California poppies

20180828-california-poppies-study
California poppies – study (9″ x 12″ oil on gessoed panel)

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.

20180830-California-poppies
California poppies (16″ x 20″ oil on canvas)

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

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

Advertisements

today’s doodle – West coast poppies

orange poppies

Today’s quick doodle was based on photos I took of some poppies along the sea wall in Victoria this summer. What a wonderful colour they were – so vibrant and cheerful!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom takes an interesting approach to the viewer of these poppies…

I drifted lonely in a daze
though silent streets and empty crowds
befuddled by morphia’s haze
my ragged head in fluffy clouds
of chemical-contented warm
that wrapped my skinny, sickly form

when what should catch my glassy eyes
but the source of all my thoughts
a patch of burnished poppies flies
its petaled flags burnt-orange hot
that touched some smoldering waste within
this sack of bones and punctured skin

arresting now my downward drift
so that I could contemplate
the passing beauty of this gift:
a poison flower that I should hate
for though it took away my pain
it left me broken, halt and lame

but in that moment it returned
the certainty of something more:
a beauty in the world that burned
within my bruised and beaten core
which was enough to turn the tide
while poppies in the fields abide.

Copyright (C) 2012 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer