Nectar dreaming mandala

20180729-Nectar-dreaming (1)
Nectar Dreaming (9″ x 9″ ink and watercolour)

Have I mentioned it’s been hot here? I continue to have a rather tropical inspiration permeate my work!

Here is a magical poem from Tom …a riff on T.S. Elliot’s “Usk”.

Do not step and break the branch
where snakes slip soft
on forest floor
bright birds dip beaks but not too deep
seeking wisdom
asking more
of ancient mysteries that dwell
down the Amazon
a dell
contains the secret
in grey air
a high safe nest
a serpent’s lair

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


parakeet doodle…


showing his colours...


I did this doodle on the train on my way home for Thanksgiving (yes Canadian). The jiggly motion of the train explains the especially loose and open quality. I was originally thinking I would touch it up when I got to firmer ground but I decided that I like it this way – it reminds me of the motion of the train ride.

I remember once when sketching on a trip in Portugal, the wind whipped the paper causing a jagged pen line across my drawing.  At first I was annoyed but whenever I look at that drawing I am transported back to the hilltop and the feeling of the wind in my hair as I sketched that church.

UPDATE: New poem from Tom in the comments – thanks Tom!!

Squaaawk! I am a rusty hinge
flying through the air well-singed
with cries of parakeets a-binged
on fruits and nuts from orchard’s fringe!

We flock in floods above the Earth
swoop down wherever there’s a dearth
of colour or of tropic mirth
then off we fly for all we’re worth!

Maybe eagles are more proud
and geese and ducks form bigger crowds
while swans are stately in their shrouds
but parakeets are bright and loud!

For all the sky is ours to roam
an open airy peaceful home
beside the ocean edged with foam
our fight is motion’s endless poem!

Copyright (C) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

pretty bird…


long tailed bird


After drawing several creatures of the sea, I thought I might try a few of the sky… This one is a “doctor bird”. I wonder what this little guy is looking so askance at!

I hope you like the new style. I’ve started using a Chinese brush (digital of course) and the effect is quite pleasant I think!

UPDATE: New from Tom in the comments a hilarious poetic response to the image!

It’s awfully high up on this branch!
You too, you too, would look askance
if you’d landed way up here
then realized you have a fear
of heights!

I think that I’ll just take a breath
forget the plunge of certain death
that awaits beneath these things
upon my back: could they be wings?
So light!

Of course! Now I remember what
they are, I am. I just forgot!
Some days I drive myself insane
I’m such a silly goose bird-brain!

You see the problem is my tail,
it’s huge and elegant: I sail
through the skies so gracefully
but my brain’s distastefully
a mite!

So now and then I do forget
just who I am or why I’m wet
when I flutter in a bath
but I look gorgeous on the path
of flight!

Copyright (C) 2010 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer