Lotus mandala

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Lotus mandala (9″ x 9″)

I continue to be in a mandala mood. The title is a bit of a pun referring both to the lotus flower and sitting in lotus position. Once I had added the figures, it just seemed to make sense that they would be under water meditating …maybe they’re nymphs! I am sure that there are many possible interpretations. Here is Tom’s wonderful poetic one!

within the blue and lambent depths
beneath the floating leaves and flowers
somewhere deep the secret sits
immersed in emptiness and powers
that do not differentiate
between the poor and potentate
for neither lowest nor the high
are more nor less than souls that fly
through the waters of dark ponds
where illusion’s light is clear
bringing all that’s distant near
while fishes swim through waving fronds
and in the centre still there dwells
more yet more than words can tell

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

 

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Rabbits at the gate …mandala

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Rabbits at the gate (9″ x 9″)

Like most mandalas this one evolved from the centre …I am really not sure where the rabbits came from but I like them! They seemed to be confident of their own reason for being there though …and I love Tom’s poetic take on this one!

Solemn rabbits guard the grassy gates
protecting something secret at the centre
where cold Truth in Beauty’s cloak awaits
for the his lover now to gently enter:
stepping silently across the fields
toward the precious prize that will not yield
to blandishments nor lies nor flattery
but only to the gentlest of breeze
that wafts across the fields beneath the sky
upon a summer’s night: a golden moon
that swings through spaces where the stars are strewn,
cuts, a crescent scimitar on high.
The gates of grass swing open, rabbits dance
as Truth and Beauty share a secret glance.

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

ink landscape

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ink landscape (9″ x 10″)

I did this a few months ago messing around with new ink and various brush techniques – an experimental piece. Recently Tom caught sight of it in my sketch book, got inspired and wrote this delightful poem!

I really rather like it here
upon this little hill
Nothing much is far or near
the air is warm and still

This lovely tree casts shade for me
the view is just sublime
A place to contemplate and see
there is no truth but time

Its passage measures all the ways
we learn, forget, and change
Marking out our years and days
which always seems quite strange

For we have only just enough
to do what we must do
So fill it well with love and stuff
and contemplate what’s true.

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

Wedding blooms …oil painting

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Wedding blooms (6″ x 6″)

A quick oil sketch showing the colours and forms of the flowers – peonies, ranunculus, lisianthus, and more.

Here is Tom’s poem!

These are the colours of our wedding day:
deep and rich and bright. They’re kind of fun,
and besides they stood and heard us say,
“You know, I really think you are the one”
or words to that effect as we two stood
facing our tomorrows side-by-side:
committing to the useful and the good,
knowing what’s not taken will abide.
These simple colours riding high on stems
held within your hands as down we walked
across the grass that brushed our fancy hems
as in the trees the birds and sunlight talked:
they stood with us as we both vowed our vows
and gave their blessing with their graceful bows.

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

garden of delight …mandala

20180703-garden-of-delight
garden of delight (9″ x 9″)

I sat down and started doodling in watercolour a few days ago. Usually, I start with the ink drawing, but this time the inking was done last. Perhaps it’s not surprising that this mandala is mostly plant motifs after spending lots of time recently hiking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Even the green plums were inspired by fruit I saw ripening beside the sidewalk this week. It’s a very rich time of year! …the watchful eyes …well Tom responded to those in his delightful poem – which is where I took the title.

In this garden of delight
where peaches hang and chances might
be taken under watchful eyes
I’m feeling bold and not so wise
as to let the moment pass
and so I bend to kiss a lass
when from behind a tree there sounds
a soft “meow”, the voice rebounds
from tree to branch to leaf to stem
and where was one there now is “them”:
a panoply of watchers wild
who leave us both for now beguiled
by gazes focused, clear, intense
instilling just a bashful sense
of standing naked in the light
of creatures who have walked the night
and yet we two still turn and kiss
for moments pass, and might be missed.

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

Wild rose …oil painting

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Wild rose (6″ x 6″)

I was feeling in a playful, flower mood …and still thinking pink I guess! This one just evolved with no reference and I decided afterwards that they look a lot like wild roses. I like the stained glass effect.

Tom’s lovely poem populates the image with bugs and birds. Hidden from the observer of the painting, it is not hard to imagine them just out of view.

A wall of flowers blocking off the way
to some hidden paradise of dark
where a bug might shelter from the rays
of sunlight, hiding from a hungry lark
in search of food for chicks still safe-ensconced
at home in nests of grass, the cozy haunts
of birds who know their children need such care
and keep them safe and warm before the air
is flapped beneath their enterprising wings
to lift the chick away above the ground
exploring all that’s lost and can be found
from the heights where soon the lark will sing.
Behind the wall the bug has found its home
But in the dusk will dare again to roam.

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

pink rhododendrons …oil painting

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pink rhododendrons (6″ x 6″)

This is another painting inspired by a visit to a rhododendron garden a month or so ago. It was quite wonderful, colourful, and vibrant. Interestingly, although I decided to leave the bee from my reference photo out, Tom somehow saw it in the painting anyway! Those blooms were certainly inviting to the busy pollinators!

When a bee approaches fecund flowers
along a line so straight and always true
its senses buzz with subtleties and powers
that draw it where sweet blossoms bloom anew
with nectar sweet and pollen rich, inviting
a happy bee to search and find, alighting
upon the petals nearest to the anther,
pirouetting like a tiny dancer
to sweep long hairy legs that catch a load
of all that workers, queens and lazy drones
are craving most within their honeyed homes:
so eagerly she flies the homeward road
leaving far behind the sheltered grove
where blossoms bloom in red and pink and mauve.

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