Nola’s Lily Pond

Nola’s Lily Pond (8″x8″ oil on raised panel)

About a week after my first visit to Nola’s pond, I had the chance to go back and focus on the now blooming waterlilies. What a treat. There is something about painting waterlilies …I guess Monet was onto something!

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Margaret’s Garden

Margaret’s Garden (8″x 10″ oil on raised panel)

Another lovely day in late June spent painting a garden. I was so pleased to be able to create this piece which ended up having quite a personal resonance for the owner.

Margaret’s Garden (Setup)

And here is the setup in the strong sunshine we had that day.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy my plein air set up? It’s a Coulter Easel, and I have been using it for a couple of years now both for plein air and often (at least for smaller paintings) in the studio too. It is compact and very ergonomic with the palette and painting held at the perfect heights for working …and in cases like this with sloped ground, it is very easy to adjust a leg of the tripod to compensate for the terrain.

images (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Nola’s Pond

Nola’s Pond (8″x 10″ oil on raised panel)

Another friend/neighbour invited me to paint their lovely garden. I really enjoyed the pond here! A chance to get into the shadows and reflections in the pond as well as the varied planting around (and in) it. In June, the irises were still blooming and the waterlilies were just starting to show some colour.

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Jenny’s Summer Garden

Jenny’s Summer Garden (8″x10″ oil on raised panel)

Another lovely few hours spent in someone’s garden painting a lovely view. Back in June when this was painted, everything was fresh and blooming. All that crazy summer heat we experienced was yet to come.

Jenny’s Summer Garden (Setup)

I have in the past been used to keeping pretty much up to the minute on this blog but actually, I find I have really been enjoying looking back from the distance of a few months and dare I say feeling a sense of accomplishment for everything I did in this (still) rather strange period of history. From the perspective of a bit of time, I no longer see the breaks and gaps but just the work. Interesting.

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Jane’s Garden May

Jane’s Garden May (8″ x 10″ oil on raised panel)

Back to plein air painting. I have a friend who lives quite close by and has a most delightful garden. I painted there three times this summer and each time it was a different kind of treat. In May, the peonies, roses and irises were showing all their bounty. So lush and joyful.

Jane’s Garden May plein air setup

images (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Tulip Time

Tulip Time (8″x 8″oil on raised panel)

Tulip Time was painted back in April when the tulips were fresh and delightful. Each season brings its own charm. I painted this one plein air out on the deck but simplified the background.

I decided to do a flatlay to show this painting off in a different way for my new website. By-the-way, that is up and running now! Same web address (www.hilaryfarmer.com) will take you to my newly hosted and fresh looking website. Hope you check it out!

Tulip Time flatlay

images (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Daniel’s Way View

Daniel’s Way View (8″x 10″ oil on raised panel)

A sunny day back in the spring. I was perched rather precariously on a large rock with my setup. It doesn’t look too bad in the photo, you’ll just have to trust me on that! 😉

The sea looks different every time …and the scudding clouds and the distant mountains too. Looking at a plein air painting always takes me back to the feeling of being in that place at that time, with the feel of the breeze and the smell of the ocean. Looking at this I just remembered I was visited by sea lions while I was painting this one. If they had come much closer, I would have packed up but they stayed down on the rocks off to the right of the frame of this painting. It was pretty magical.

Daniel’s Way View setup – looking not as steep as it actually was!

images (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer

Brickyard Beach Spring

Brickyard Beach Spring (8″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

A pleasant day in late March. The local buffleheads were out – that’s a kind of black and white duck. Plein air painting can be such a wonderful way to connect with the world. Looking at a painting I have done in nature always takes me right back to that moment.

Tom wrote a haiku for this painting celebrating spring …and buffleheads!

bufflehead breezes
wander down island narrows
ruffling spring waters

image (c) 2021 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2021 TJ Radcliffe

Brickyard Beach – Late Summer

Brickyard Beach – Late Summer (10″ x 8″ oil on stretched canvas)

Early in September I went out with my gear and found another local beauty spot. It was really hot that day! I was glad to find a bit of shade to set up in. The challenge as usual with plein air painting was to catch the light quickly – as well as the colour of the water and the shapes and locations of the clouds before everything changes. The result is less detailed but fresher and more dynamic than working from a photo.

Here is Tom’s poem which at first seems to be for another scene but wait for it – the final couplet tells the tale.

In summer gales these waters roil
as wind and tide and waves contend
for who shall make the sailor’s toil
the worst. And who shall best unmend
the flapping canvas, spliced up rope,
a bimini not made to cope
with gusts that come from angles all
around the compass. Masts might fall
as waves come in from every point.
The bow is bounced, the stern is slewed,
the sky with clouds ascudding’s strewed
as the sea tests every joint.
But in the calm it lies serene
as if those storms were never seen!

image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe

Twin Beaches – High Summer

Twin Beaches – High Summer (10″ x 8″ oil on canvas)

This is a plein air painting from August. The sun was high and warm reflecting back all kinds of glorious colours in the water. I captured a couple of sailboats at anchor as well as a few floating markers. The mountains of the mainland are in the distance. I have a lovely memory of the day when I look at this.

Tom wrote a thoughtful poem that speaks of times long gone the results of which still impact us today.

Upon a time a Spaniard passed this way
anchoring and sending out a brace of boats to sound
the waters all around the quiet bay
where otter, seals, and cod could still be found.
The shore was all alive with other eyes
that watched the strange great ships and wondered where
they had first tasted of sea. What skies
had witnessed their emergence from their lair?
Dark ravens cocked and turned upon the wind
Dark rhymes were brewing in the human heart
Dark beneath the summer sky the sins
of darkness drove the worlds apart.
The ships sailed on, left chaos in their wake
and broken words that promises forsake.

image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe