On a recent trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island, I saw some poppies growing in the dry grasses between the rocks near the ocean. These California poppies glow with a translucent orange and I immediately wanted to paint them – but since I didn’t have my equipment with me, I took a few pictures for inspiration when I got home. The above is my first take – very loose and fast. I like the exuberance of it but it wasn’t quite what I wanted so then I did a larger piece.
This was so much fun to paint. I really got into a flow with it.
Tom wrote a wonderful, mysterious poem for the second painting. What he sees and expresses about my work always amazes me but this one is especially mystical …I guess being both a poet and a quantum physicist affects how he sees the world!
tilting down the surreal axis
swirling ’round the complex plane
twisting through the field of praxis
choosing which is what again
while the fractal facets flicker
and the colours gripe and bicker
to achieve a balanced palette
pounding with a wooden mallet
all the powders and infusions
making dyes both true and fast
for this will be a work that lasts
conjuring such bold illusions
that the mind is turned about
what once was certain now is doubt
Maybe not the very last of the season but with just a few in the box, it seemed like a good title. Juicy and sweet, they have to be eaten carefully …or with abandon, letting the juice run down your chin and arms!
The glowing purple-red of the plums contrasts with the dull green cardboard box.
More of the season’s bounty – delicious “prune plums”. Ever since I learned that prune is the French for plum, this name has seemed curiously redundant. 🙂 I believe these are the type of plums that are dried into prunes hence the logic of the name in English but they were delicious fresh!
As usual, this was painted alla prima (in one quick session). The background green-ish yellow colour was chosen as complimentary to the plums.
Find joy in the simple things and may the day bring you contentment!
Third in the series with Bartlett pears this time – a lovely green with subtle warm tones hinting towards red and yellow. The ribbed blue bowl added a fun counterpoint to the organic pear forms. The background contains the complimentary colours of the subject. This 6″x 6″ oil on gessoed board was painted alla prima and as with all three “pair of pears”, painted entirely with a #10 flat brush.
May the simple things in life bring you joy and contentment!
Continuing the autumnal harvest theme with more pears – this time red Anjou pears. Such a gorgeous colour! The painting came together with the complementary green(ish) colour of the background and some hints of green in the pears.
Once again, alla prima fun – oil paint on 6″ x 6″ gessoed board.
The cooling days and season of harvest inspired me to take a look at pears – to start, the golden brown colour and elegant shape of Bosc pears.
This is a small 6″x 6″ oil painting. Working at this scale is freeing since the time commitment is much less than larger pieces. It was simply a pleasure to use the alla prima technique (all done in one session) and see the piece come together quickly. With this method, the brushwork has an immediate, fresh quality that I enjoy.
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
So, I was in the mood to push these little leaf studies a bit further. I wanted more warmth and summer brightness so I started by adding a lot more yellow and green. Then, more definition seemed called for… The outlining was deliberately too extreme but gave me something to paint towards. So, the (for now) final versions have been resoftened somewhat and both the leaves and background given more colour.
Have not been posting lately… it’s been that kind of summer so far – too much work, not enough painting!
These are two very small oil paintings (8″x8″) done in a short time. I plan to continue working on them, with what you see here just being the under-painting. This may become a series of studies inspired by trees and the feeling that one can get of refuge and tranquility when there is a canopy of foliage overhead…