Archive for sonnet

embracing grove mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/06/10 by greenteadoodles
20170610-embracing-grove-mandala

embracing grove mandala

A new mandala! Back to one of my favourite themes …trees! This time I used a division of ten for the first time – usually it’s eight or twelve. To me, it has an innocent Garden of Eden feeling – before the bite.

20170610-embracing-grove-mandala-detail

embracing grove mandala – detail

A apple waits in the centre of each tree…

Tom’s sonnet inspired by the image takes on a medieval feeling.

deep within the beating heart of trees
open spaces open invitation
to a knight who rides the land so free
and a maid of bold clear-eyed temptation
spreading limbs and roots within the grove
leafy shadows dapple dance and quaver
as a gust sweeps through the central trove
leaving them in silence while they savor
gasping moments breathing in the sound
hearing sights and tasting touch beside
each other lying on the welcome ground
the grass beneath a slowly rising tide
sunlight paints their naked innocence
hearts and minds in pure coincidence

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

Blossom, branch and sky – oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/15 by greenteadoodles
20170511-blossom-branch-and-sky

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

expressive mask mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/05 by greenteadoodles
20170505-expressive-masks-mandala-resized

expressive mask mandala

Well, this has to be one of the stranger mandalas I have done so far! It started with an idea about six faces integrated and separated by the Celtic knots. The last thing to be added were the six small faces. I am not sure what they represent – one’s conscience? ancestors? descendants? imps? There may be no single meaning to the various faces and expressions so the viewer can overlay their own meaning.

Here’s Tom’s poetic take on it which took a darker, allegorical turn.

Subtleties of secular expression
each in opposition to the other
balancing the soul’s intense progression
’round the stations of my truest lover:
steady, saddened, joyous, shocked, concerned.
contemplative of her soul’s possession
of a body ruffed by wreathen ferns
wondering at time’s unchecked succession.
Anger fading to annoyance then
acceptance, understanding, contemplation,
wryly knowing all that one may ken
of the centre’s subtle conflagration.
The mystery of mysteries remains
Yet still we stand, defending life’s domain.

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

spring lake edge mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/27 by greenteadoodles
20170426-spring-lake-edge

spring lake edge mandala

As usual the colour really transforms the black and white mandala. The palette for this one was particularly spring-y with the greens and purples. I almost lost the minnows but you can still see them swimming in the shallows. 🙂 Makes me want to take a ramble down to the lake’s edge and see if the blue flags are blooming yet!

Tom wrote another special sonnet for this water-coloured version. Once again the poetry brings out a shared yet different vision together making a complete piece of art.

there is an island in the empty sea
its shores awash with waves from distant climes
overcoming reefs to strike the lee
crashing up against a wall of time
through the coastal swamp to higher ground
through the jungle toward the living centre
through the wilding spaces that astound
through the gates where only lovers enter
to the secret hiding at the core
where flowers grow within a tangled thicket
opening to all the world and more
guarded by a knot of wicker pickets
at the centre motion comes to rest
lovers laugh at time’s uncertain jest

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

water’s edge weavings mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/24 by greenteadoodles
20170420-waters-edge-weaving-mandala

water’s edge weavings

The ink stage is finished for the latest mandala. This one was inspired by the blue flags that are a typical spring flower where I grew up. They are beautiful and somewhat rare in my experience finding their place right on the edge between the rocks of the Canadian Shield and the water of the lake. As with most of the mandalas I have been drawing, there are embedded Celtic knots and at least one animal playing off the symmetry – in this case three minnows and a dragonfly.

Tom has written a beautiful sonnet that echoes and deepens the image.

rippled lobes that move forever outward
curving through the waters of the form
spars that bend beyond the point of breaking
yet still hold together through the storm
knots entwined in paradoxes folding
over depths concentrically excited
spherical harmonics tessellating
surfaces by shadow now ignited
into beauty changelessly in motion
always fixed but never standing still
echoing the memory of an ocean
deep beneath where silence drinks its fill

a universe encompassed in a jewel
by the water’s edge: a forest pool

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

the light of Provence …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/19 by greenteadoodles
20170419-Provence-light

the light of Provence

The focus here was to achieve the feeling of a sunlit day in Provence – the dance of the dappled light and the happy flowers below the window.

Tom’s sonnet for this painting imagines being behind that window. Lovely!

Light among the shadows hiding darkness
behind the glass transparent where the room
is cool with dappled dimness as the summer
day ascends and banishes the gloom
from secret places dark within the house
dust motes dance across the beams so bright
roses tap against the window panes
holding up a handful more of light
inviting out the occupants to day:
“Come into the warmth of welcome summer!”
call the flowers now in happy song
marching to the season’s swaying drummer.
Day is dancing, dappling the walls:
Melancholy melts and sadness falls.

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

peonies pink and white …oil painting

Posted in art, flowers, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , on 2017/04/10 by greenteadoodles
peonies pink and white

peonies pink and white

I have started up oil painting again – yay! I have done three very small (6″x6″) paintings for an online painting course – Once Upon a Time in Provence with Dreama Perry. I can’t recommend her courses enough – so much inspiration! I will not be posting the paintings I am doing as part of the course and following her instructional videos as they are her copyrighted material in terms of composition, method etc. However, as I go along, I will post other pieces I am doing.

This is a 9×12 oil on gesso board of two peonies in a blue jar using the alla prima method where oil paint is layered wet on wet in a single session. Here the challenges I was focused on were painting the white peony using a subtle variety of colours for the shadows and getting a pleasing effect of transparency and shine for the glass jar.

Tom’s poem to go with this one is a little melancholy but reminds us to see beauty and love life in the moment.

so pretty on the table in the sun
warming up the lonely room with colour
pushing back the shadows and the dun
dreary dullness in the days of dolour
a bright reminder of more happy times
living beauty grown in fertile soil
giving pleasure as the churchbell chimes
calling mourners all to gentle toil
remembering the layered past beyond
this circled sadness of the present instant
skipping stones across a summer pond
listening to the loon in purple distance
a momentary beauty still in life
bringing solace in the midst of strife

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