Looking Back

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Looking Back (6″ x 8″ oil on gessoed wood)

An exploration of the ocean and mountains at Desolation Sound. I mentioned in a previous post about the amazing beauty there and I will no doubt continue trying to capture it. So far, I feel Tom’s lovely poem is much more evocative of this magical place.

There are no mountains, nor a sea,
nor any forests, green and deep,
but these that beckon, calling me
to pause within their sheltered keep
like a knight on olden fields
who wanders, fighting, never yields,
but battered on he travels still
seeking peace beside a rill
or stream where might a hart bound by
leaving stillness in its wake,
where the knight may bend and slake
his thirst for beauty where the sky
glows in beauty over trees
below the mountains, by the sea.

image (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

 

 

Cliffs and trees

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Cliffs and trees – 1 (4″ x 6″ watercolour postcard)

We took a trip up the coast of British Columbia this summer to a place of great beauty called Desolation Sound. Keeping in mind how many extraordinary places there are around, this was still almost unbelievable.

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Cliffs and trees – 2 (4″ x 6″ watercolour postcard)

These two little watercolours were the only paintings I did on site. I don’t know – maybe I was too busy soaking it all in but I am glad I at least I did these sketches. They do give the feeling of the sunlight and the scale of the cliffs and trees around the clove where we moored our sailboat. (Yes, I feel very lucky.)

I am sure there will be more paintings coming from memories of this trip.

As Tom’s poem so wonderfully evokes, we shared this place with many other creatures.

Stepping stones of giants climb
long pathways to the summer sky
where slow vultures dream in time
as eagles pass kingfishers by
before they circle down to land
in treetops reaching high, they stand
above the surface of the bay
where the sunlight dances, plays
with breezes blowing from the Sound.
Water ripples, calms again,
in warming depths the fishes claim
no better place was ever found.
I drift upon the waters, free
of care beneath the cliffs and trees.

images (c) 2019 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2019 TJ Radcliffe

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.

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