Tulips

20200501-Tulips
Tulips (20″x 20″) oil on canvas

This larger tulip painting doesn’t look much like the study posted previously but I think they each have different things going for them. I especially enjoy the undulating leaves in the foreground in this one.

Here is Tom’s haiku written for this painting. As he said – “Small poem for a large painting! They seem innocent and open, but the wood behind…”

pink, red, open, closed…
tulip blossoms greet spring sun
keeping no secrets

image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe

Spring flames

20200429-Tulips-study
Spring flames (6″ x 8″ oil on raised panel)

Here is a little study from when the tulips were just starting to show their colours. I was playing with the brush strokes and the colour palette for this. Although I actually like how it looks, the bigger painting of tulips I did after turned out quite different. Hopefully I can post that one soon.

Tom wrote a beautiful poem for this one.

Some fires burn more brightly in the sun
and in the dark retreat to embers, cool,
exploding once again to join the fun
while playing for the rest of us the Fool
who trips and stumbles, bounces up again
whenever springtime sunshine touches down
to warm the Earth while shyly singing wrens
banish by their edicts every frown.
Behold the flames that stir the winter heart,
rising toward the sky in hopeful light
to lift the spirits, signalling the start
of another day before the night.
For though the fire is fleeting it will burn
again in other hearts as seasons turn.

image (c) 2020 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2020 TJ Radcliffe

Tulips and spirals …oil painting

20180510-tulips-and-spirals
Tulips and spirals (6″ x 6″)

I guess I’ve had spirals on my mind lately and this is how they expressed themselves this time! The tulips are the feathery double-petaled type and so look like pink and yellow roses.

Tom wrote this gorgeous poem. I guess he saw roses too!

Beneath the bending swirls of sky
the roses blouse in bending breeze
while the universe goes by
in a silent twirling frieze
of galaxies linked by the tides
of gravity while Earth abides
alone in all the cosmic splendor
and yet unwilling to surrender
to the cold equations of
the empty sky and sterile stars
that twinkle brightly from afar
knowing neither loss nor love.
Beneath the stars in careless flight
Flowers grow against the night

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

tulips and friends …oil painting

20180425-tulips-and-friends
tulips and friends (12″ x 12″)

This abstracted floral was inspired by a photo I took on a recent visit to Victoria. What amazing gardens they have at this time of year! …well from now until September really. Great gardening climate. As you can likely tell by looking at it, I took a lot of liberties painting very loosely and feeling free with it. An impression of something can feel even more real than a photograph in some ways and that’s what I am working on achieving.

Tom has written a sonnet for this one that gives more scope for thought!

This riotous intensity of life
this flowing force of beauty growing tall
this moment of reality, a slice
of time: this Garden does not fail or fall
but bursts forthright upon the worldly stage
to teach the innocent, unlearn the sage
arrest a glance and free the troubled mind
overwhelm the proud, reward the kind.
This Garden waits for all who wander lost
across the empty spaces, forests, fields,
searching for the treasure that time yields
although their lives be rough and tempest tost.
Not somewhere after death is our reward
but here and now in beauty’s soft accord.

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

yellow parrot tulips…a painting process

step 1 - background

I originally bought the tulips in March 2010. I was thinking at that time that if I left the canvas white where the tulips would be, that they would glow better and the yellow would be truer.

step 2

When I decided to actually develop this painting last weekend, I decided that I would be able to have a looser approach if the whole background was filled in and I wouldn’t have to worry about white canvas peaking through where I didn’t want it to.

step 3

Then I needed to actually start painting the tulips. Fortunately I had taken photos of the original tulips to work from. It developed quite quickly but didn’t yet have the contrast I wanted.

step 4

At this point I darkened up some areas and added some highlights to increase contrast. (Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show this very clearly)

final step

Here I laid in some thick layers of paint to given some texture on the petals and leaves and finally the signature!

detail

A detail to show the texture. Since I have been finding it a bit of a challenge to stay loose when working on canvas (as opposed to paper) I am reasonably pleased with the results.

images (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer


spring…almost…

tulips!

I was feeling like spring even though the weather isn’t! So here is a spring inspired doodle of tulips. They are so ephemeral – such a brief blossoming and then they’re gone. So enjoy them when they’re here!! (but that’s not yet if you live in the same part of the country that I do… but soon, soon.

UPDATE: New spring poem from Tom – with tulips and more….!

Bright tousled heads all ruffled by the wind
that blows from hither, thither, also yon:
tumultuous Spring, you’re melting Winter, skinned
in snowy cloaks you shed with every dawn.
The tulips toss and tarry for a time
that’s short by human reckoning but then
they spread green leaves to warming Summer climes
while letting petals drop into the fen
of Winter pools where snow-melt lies so still
uncertain of its role in coming days,
should Frost return and give the tulips thrills
while riding through the roller-coaster haze.
Brief vernal flower remind us of the Spring
and all the joy that Summer soon will bring!

Copyright (C) 2011 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2011 Hilary Farmer