Have I mentioned it’s been hot here? I continue to have a rather tropical inspiration permeate my work!
Here is a magical poem from Tom …a riff on T.S. Elliot’s “Usk”.
Do not step and break the branch
where snakes slip soft
on forest floor
bright birds dip beaks but not too deep
of ancient mysteries that dwell
down the Amazon
contains the secret
in grey air
a high safe nest
a serpent’s lair
The residential streets here in Vancouver are all abloom with cherry blossoms and magnolias. To my eye the magnolias are almost strangely exotic in their extravagance …beautiful and ephemeral.
Tom’s poem almost magically catches that quality and that moment.
From tropic climes to temperate tropes
blooming bright, first off the mark,
before their leaves have burst with hopes
of summer sun and sultry dark
deep starry nights of beauty wild:
magnolias cast off their mild
and staid retiring winter manner
throwing out their blossom’s banners
to catch a bee or beetle’s fancy
drawing them into a tryst
while the sun drives off the mist in morning glow like yellow tansy.
The stars of Earth shine in the trees
where magnolias catch spring’s breeze.
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