Thursday, 3 June 2021

What is it they say about weeds ? ...that they are merely a flower in the wrong place... well I suppose that seems right when you see a dandelion in the middle of a grassy lawn... unless you feel the joy of seeing a sudden splash of deep yellow overrides this ? I know so little about gardening, having only had my own garden since retirement... so often I find muself wondering... surprised by the beautiful deep blue of these small flowers: ooo how lovely, was my first thought, followed by oh perhaps its a weed ? Does anyone recognise this ? With all the rain this spring these bushy, thick-stemmed plants have been emerging everywhere... reminding me of a few years ago when some rather pretty pink flowers with lovely red-stemmed leaves began to appear... I thought they looked lovely & left them... not realising they would seed everywhere... and when I discovered someone had pulled a few of these plants up, leaving them in a small heap right in the middle of the front path... I finally got the message!!

Sunday, 30 May 2021

surprising hawthorn blossom lights up the garden ! ...an ordinary tree really comes into bloom as never before...

Saturday, 29 May 2021

...as promised... here is the art trail map... go to the wivenhoe art trail website to see examples of work by various artists in the trail... and then with this map you can plan your route...enjoy this opportunity to visit these free galleries around WIvenhoe over the weekend of 25, 26, 27th JUne...

Saturday, 22 May 2021

janet driver : acid-etched deep green leaded glass panel For several hours high winds of 56 - 60mph have been buffeting our trees around, making me feel almost sea-sick ! so I have chosen a still & peaceful image to follow after the rolling & rollicking branches... In fact this hanging plant I came across a few years ago when visiting a butterfly house near Kew Gardens was so still... merely turning very slowly as it hung down above a pool surrounded by exotic plants and beautiful butterflies...I remember the amazing stillness I felt as I sat beside the water quietly sketching this beautiful flower...
I hope that by choosing to focus on either my glass panel or oil painting you might be able to catch a glimpse of silence, stillness & thankful joy...

Sunday, 16 May 2021

When lockdown is over... CELEBRATE BY VISITING THE ART TRAIL... CHOSE YOUR STUDIOS AND ENJOY FREE GALLERIES AROUND WIVENHOE... map to follow in a day or two...

Monday, 10 May 2021

Our Crabapple tree is now covered in blossom... but where are all the bees this year ? We normally have lots of bumblebees all over this tree when its in blossom... I have only seen one bee this year!

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Claude MOnet : Rouen Cathedral,sunlight... Monet sometimes painted the same subject showing the different effects of light & atmosphere ...His series on Rouen Cathedral shows how the changes in sunlight throughout the day can highlight different parts of the cathedral stonework and also bestow varying atmospheric colours...see wikipedia's page on Monet for a full range of his Rouen Cathedral series...

Monday, 3 May 2021

The Chapel at Trinity College, Kandy, Sri Lanka www.trinitycollegelk describes the amazing visionary drive with which this chapel was constructed in the 1920's...at a time when other churches in the island were being built in a more gothic european style>...great trouble was taken to revive the traditional & more Buddhist local architecture in building this beautiful chapel high up on the college hillside...each stone pillar is carved both at the base and near the upper level, as you can see in the detail below...
IN the main chapel there are three large murals by David Paynter...this one behind the pulpit is of the Good Samaritan... the artist had been a student at Trinity College before gaining a scholarship to the Royal Academy school of art, where he studied in the traditional Western style grounded in Classical & Renaissance Art and on returning to his family home in Sri Lanka he decided to use local models for these murals... in fact using students and teachers, together with a well-known and revered Bishop whose receeding back takes on the role of the priest in this Good Samaritan mural...

Thursday, 29 April 2021

THis SRi Lankan painting of the Face of Christ is painted by a Buddhist Monk : Bikku Uttarananda... but why?... How did a Buddhist monk come to know about Jesus ? I found this an interesting example of co-operation against the backdrop of the many divisions in SRi Lankan society... a Christian priest, Fr Aloysius Pieris SJ, felt he would like to learn more about Buddhism...particularly Buddhist meditation... accordingly he approached a saintly Buddhist scholar - monk and pleaded with him to take him on, as a Christian, wishing to learn from him the Buddhist way of life... It was agreed that he would be welcomed by the Buddhist Sangha [monks] if in return he would teach them something about Christianity...apparently he decided to share St JOhn's Gospel with them... and so followed years of in depth sharing between several Buddhist monks and this Christian monk, one of the results being Bikku Uttarananda's painting and various sculptures through which this artist wished to communicate between BUddhists and Christians, who otherwise tended to have very separate identities<... If you wish to read more about this, see the book :Christ for all people, edited by Ron Ogrady : WCC publication

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Friday, 23 April 2021


      jesusmafa painting : Footwashing; Peter’s initial shock/horror that Jesus would ever do this menial task of washing his feet...

villagers in the Mafa area of the Cameroon worked together on various Biblical narratives and acted them out so that they could be photographed and later painted to make posters which could be shown to groups learning about Christianity to enable them to understand the Bible... they amassed a large number of paintings which are beautiful in portraying Jesus as an African living among them...this painting is just one example...

and here is another.....          


                    jesusmafa : Jesus heals a blind man




Thursday, 22 April 2021



 
The Transfuguration, by an Indian artist...where Jesus is portrayed in the style of an Indian holy man or ‘sadhu’ with the kind of aura sometimes used to portray the Buddha’s Enlightenment... [eg in the Buddhist cave-temples in Dambulla, Sri Lanka]

for Indian Christian paintings in more Hindu style, see the artwork of Jyoti Sahi
 

Continuing this series on Christian paintings from various cultures... I am hoping to show you some more from Jesusmafa... & hopefully also some from Sri Lanka...

you might also be interested in a book published by the World Council of Churches: Christ for All Peoples...

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

                              Peace be still: mural painting by Chinese artist He Qi


 

the Risen Christ   : HeQi

He Qi has painted a large number of depictions of Christ in traditional Chinese style...ifyou would like to se emore, then try wHeQiArtgallery

Sunday, 18 April 2021


                 Jesus as the Good Shepherd John ch 10 : jesusmafa, Camerounian painting




good !  It took me some time, but I did manage to access my photos again today & Ive found another “good shepherd” painting... and for anyone who finds it confusing that this is a very ‘white’/European style after the African painting above... does it really matter whether Jesus is portrayed as an African or Indian, Chinese or European ?   well... I think the answer is both ‘yes’ and  ‘no’... even more confused ?

Well... we really have no idea at all what Jesus looked like... oh there have been various legends, but they only go back to about the 14th or 15th century... not back to the first  century AD...the Gospel writers never mention what he looked like, and although its strange for us to realise, there were no phones or cameras around then, and so no first century photos !  So all we know is that he probably looked like any other first century Jew living in Palestine...often outdoors & travelling the length & breadth of the country, probably on foot & sometimes on a donkey, so he would most likely have been very brown and quite rugged.




Why then do we have so many paintings of Jesus showing him as a pinkish-white’ European-looking person ?

Maybe that has more to do with the history of art and both the artists and those who commissioned them than anything else...

For the first 200 years or so Jesus was depicted through symbols eg the first letter of the alphabet elongated into the shape of a fish, or an anchor drawn with the cross-bars as a reminder of the crucifixion and resurrection... were these perhaps hidden, secret symbols ? as Christians were persecuted and put to death for their faith... ?  By the third or fourth century paintings on the walls of the Roman Catacombs [burial chambers ] were portraying Jesus as the Good Shepherd, in a Greek or Roman style of painting


Then we have the great artists of the Rennaisancelike Leonardo &Michaelangelo...both Italians...commissioned by Italian Popes... so naturally they would have chosen an Italian model when painting their pictures or creating sculptures ...including those of Jesus... and so we have tended to follow these artists, and have somehow come to think of Jesus as a ‘white’ person, without really thinking about it...Fortunately there are several artists from different cultures & countries around the world who are now seeing Jesus through their own eyes and painting him in many different ways...Over this next week or two I will try to find you some examples of paintings of Jesus from Indian, Chinese & African  artists & more...

Saturday, 17 April 2021


If you have submitted your email to receive automatic updates / emails whenever I post a new blogpage, then I understand that you should still be receiving these as usual until the end of June... then this service from blogger will be discontinued...you do not need to do anything about this yourself... I am trying to see if there is another provider, and will let you know if I am successful...

                                           


Thursday, 15 April 2021

 As I opened up this blog today I received a notice saying there will no longer be any email notifications sent out to all of you who have signed up to receive them whenever I post something new....apologies !

Then I discovered there is no longer the possibility of adding a picture...ooops

aha    :)   just at that moment my cat jumped up.... I have no idea what she did... but suddenly it became possible for me to access my photos again....   so here we go...

                                              ...and here she is...

Wednesday, 14 April 2021



Claude Monet : Waterlilies : photo of oil painting : Christies

 

 

Tuesday, 13 April 2021


 Although its still rather cold, our white cherry tree is now in full bloom, so it will not be long now before this road is full of pink cherry blosssom... as it gets a little more like springtime...

Monday, 12 April 2021

 

 I was reading about Comfrey recently, and then saw this plant which seems to have seeded rather like a wildflower down the bottom of our garden. Ive taken rather a liking to this little flower with its tight - knit spiral of buds gradually opening up in a much paler pink before the whole area is taken over by bluebells. If this is indeed Comfrey then I am very happy to leave it to grow all over the ground under the Judas Tree as this plant is apparently very good at renewing the soil, for its deep roots bring nitrogen from way below the surface and apparently if we put some of its leaves in with the compost they will help the waste vegetable matter to rot down as well as providing essential nutrients in the mix to enrich the soil for other plants...Quite a relief to find it doesn’t need to be pulled up like several other plants that seed everywhere looking quite pretty, but then I discover they are weeds beginning to take over the garden !

Sunday, 11 April 2021

 Rembrandt, self-portrait

images.jpg


cartoon from Sermons for Kids , on Thomas :St John 20v24 - thomas030307_01.jpg

Saturday, 10 April 2021


                                Lincoln Cathedral Chapter House : photo Michael D Beckwith

I love the way the stonework of this central pillar rises up and flows outwards across the whole space... so much joy conveyed through the centuries (from 11th-12th century architect & builders )... after this lockdown is over it would be well worth the climb up the steep hill to spend some time in this cathedral...

But why not celebrate the end of lockdown in June by visiting the

WIVENHOE ART TRAIL:  25th   26th  & 27th June 2021     & enjoy a wide variety of free galleries with all kinds of art & craftwork on display in various artist studios throughout Wivenhoe www.wivenhoeartrail.co.uk


Wednesday, 7 April 2021


                    Reflections...oil on canvas, Janet Driver (after Monet’s river Seine near Giverny paintings)

Tuesday, 6 April 2021


                                 small resurrection window, church of reconciliation, Taize, France

Monday, 5 April 2021





 St John ch 21... Peter decides to go fishing & several others go with him...do read for yourself what happens... these paintings depict the Risen Christ standing by the shore waving towards the boat, inviting them to come and have breakfast with him beside the Sea of Galilee...




Sunday, 4 April 2021

how do you paint something so unprecedented as the resurrection ? 
 Jyoti Sahi has solved this puzzle by portraying elements from both the crucifixion and resurrection... as though the crucified christ is bursting with new life... 

 try spending some time just looking at this painting...
 what emerges from the patterns ? what can you see here ? ...
 do these shapes remind you of anything ?

 I tend to see something new each time I look...
 the rather sharp tree branches that speak to me of pain..
. and yet the outstretched hands reaching upwards as though full of new life, growing into something completely new... into a new future that is far more joyful...
 yet with the shape of a cup deep in the centre... what could that symbolise ?
...two figures... could they be Mary & John ? 
 ...Mary, given another son to look after...
 and John, to comfort Mary in the depths of her grief...
 and to write the anonymous gospel that now bears his name... 
... ... ...

 
anothe rMary : Marymagdalene finally recognises the risen christ...John ch20...