Sunday, 18 June 2017


There has been a lot of violence and tragedy in the UK in recent weeks, culminating in the horrific fire in a London tower block.  At times like these people who pray (like me) can feel overwhelmed by darkness and forget to see the beauty of love and heroism shown in the responses of ordinary people.  I needed to remind myself to actively look for those things and not ever to keep my focus only on the heartbreaking facts.

I often say that my backgrounds are never fancy, so I took a picture of this one to prove the point.  It is just orange acrylic splodged (technical term) on with a brush, and then when it was drying I used a baby wipe to take off some of the paint.  Its easy and gives an interesting effect.  I chose the colour simply because I knew I was going to say something about choosing light over darkness, so it had to be something light and bright.
My head was all over the place, so I was completely operating on instinct, which resulted in some (unusual for me) blocky shapes, a bit Mondrianesque even?
Sorry about the next picture which wasn't taken in the best of lights.  It shows how my normal way of working reasserted itself even if I am usually more inclined to work in dots and circles more than squares and rectangle.  The Modigliani lady represents me thinking, praying and pondering ... looking for light in the darkness.You can see how a grey shadow around her lifts the image off the page.
Then finally I found the words I was looking for, after all my desperate prayers for peace and healing were offered and heard ...
Its what we all need, perhaps, time out to become calm and still.  To look for the good and the hand of God in all things, and to reassert that the light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has not nor ever will overcome it.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

PEACE ....

I made this page in response to the Manchester terror attack, and waking up to yet another, this time in London, it feels even more right to share it now.  Our youngest daughter was in London last night with her fiance but got in touch quickly to let us know she was safe.

I began to make this in the days following the Manchester bomb - we live just an hour away and have many friends there - so my first act of defiance was to use acrylics to paint the page bright pink!
You may be aware that I've been very influenced by Australian Aboriginal art - amazing patterns achieved just with dots and simple marks.  My work owes a lot to that inspiration, except that I do it with Posca paint markers rather than a stick.  The colours are deliberately bright - I'm sure I need not explain further on that one!
I was trying to paint/draw a figure who would represent all of us - the people who are trying to live in peace in a multi-cultural world, the people who reject hate and violence.  She turned out to be my usual sort of earth mother/God figure, which feels about right.  We are all just human beings who share this fragile planet.
The words are deeply felt and from the heart, especially today, as I listen to the radio and the accounts of those who were on the scene in London last night.  Once again extraordinary stories are emerging of love, self-sacrifice and heroism in the face of death and disaster.  People really are amazing and good.  Love wins.  Again.  Always.
Events like this remind us that life is fragile, so make sure you tell the people you care for how much you love them.  Its the one thing I almost always heard when I went into peoples homes to plan a funeral ... they told me "I wish I'd said ....".
Do it now.
God be with you.