Spring Blossoms…

Spring Blossoms fresh from Taiwan…

Long over-due post! Just a quick watercolour to celebrate the warm sunshine. In fact I was doing more oil painting over the winter taking part in an e-course “Dream, Love, Paint” which I highly recommend. I decided not to post the work from the course – more about the process than the result! …and also the set up, images and technique were directly from the teacher so it didn’t seem correct to post them as my work.

Hoping to carve out more time for oil painting soon and post some new works but in the meantime, I’m rediscovering watercolours a bit with an eye on doing some plein aire with them – oils are more challenging in terms of traveling etc even though I love working with them. Watercolours have their own challenges but it’s all OK if one decides to just call the “mistakes””happy accidents” instead! lol

The “Spring Blossoms” painting is inspired by a photo a friend in Taiwan posted on her Facebook page a while ago and gave me permission to work from – thanks Claire!!

UPDATE: New self-described “goofy haiku” from Tom – thanks Tom!!

plump plum petals primp
pleasingly posed performance
pretty petticoats

painting – water colour and ink on paper – (cc) 2016 Hilary Farmer

Poem (c) 2016 Tom Radcliffe

plum blossom haiku…with cat!

kitten catching plum blossoms

Something a little different graphically today for me. Enough of snow and cold! Time for spring! Here’s another haiku by Issa in 1813 – I like that cats feature prominently in his work – must have been a great guy 🙂

by the farm cat…
plum blossoms

If someone wants to suggest alternative phrasing…

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

Buson’s warbler

Buson's warbler
Buson's warbler

A few days ago I mentioned the haiku written by Buson on his deathbed. The haiku referred to Wang Wei of the plum blossom poem previously posted with my painting. I found it particularly touching so here it is again with the image that came to me. I have posted two versions of the haiku – the one which I found and a version by Tom Radcliffe which respects haiku formalism. My illustration subtly refers to Wang Wei by bringing in a hint of plum blossoms. Hope you enjoy!

winter warbler;
long ago in Wang Wei’s
hedge also

winter warbler sings;
long ago in Wang Wei’s hedge
she sang for him too
(Tom Radcliffe)

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

Wang Wei’s winter plum blossom

Winter plum blossom 1
Winter plum blossom 1

A friend who is studying Chinese literature suggested this favourite  by Wang Wei as the starting point for me to draw an image. Here it is with the translation he sent with it below.


You, who came from my hometown,
can surely tell me hometown news.
The day you left, before the silk-curtained window,
Had the plum opened a winter blossom?

At first, I thought that perhaps a scene representing a last cup of tea with a friend before setting out on the travels would give some feeling of nostalgia for those left behind.Then I decided to try another perhaps more poignant view which could represent the sadness of the one left behind and lost love.Here are both. I would love to know which you prefer!

Images (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

Winter plum blossom 2
Winter plum blossom 2