Evening crossing …oil painting

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Evening crossing (12″ x 12″)

Based on a view from the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria. At that time in the evening, the islands you pass look dark and mysterious. The strait was smooth, reflecting the dying light as it leaked through the clouds …a moment of transition in space and time.

Tom’s extremely quirky poem …well just read it!

The sea lies calm between the rocky shores
capturing the sun’s last golden rays:
bright Day is ending, “Leave them wanting more”
she whispers as she slips away, off stage
to take off makeup, rest and smoke a fag,
while gossiping with Dawn and watching Dusk
who entertains the punters in her rags
of scattered cloud and twilight ’til she’s thrust
into the wings by Night’s commanding step
onto the boards, her retinue of stars
all keeping time until the moon has crept
up through the trap to shine, so high and far.
Day stubs her smoke and goes off to her bed
To dream of Dawn and inhibitions shed.

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

The look of my blog will be changing soon! I am updating it in preparation for coordinating with my NEW WEBSITE! I am super excited that it’s almost ready to launch. There will be a post soon with a link.

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afterglow …oil painting

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Afterglow (9″x12″)

I really loved how the quality of light and the grandeur of the sky came across with this one. This is a view of English Bay from around Kitsilano Beach. I took some liberties with the colours enhancing them to give the feeling of that glorious sky.

Tom’s poem paints the scene with words.

as above, so too below
waters burnished by the glow
of golden sunset falling down
wreathing islands with a crown
of cloud and light as evening falls
while some distant seagull calls
across the waters calm and deep
where the day in silence sleeps

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

summer memory …oil painting

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summer memory (9×12)

While “enjoying” the cold and dark and damp, something that keeps me going is the memory of long summer days …and especially those spent on the water. What a peaceful joy that can be!

I think Tom agrees!

safe within the bay’s deep arms
sheltered from the storms and harms
of weather wild and rough deep seas
crashing somewhere to the lee
against the shores of distant isles
separated by the miles
of empty ocean, scudding wastes
far from here, this sheltered place
where there’s time for pause and rest
until again the sea’s behest
beckons us to raise our sails
and ride the waves in summer gales

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

Looking up through trees – 8 …oil painting

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Looking up through trees – 8

The under-painting for this one is cad orange and some cad yellow medium. Unlike some of the others of the series, there is no single large tree, but a characteristic texture of foliage, branches and light. I played with a variety of colours for the sky peeking through – blues, mauves, turquoises… That and the bits of under-painting that remain, give a nice vibrancy.

This is the second last of the series! The next post will include the centre piece and all nine 6″x 6″ paintings put together. 🙂

Here is Tom’s haiku written just for this piece – I don’t see any squirrels but I sure can imagine them!

searching bursts of green
ruffled breezes passing by
shaking squirrels on high

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

Looking up through trees – 1 …oil painting

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Looking up through trees – 1

I have started a series of small (6″x6″) paintings of trees with the idea that they will fit together into a grid of 9 paintings and give a complete sense of looking upward in the forest. I do love trees and spending time enjoying the trees on the West coast has inspired me even more. I am also trying out using various colours for underpainting for this series running from magenta through the various red tones to orange. It’s an experiment for me! You’ll be able to tell the underpainting colour from the signature which I do with a tool that removes the top layer of paint.

Once all the pieces are done, I will put them together and likely add some finishing touches to make sure everything works together. This allows me to do a larger piece in bite-sized segments!

No poems for these until the series is complete.

UPDATE: There may be poems for these! …and here is the haiku written for this first one. Thanks Tom!!

Green jigsaw puzzle
Forest fitting together
Corner piece of sky

Image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
Poem (c) 2017 TJ Radcliffe

Blossom, branch and sky – oil painting

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blossom, branch and sky

This one was experimental in terms of subject and composition. Starting from a photograph (thanks again Claire!) I manipulated the placement and angles and edited the elements down to what I thought best expressed the feeling I was trying to convey. Happy with that aspect! While the photo was showing blossoms in Taiwan, the blossoming cherry trees here in Vancouver have been a wonderful part of my introduction to living here.

And here is Tom’s sonnet for the painting. Too bad the painting doesn’t have the scent of the actual blossoms – but after reading the poem you’ll think it does! 😉

in the core of springtime dwells the flower
bud upon the long enleafened branch
waiting for the bee to grace her bower
releasing pollen’s fecund avalanche
into the cool clear dewy air of morning
to fall through quiet, wafting on the breeze
life itself on zephyrs now aborning
carrying sweet scents from flowered trees
down the city streets and neighbourhoods
across the boulevards and avenues
crying out the joy of cherrywoods
as just the thing to heal a life askew
Early morning joggers pause and breathe
the gift of springtime from the morning trees

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

painting sketch/sky study – Ontario dawn…

oil sketch - Ontario dawn
oil sketch – Ontario dawn

I did this quick sketch (about an hour) this morning to study the sky for the voyage. Photographing an oil painting while wet means that there is glare and the colours aren’t quite true. I may come back to this one later and make a more finished painting or else use it as a base for experimentation…

(cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer

UPDATE: New poem from Tom for this painting!

dawn comes in silence, slipping past the night
with stealthy steps it moves across the land
setting candles in the clouds alight
awakening the the trees that stay and stand
where glaciers once scraped a path of stone
across the empty landscape of the north
though so many left their weathered bones
from emptiness the dawn can still bring forth
the richness of a cold autumnal day
as shadows steal behind the rocks and hide
waiting for the winter come to play
patiently they lurk where night abides
neither light nor shadow wins the game
but darkness dances with the dawn’s bright flame

(c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe