Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Eve

the mystery of light 
shining in the darkness...
Mystery of light shining in darkness...Madonna & Child #5, Janet Driver

a sense of mystery...
even in the midst
of all the dark and terrible things that have been happening around us

the writer of the fourth gospel
gives us this hope..
that "in him was life
and that life is the light of all human beings..."

not just for a few
but for all...

and that light
which is life
"shines on and on
in the darkness..."
Darfur Madonna: Janet Driver
even in the darkness of trauma for refugees...? whether in Sudan, N Nigeria, Yemen, Syria...or ...?
yes...pinpoints of light, like candles in the darkness, lit by countless volunteers & rescue workers. 
Look for the stories of hope behind the headlines, and discover the light that is still there...
...shining on and on in the darkness...

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Cat Poses

On Friday the cat decided tried a new tactic to gain attention (*cough* food *cough).  She posed in purrfect profile. 
Her tactic backfired since instead of offering her an empty lap (or food) we took photos, looked at the photos and talked about the photos and praised her beauty.

The painting ....   now its my turn, as the artist, to complete this...not about the cat, though she is now sitting in her much -loved spot by my studio door...

...and the painting?  Well I was coming to that !     

This is one of my early oil paintings from the mid 70's, as a prayer / gift for my husband's ordination...originally painted the other way up, he later decided he preferred it this way up...
 I wonder, which way up is more meaningful for you ?

§c. janet driver.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Have you heard ?

If you would like to hear some good news against the backdrop of  all the troubles, listen to this

BBC World Service broadcast :

in their Heart & Soul series... this one is on how Muslims & Christians are sharing their beliefs in Mary...and what they have in common... I found "Sharing Mary" such a positive and hopeful message

Listen and hear for yourself...

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Praying through Creative Art

Weve had two good Sunday afternoons so far 
& one more to go in August...Sunday 21st.

Lost amidst the chaos of weeding & clearing our front garden, someone dropped by to chat...
 & said the art & prayer sounded interesting....but....well, could someone like me join in?
...I mean what do you actually do ?

Well, a few brave souls decided to come & dip their toe into the water, so to speak...

& the first afternoon we began by looking at Jesus Calming the Storm: Mark 5 v 35-41 

Annie Valotten : Line drawings for the Good News Bible : Jesus stills the storm

Then, taking the storm as symbolic of chaotic events in our lives, or in the news,
Tsunami : etched & sandblasted antique glass panel
we chose pastel colours to doodle...shapes & colours to express our/angry /fearful / chaotic feelings
then took time in silence to pray that Christ might still this storm within us,....

finally drawing a symbolic shape to symbolise His presence within & among us,
whether expressed as calm on a wide sea...

or a variety of other colours & shapes...

Anyone can join any level... its simply a way of going more deeply into what you really wish to bring before God in prayer... & maybe, a way of getting away from the wordy "shopping list"!

On our second afternoon we had a go at intercessory prayer, without using words, but instead using coloured pastels & drawing shapes to represent the people / events we wished to bring before God in prayer.

then do let me know...and we might plan some more small groups in Wivenhoe...
or a Quiet Day somewhere, focusing on silent prayer through creative art.

 ( click on page "Prayer painting/Quiet Day" above for more details )

Sunday, 17 July 2016


Sicily ?
 what did  I know about this island ?

... only that it looked as though it was being being nudged by Italy's big toe into the middle of the Mediterranean... and here we were, a few days after the referendum, feeling as though our own island was spinning off course...split almost down the middle, amid the chaos of no follow up plan & spiteful incidents against "foreigners" who had been living & working here for years...  & I must admit that being in central London, where, like Scotland, the majority voted Remain, I felt the need to counteract my grey hair with a T-shirt saying "Don't blame me: I'm A-Typical " !

Moving on to the British Museum...I really had no idea just how fascinating this exhibition was to be

amid the most delicate intricate carvings we discovered the earliest document on paper: a letter written in both Greek & Arabic... a Psalter in three languages : Greek, Latin & Arabic

and this fascinating tombstone: with Arabic written down using Hebrew script, followed by Latin,  Greek and then Arabic.

Do go and see for yourself... 
& read this review beforehand...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Open Studio / Open Gardens Sat 21st May 11-5pm

I'm amazed by the abundance of blossom
and surprised by how few bees & butterflies there are this year
considering the amount of pollen, nectar and glorious scent around the garden.


Our Almond tree was covered in white blossom during January
but sadly this photo says it all...
 heavy night frost:
poor blossom didn't have a chance !

But soon the whole garden came alive
with beautiful bluebells
purple iris, far too early
masses of cherry blossom, damson & pear

but sudden warm spell...
far too hot for comfort,
everything opened too fast;
petal-filled pathways...

Will there be anything left
in two weeks time ?

Will this delicate white clematis
joyfully encircling tree-trunk
still be there ?
Or apple blossom and blueberry bells?

Ah, but there will be some new arrivals;
just look at these...

and there's always the STUDIO...
Don't forget...

We will be opening
on Saturday 21st May: 11-5pm
as part of

Come...& see... & have a cuppa tea !

Friday, 22 April 2016

Resurrection Paintings by Jyoti Sahi

Resurrection by Jyoti Sahi

Jesus and the Samaritan
Woman at the Well : Jyoti Sahi
If you enjoyed these paintings during the "Come and see..." meditations, then you may be interested in this article I've just found on three resurrection paintings by Jyoti Sahi:

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

April Showers ?

What a day !

Rain pouring down...
roads & fields saturated overnight
making driving difficult
with deep, wide "rivers"
along roadsides...
the most beautiful colours
of leaves just breaking through
 against dark oak tree trunks

Magnificent Magnolias
then brilliant warm sunshine...

cat basking in favorite place across studio threshold,
 at last the pool of water which flooded
through the skylight
 has dried out

...joyful birdsong...

 sudden thunder & lightning,
huge raindrops so loud
 the cat hides in a corner
 and mews at me,
as though
 its all my fault
 as large hailstones
 pelt down noisily
 bouncing right inside the doorway...

just as suddenly giving way
to deep blue sky

glorious sunshine
lighting up the magnolia tree next door...
Magnolias : Blue Dream  

 reminding me of paintings
 from this time last year,
 when the magnolia blossom
 basked in warm sunshine,
 suspended in stillness
 rather than suffering
 from this year's gales.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter Day: Poetry & Painting : Emmaus

The Servant Girl at Emmaus
(A Painting by Velázquez)
She listens, listens, holding
her breath. Surely that voice
is his—the one
who had looked at her, once, across the crowd,
as no one ever had looked?
Had seen her? Had spoken as if to her?
Surely those hands were his,
taking the platter of bread from hers just now?
Hands he'd laid on the dying and made them well?
Surely that face—?
The man they'd crucified for sedition and blasphemy.
The man whose body disappeared from its tomb.
The man it was rumored now some women had seen this morning, alive?
Those who had brought this stranger home to their table
don't recognize yet with whom they sit.
But she in the kitchen, absently touching
           the wine jug she's to take in,
a young Black servant intently listening,
swings round and sees
the light around him
and is sure. 

Denise Levertov (1923–1997)
For Levertov's poetry, see Paul A. Lacey and Anne Dewey (editors), with an Introduction by Eavan Boland,The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov (New York: New Directions, 2013), 1063pp.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday

Following the service at St Bartholemew, Holland on sea, here are the two paintings so that you can see their colours: 
Chagall : White Crucifixion  1938
Chagall's White Crucifixion Revisited  2015 :

"Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing " Luke 23


Sunday, 7 February 2016

"Come and see..."

 A meditative series on St John's Gospel

 April 2016

 We shall be looking at Jesus' encounters with various different people though the eyes of the author of Johns Gospel, and the eyes of artists who have sometimes spent months or even years in meditation before communicating their insight with us...

Two Disciples a the Empty Tomb: Henry Ossawa Tanner   
Like Henry Tanner, who painted this defining moment for the author of John’s Gospel, 

"He saw & he believed”    John 20 v 1-8

When I first saw this painting it made me stop and think more deeply about Peter & the "other disciple"... Peter, as yet unsure what to make of the empty tomb, and his companion bathed in resurrection light.

At the end of his Gospel, this enigmatic "unknown disciple" tells us:
 “there were many other things Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written !”  [ John 21 v 25 ]

 I have only chosen a few out of hundreds of paintings for these meditations... 
...paintings that follow his meditative style of writing... 
...contemporary paintings from artists around the world, as well as more classical paintings... that we might stop, look, and take time
 to meditate upon
 some of the events recorded in this Gospel

Interested ?

then please email for details :

we shall be a small housegroup, so early booking is essential !

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

"Come and see..."


Glimpses of Jesus in St John’s Gospel

With paintings by artists around the world
to give new insight and lead us into silence

by Jyoti Sahi...cp John 1 v 14

the more you look at some paintings, the more you see...
....and the same could be said of St John's Gospel...

especially if you look for hints of the portrait the author paints of Jesus

We shall spend time looking especially at Jesus' encounters with people like Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman at the well and several others, as recounted in John's Gospel and highlighted through the eyes of artists who communicate fresh insight from their own cultural background. 

This will not be an academic theological or art history discourse !

I will merely be like a prompter... giving you plenty of silence to look at each painting, with just a little background, quoting from the Gospel, and allowing time for meditation.

Five Thursday Evenings : April 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th & May 12th.
a small group at our home in Wivenhoe

please email:  

if you are interested in booking a place: the number we can comfortably fit into our room is naturally limited...

 advance booking is essential.

added Jan 21st 2016:
something else you might be interested here to read a BBC article about the Lampedusa Cross...

Sunday, 3 January 2016

At last a break in the downpour, and I rush out to check whether rain has come through the studio roof

 ...on the way I notice flecks of white on our young almond tree & can hardly believe its blossom already...

only the other day the pigeons were eating our crab-apples, as though it was still midwinter...

Now its Spring already ?

right at the beginning of the new year ?

Well, 2015 has been the warmest year globally.. and we have never known a warmer December...

Looking at continued reports of flooding, relentless as the rain, I just hope politicians live up to their Climate Change rhetoric: encouraging Solar & Renewable energy sources instead of killing them off.

 "...its do-able.."  [1]

 Yes... but only if we act fast...

and the devastating floods in the North of England & Scotland should give a strong incentive & warning kick-start !

...or...what indeed will we tell our grandchildren ?              

 [if you missed the speech to which I am referring...see 1 below]

[1] pm speech to the COP21 climate change summit in Paris.: click this link for full text: