On finding old art


I have been having a clear out of my stuff and I checked through a box of old journals and stuff and found a few sketches that I had done a good few years back. No titles but it was surprising what I could see in the images that invoked a sense of a spirituality. The one above is of a tree without leaves and yet other trees have leaves. ‘Lifeless’ is how I would title the image and it perhaps reflects how I was feeling in August 2002. I had been redundant for about 6 months without work and finding the search for new work quite dispiriting. It would be another year before I would be working.

This second image created at the same time I’ve called ‘Pathway’ and pathwaythere is a sense of a pathway leading out into an open space and I guess that reflects the sense of direction that I began to sense as it was about this time I considered that my future work lay in another direction, as indeed it turned out to be the case.

The last image I found has no date but it likely was created about the same time. It depicts an old fishing smack at anchor in still water with some nearby trees and a hill in the distance. ‘Stillness’ is the title I would give this one and it perhaps reflects the stillness of a working boat that is waiting for the tide before putting out to sea to catch fish. Interesting that this is perhaps a suitable metaphor for the work that I would soon be engaged in in working for the Church (reference to Jesus calling of the disciples, Simon and Andrew – Matthew 4:18-20 ), although at the time I had no idea where, when or how that would take shape.


Retreats and Quite Days

Recently I have had the opportunity of a quite Day (Under 5s) and a guided retreat (MDO area group) and I have taken art materials along with the view that they may help. The result has been 4 different images (3 from the quite day and one from the retreat) and a bit of poetry.

The first three are from the quite Day

still waters - web

Still Waters

Cross refletion - web

Cross reflection

competance - web


I thought about how knife-edge it can feel be to operate on the boundaries of your comfort competence (what you know you can do) and trust that the Holy Spirit can enable competence where you are beyond your experience.

The last image is from the MDO Area Group retreat

We are Deacon - web

We are Deacon

This image started of as prayer bubbles of thankfulness in paint (play) and developed into relationships of Deacons, MDO, Methodist Church, Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit.

I wrote some Haiku to go with it (which I did as I went along) as this was something suggested as an option in exploring the issues of gratitude, Promises and Living truthfully in the context of the shared life of the Methodist Diaconal Order. My first attempts at Haiku.

I tried to think of gratitude in terms of rhythm of change as an antidote to grumbling. My initial thought was the natural rhythm of a boat and how a crew needs to develop a sympathetic movement to enhance the speed or risk slowing the boat down by trying to force the pace of maneuvers.

She has her rhythm

You cannot force change on her

You can move her flow

This then developed

To Move in God time

to measure the pace of life

is to be in peace

In terms of promises I thought about the importance of being at one with each other, committed to the relationship. These two poems try to cover this sense of interdependent commitment. I really like the first one. It conjurers up the image of a rope.

We Strands together

Take up the strain together

and hold together

and the second of the two

Others me complete

Others together complete

Others I complete

and finally on Living truthfully three more

Open Book I seek

Open Book I am not yet

Opening Book


Some Pages I share

Some pages I keep hidden

Some pages despair!


Christ rewrites each page

with mercy, grace and forgiveness

Jesus saves each page

Community of the Broken



For all the Victims. The abused. The abuser. The broken community. The Crucified Christ.

This music was part of my inspiration – the Lyrics just seem to fit so well with my prayer

Holy Insemination

Holy inception - web

Sunday 14th December 2014, Gedling Rd Methodist Church

Luke 1:26-38

The preacher used an image of Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel and I was inspired to express that moment of the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary and the divine overshadowing – the moment of Holy Insemination.

Unlock Walk 2014

Unlock2014This years theme for the Unlock walk was on foodbanks. We had a long frieze with peoples prayers for the poverty and foodbanks in their areas. I decided it needed a bit of art and added an image of the feeding of the 5000. It was difficult because the surface on which the long role of taped together paper was mounted was card so trying to work on something that moves about and had an uneven surface was a challenge.


Behold the man