Fine feathers

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Fine feathers mandala (9″ x 9″ ink and watercolour)

If peacocks made snowflakes, maybe they’d look like this… I was thinking about the mandala calendar for this year and thoughts of winter months inspired this one.

I love the poem Tom wrote for this. It’s all festive swirl and glitter with hidden depths. Tom says: This one has a (very) little of James Joyce’s famous short story “The Dead” in it, which is often touted as the greatest in the English language, although I’d put Kipling’s “The Gardener” up against it. Here’s a link for those who (like me) haven’t read this yet or would like a refresher. http://www.online-literature.com/james_joyce/958/

Kaleidoscopes of winter snow
fall across the icy sky
upon the ladies as they go
to Christmas soirees, “By the by,
I must admit I love that shawl,
with orchids, stars, a forest tall,
it looks so warm and cozy-soft,
like otters snuggled in a croft
beneath a landscape, frozen, cold
where carolers sing songs of joy
their voices by the stillness buoyed
up to the sky’s wide peaceful fold
as stars look down upon our lives:
like blowing snow we swirl and rise.”

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

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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…

20170816-Snowflower-mandala
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