Monday, 30 July 2018

August Butterfly Count

Do join this year’s Butterfly Count...

I painted this a few years ago after sketching in Sion House tropical butterfly room, and it reminded me of Peacock butterflies that seem to love Buddlea flowers. There were often several of these beautiful butterflies around the garden, but I haven’t seen any at all in the last few years. This year the only ones enjoying the heatwave seem to be Large White fluttering all around the lavender bushes.
This link below is for the Guardian selection of beautiful butterfly photos from people joining in the big butterfly count this year. Something joyful to look at for a change from the chaos just now.

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Sunday, 22 July 2018

Mary Magdalene

Mary of Magdala has suffered centuries of “Fake News”
... right down to the present day with Dan Browns book, followed by the film
...its no wonder we aren’t sure what to believe about her.

Mary Magdalene : He Qi
Our popular image of Mary of Magdala tends to weave together elements that belong to other women in the Gospels, like the ‘woman of ill repute’ who anointed Jesus feet [ Luke ch 7 v37-50 ]& yet there is no evidence whatsoever to support this. She was not a penitent prostitute but must have been a highly respected, wealthy lady, to be mentioned along with Joanna the wife of Chusa, Herod’s Steward [ Luke Ch 8 v 2-3.]travelling alongside the Twelve close followers of Jesus and “providing for them out of their own resources”.

Some years ago now I began painting a series of Easter Stations, to counterbalance the emphasis on Stations of the Cross. Zoning in on John’s Gospel for this, I began thinking about Mary of Magdala [John ch 20 v 1... ]

But my mind went back to memories of Lincoln Cathedral with its small side-Chapel dedicated to Mary of Magdala...a wonderful oasis of silent prayer...and its altar-frontal with a beautifully simple embroidered image in the shape of an eye with an alabaster jar of ointment, feet and tears. “Yes”, I thought: “Begin here and paint Mary of Magdala before and after the crucifixion...” 

Halfway through this painting of the anointing of Jesus feet, I realised this could not be part of a Mary of Magdala series, as John ch 12 clearly shows Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus was the one who anointed Jesus feet towards the end of Jesus life...a completely different Mary!  [And, incidentally, another occasion altogether from the one in Luke’s Gospel.]

So I started again...focusing on John ch 20, imagining what it might have been like to set out for the tomb early in the morning “while it was still dark...” 

Darkness before dawn 

How do  you visualise this scene...?

What does it say to you ?

Imagine you had