
I did this quick sketch (about an hour) this morning to study the sky for the voyage. Photographing an oil painting while wet means that there is glare and the colours aren’t quite true. I may come back to this one later and make a more finished painting or else use it as a base for experimentation…
dawn comes in silence, slipping past the night
with stealthy steps it moves across the land
setting candles in the clouds alight
awakening the the trees that stay and stand
where glaciers once scraped a path of stone
across the empty landscape of the north
though so many left their weathered bones
from emptiness the dawn can still bring forth
the richness of a cold autumnal day
as shadows steal behind the rocks and hide
waiting for the winter come to play
patiently they lurk where night abides
neither light nor shadow wins the game
but darkness dances with the dawn’s bright flame