Queen Anne’s Bee

Queen Anne’s Bee (4″ x 4″ oil on raised panel)

While I am working on some larger ongoing pieces, I thought I would continue painting some minis. Sometimes, I need to let the larger paintings sit – to dry a bit before adding more layers but also to let them percolate before I go full steam ahead and obliterate things that I may actually want to keep. I can be impulsive that way. 😉

Anyway, this mini is inspired by a meadow full of wild flowers and humming with bees that I visited while in Ontario this past summer.

image (C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Queen Anne’s Meadow

Queen Anne’s Meadow (16″ x 20″ oil on canvas)

This is the next in my “Skyflowers” series inspired by the southern Ontario farmland I grew up around and the late summer wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace. Here the clouds are both puffy cumulus and wildflowers. Have you ever noticed that most Queen Anne’s Lace have one tiny flower in the middle that’s red or purple? Of course they are mostly clusters of tiny white flowers so they work well as clouds, I think.

image (C) 2021 Hilary Farmer

flowering crystal mandala…

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flowering crystal mandala

The latest mandala has been water coloured! The colours have been kept very cool in keeping with the feeling of snow and cold I wanted to evoke on this hot sunny summer day! The very centre is red to keep a connection with one of the original inspirations – Queen Anne’s Lace. A tiny red central flower which is common for this wildflower, is to attract insects but I like the whimsy of the folk tale origin – it represents a drop of Queen Anne’s blood pricked from her finger while making the lace.

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flowering crystal mandala detail with spring azure butterfly

A detail showing the spring azure butterfly which is one of many insects attracted to Queen Anne’s Lace.

Tom’s new poem for the water-coloured mandala gets to the heart of the cold winter feeling …be refreshed on this summer day!

In the heart of hopeful winter
Crystal flowers spin and grow
Under pressure splinters sinter
Dusting down as drifting snow
Jeweled movement in the centre
Turns the world through double-hours
Ticking as the New Year enters
Through the door of Winter’s tower
Along the moonbeams sliding silver
Drift soft snowflakes to their rest
Keeping seasons in fine kilter
Unsung heroes on a quest
To keep all Nature’s endless round
Turning, never winding down

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 TJ Radcliffe

snowflower mandala…

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snowflower mandala

What could be more refreshing during August than thinking about snowflakes?! Given the time of year, thinking about snowflake patterns led to wondering about similarities with the wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace. In the end, this mandala is inspired by both but is neither one nor the other – and just when you’ve decided that it is really mostly a snowflake, there’s a butterfly – spring azure – lurking around the perimeter to make it flower-like again. Here’s a photograph that started me thinking about the texture of the Queen Anne’s Lace. (Check out his blog – he’ll make you see wildflowers with new eyes!)

Tom wrote a delightful poem full of both summer and winter for this one!

Subtle turning of the seasons
Marching bands of heat and cold
Crystals ringing changes, reasons
Why all flowers fade and fold
As the season of the snows
Overtakes warm summer lands
Winds of winter skirl and blow
Pearls of ice turn on the strands
Of twisting currents through cold air
Lacing patterns, tracing flowers
Melting as the summer fair
Escapes from frozen empty towers
Life propelled by turning centre
Changes leave before they enter

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 TJ Radcliffe