Tidal pool

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Tidal Pool (6″ x 6″ oil on raised panel)

Since visiting and then moving to the west coast of Canada, I have had the opportunity to explore nature of kinds that are vastly different from what I grew up with in Ontario. One thing that is especially different and fascinating are tidal pools. Sometimes, a casual glance is rewarded with the view of colourful creatures but even if not, the longer you look, the more you see. Tiny fish, or crabs scuttling along – sometimes wearing someone else’s shell, barnacles using their little feet to kick food into their mouths and it goes on – I couldn’t make this up! Anyway, anemones are one of the more obvious and beautiful creatures to see.

Here is Tom’s playful poem!

An enemy of anemone is my friend
for what do lurking colours oft portend?
A fish ensnared within the lair
of tentacles: entrapped unto its end!

A reticent young innocent defends
the fish whose tail now flailingly extends
from the grip of poisoned nips
of tentacles: a saving hand descends!

A true ally I’ll be, shall I transcend
our different species? For I apprehend
a soul at risk, and so I whisk
off tentacles: the fish no more condemned!

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

Market Tomatoes

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Market Tomatoes (6″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

I just love fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and it is the season! Since I don’t have a garden myself, the next best thing is the local farmers’ market. It is a treat to be able to be fresh local produce …and the double treat is painting what I buy first and then eating it! 😀

Tom came up with a  fun and curious poem for this one! A possible and positive near future vision. 😉

Hot fields swelter in the sun
a quiet robot slips along
sensing each and every one:
tomatoes squeezed by gentle tongs
to judge if they are just so ripe
so as to cause bursts of delight
when by human tongue and taste
they are sampled. Not to waste
is the robot’s mission prime
as it putters down the rows
sniffing with its metal nose
so we can eat of fruit divine.
The tireless, staid machine moves on
as humans play from dusk to dawn.

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

Her

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Her (12″ x 12″ oil on gessoed panel)

Well, this sprang in part from the freedom and joy I felt painting the last botanical abstract and in part I dreamed her. It happens sometimes. I am often reminded of the Picasso quotation “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” – definitely if I hadn’t painted that day, the image in my head would have floated away. The painting is strange and weird and I kind of love it.

Tom’s wonderful poem reads almost like a riddle.

She’s always there, within the lurking trees
about to surface, coming into light
where the forest stirs in absent breeze
and the darkness sparkles in the night.
Perhaps you’ll catch her passing swift behind
a walking shadow, dancing with an elf,
or vanishing before your very mind,
until you wonder, “Is that… or myself?”
Her eyes are watching all and seeing naught
but beauty where there’s nothing else to see:
she’s always there, but never seen nor caught
by merely mortal eyes within the trees.
She moves the world, although she does not move,
she is the First, by which all things are proved.

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

Strange hybrids

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Strange hybrids (6″ x 6″ oil on gessoed cradle board)

I shamelessly took the name of this small oddity from the poem Tom wrote for it. Every now and then I am moved to paint what I think of as botanical abstracts. I love the colours and the way this one shimmers.

Tom ran with the image and created a delightful accompaniment for the painting. It even has bees’ knees in it!

The forest of the night is fine
with its flaming tyger’s shine
lighting up the trees.

But I prefer the copse of day
wherein strange hybrids grow and sway
attracting stranger bees.

They buzz within the thickets tangled,
with their legs is pollen wrangled
in between their knees.

Passing to each generation
the joys of novel combination,
mixing by degrees.

And from such vigor in the roots
we’re blessed by all the diverse fruits
that do our palates please!

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

 

Tom – a portrait

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Tom (8″x10″ oil on gessoed wood)

I did this portrait based on a photo from our wedding this summer. What a joyful day! This is the last oil painting I did before packing away the paints for our move. The painting itself is waiting for the last minute in order to be as dry as possible. I was pretty pleased with how this turned out – the likeness is good and there is a loose and fresh quality to the brushwork that I have been having a hard time bringing into portraits.

Tom wrote a poem about the joy of that day …and the joy that continues! ❤

Under the wide and clear blue sky
I speak the truth and do not lie:
glad was my troth and glad is this tye
and to stand beside you is my will.

This be the joy you give to me:
“Here he moves as he longed to be.
Sailing with you across sea
and hiking high on the hill.”

Tom noted – Straight pastiche of Stevenson’s Requiem: https://www.bartleby.com/103/15.html
“Tye” means both a knot, and a village green or patch of common land.

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe