Signs of fall

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Signs of fall (9″ x 12″ watercolour on paper)

For the next few weeks there will be less (or no) oil paintings and more watercolour or ink pieces. We are moving soon and the idea of trying to move wet oil paintings makes me cringe. Anyway, it is great to have other, quicker drying media that are also fun!

Dancing patterns of leaves fascinate me at this time of year and the colour play can be subtle or bold making for potentially endless variety. It’s very freeing because basically, all decisions work out looking good!

I always love Tom’s poems but this one is especially wonderful, I think.

Stems of autumn, soft decay
permeates their fallen leaves
yet still some beauty, green and grey,
falls between their stalks and sleeves
as season’s cycle yearns and turns
autumnal colours flare and burn
to scent the air with voiceless smoke
that rises from the forest’s coke
within the loam’s dark furnace hot
where summer crumbles into coals
and for the days of warmth there tolls
a curfew’s bell of iron wrought.
Falling figures through still air
dance for all that may be there.

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

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Spring’s crown …mandala

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Spring’s crown

A celebration of Spring! I just got a new watercolour set and may have been a little over-excited – the colours are so vibrant! Anyway, it is definitely in the spirit of the piece.

Tom’s haiku expresses its essence.

bold compact centre
buds brazenly unfolding
spring’s bright laurel crown

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

cedar island dreams …ink & watercolour

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cedar island dreams

A study of the local Gulf Islands landscape. The ink part was done with carbon black ink in a fountain pen with an ultra fine but flexible nib – really nice to draw with! A quick wash of watercolour brought it to life.

Tom’s evocative haiku! (I took the title of the piece from the haiku – not vice versa.)

face turned up, warm sun
eternally reflecting
cedar island dreams

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

garden veil mandala…

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garden veil

Pink flowers, green leaves, a tawny cat …and a lacy white tracery.

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garden veil – detail

Here is Tom’s lovely poem.

Lacy network, leafy ruff
worn about my lady’s throat
made from all the finest stuff
like her veil and petticoat.
Through her veil the garden’s wild
panoply of flowers beguiled
as away her time she whiled
by the pool whose bottom’s tiled
with stones and fragments of her soul.
Deep she leans across the pond
reflecting on a memory fond,
before time took it’s mortal toll.
Somewhere children laugh behind
Bringing hope and joy to mind.

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

embroidered room mandala…

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embroidered room mandala

I wanted the colours for this one to be very rich with mostly purples, reds and oranges. This is a “mini-mandala” so about 6″ in diameter but there is a lot packed in so here is a detail.

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embroidered room – detail

As usual, Tom saw even more curious things than I did. This new poem encapsulates a whole story!

The lamps are lit, the wheels must turn
let the toothy gears engage
opening the secret urn
decoding all the truths the Sage
encrypted on four secret scrolls
each entire and carefully rolled
hidden well ’til they were stoled
then to a Magus quickly sold!
Now in London they do lie
waiting for the seance start
where the Sage’s beating heart
will for justice–vengeance–cry
within the rich embroidered room
where four men go to meet their doom!

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

purring cats mandala…

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purring cats mandala

What can I say? A playful drawing begged for playful colours! And now the tiny cats are easy to see. UPDATE: See below to really see those kitties!

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Purring cats mandala – now you can see them!

As usual, Tom saw all kinds of things to inspire his whimsical poetry.

Cotton candy clouds of wine
fill so full the valley cups
to the hill’s soft plimsol line
where the downs go to meet up
with the mysteries of the night
which rise while lovers dance in flight
toward completion, whole and right,
on to dawn’s emergence bright
from behind the hollow hills
where white cats lie nestled deep
practicing their purring skills
until they’re perfect, then they sleep
amidst the sun and shade of trees
while lowing herds cross o’re the leas.

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

pavilion mandala…

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pavilion mandala painted

The colours of a summer afternoon! It was pleasant to put myself in that zone on a grey autumn day. (This was mini-mandala 3 now water-coloured.)

And here is Tom’s seductive poem continuing the medieval theme!

Through skies of softest Tyrian blue
joyous swallows flit and fly
delighting in the evening hues
of the dusky darkling sky
while beneath a silken cover
knight and lady, lord and lover,
whisper secrets to each other
softly sliding truth discovered
somewhere in the space between
each breath, each word, each kiss, each touch
as swallows dance above the green
until enough is more and much
is carried on throughout the night
until the dawn brings love to light.

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