Eco Collograph on Watercolour Paper



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Walking with Shalott by the Light of Tabor, Noor, Nirvana, Ner Tamid, Diwali: A Response to Terrorists

Drawing-in the Withdrawn – Drawing in Meta-Meaning Mode led me to – a different approach entirely.  It happens. Still, there is a connection, in that I am yet again drawn; drawn to let recent work inform me of my onward route.

Recent work/walks in my quest to uncover what lies Below the Line and then how to express my finds, led me to a realisation; that it’s only in its reflections Above the Line, aka The World, that can ever be experienced what lies Below the Line. Because we only have our senses with which to perceive. (But they are indeed awesome, the senses, and far more than the acknowledged five or even six).

It came to me that my work presents itself as incoherent as it is about just fragments of those indefinable reflections; yet this realisation, even, has shone light into the shadowy yet-to-be-mapped places I walk. Largely, the fragments are unrelated, cannot be pieced together. And thus, make sense. And so, what is Below the Line, reflected in its different ways into the world, is a journey towards Light.


I’ve never been at this crossroads – my work substantial enough to show me a way forward. Towards the Light. Or, I’ve been there many times but, so deep the shadows in which I walked, I was not able to perceive it; backtracked, or took the wrong road.


And I am, half-sick of them. Shadows. I feel stupid. The answer could only have ever been to work towards the light. But which road led to Light? I think it’s about Faith. Faith in the journey. Not blind faith. The idea of living by blind faith makes me angry, because it’s lazy, an excuse not to use that most wonderful gift, Mind. It avoids Truth, actually.


Shalott. She grew weary of engaging only with a reflection of the world, for fear of losing her life. But one day, she fell in love with one of those reflections (Lancelot). She lost her mortal life. To Love. “The curse is come upon her,” they cried, as she died. She lost her mortal life – an imprisoned one (as mortal life is) – but gained eternal life, through her courage to love. She found the road that led to Light. For Light is Love. In working at her weaving, The Lady of Shalott discovered which road leads to Light. Her work directed her. She wove her way out of shadow. She wove until she realised that weaving kept her in shadow; Love triumphed over Shadow.

Light with a capital ‘L’ = The Transfiguration of Christ/The Conversion of Paul

The glory of incorruptible bodies does not emit a light similar to that of this corruptible body ..., nor is it of a kind which is accessible to mortal eyes, but incorruptible and immortal eyes are required in order to see it. For then on the mountain He revealed only so much [of this light] to them as was possible for the beholders’ eyes to see without being afflicted; yet even so they could not bear it and fell on their faces.

So as to prepare His disciples for the trials that they were about to endure in this life, Christ chose to give them a foretaste, concrete proof, of the heavenly blessings of which he had hitherto only spoken:

These [trials] were in the present life and at hand, while the good things were still in hope and expectation; as in for example, they save their life who lose it; His coming in the glory of His Father, to render His rewards. But willing to assure their very sight, and show what kind of glory it is with which He will appear so far as they were able to understand this, even in this present life He shows and reveals it to them.

(The above are extracts from Dr Christopher Venianim’s St John Chrysostom and the Light of Tabor. 

Light figures majorly in all world religions. On researching Light in the Qur’an I came across many references. This one drew me particularly:

5.46   And We (God) caused Isa (Jesus), the son of Marium (Mary), to follow in the footsteps of those [earlier prophets], confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Taurat (Torah/Old Testament); and We vouchsafed unto him the Gospel, wherein there was guidance and light, confirming/corroborating the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance …

In seeming confirmation, I was reminded of a point Jesus made in his Sermon on the Mount:  Matthew 5:17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

And I’ve highlighted in bold, from the above extract from The Qur’an, two interesting statements, that the Old Testament at that time, was just a fragment and that Jesus was given a Gospel (Truth) in which there was Light. I’ve also read one extract in which it is stated that the Gospel given to Jesus was lost. There’s clearly a back story here.

In Buddhism Light is Enlightenment. From The Eight Steps to Happiness by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: Our mind is like a field, and performing actions is like sowing seeds in that field. Positive or virtuous actions sow the seeds of future happiness, and negative or non-virtuous actions sow the seeds of future suffering. This definite relationship between actions and their effects – virtue causing happiness and non-virtue causing suffering – is known as the ‘law of karma’.  I think for Virtue one can read Love.

Buddhism rose out of Hinduism, at whose core is also the Law of Karma. Hinduism’s most important religious celebration is Diwali, Festival of Lights. From BBC/ReligionsThe festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, …

In Judaism an Eternal Light (Ner Tamid) never extinguished, hangs above the Ark in every synagogue. (The Ark of The Covenant is the holiest part of the synagogue, housing the scrolls of the Torah, the Jewish Written Law, which consists of the five books of the Hebrew Bible known to non-Jews as the Old Testament and containing the central teachings of Judaism. The Ner Tamid is a symbol of God’s eternal and imminent Presence in our communities and in our lives. And on the subject of Love, The Jewish attitude was clearly enunciated in the Book of Proverbs in which it is urged that when man’s enemy falls, man should not rejoice and say, “I will do to him as he has done to me” (24:29) and “Let not your heart be glad when your enemy falls lest the Lord see it and it displeases Him” (Ethics of the Fathers 4:24).  In other words, we are to love our enemies.

Light and Love.

All the major religions advocate Light and Love. None advocate driving vehicles into crowds, stabbing people, detonating bombs in the midst of children, …

As this extraordinary blind autistic miracle boychild sings, Open the Eyes of my Heart.  This beautiful child was born weighing less than 2 lbs (less than a kilo) to a mother who was a drug addict. Beyond all expectations he survived and thrived and grew into the living demonstation of Light and Love that he is.

Oh, and one of the victims of the latest atrocity at London Bridge (as I write) was a Senior Nurse working at the nearby Guy’s Hospital, a young Australian woman. Had she not been murdered and had her murderers not been killed by the police but wounded, they might have been nursed back to health at Guy’s Hospital by this very nurse. Would they have refused her care? Her administration of painkillers? I doubt it. They would have taken every advantage of the system that allows them the freedom to worship their religion.

In Light and in Love.





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One Beautiful Thing

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.  Helen Keller

Actually, there’s at least two beautiful things in this photo.

P S No creature was harmed in the making of the above photograph. This is my cat Keeks ‘inspecting’ a Cinnabar moth then moving on. It was only when editing the photo that I saw the moth.

Keeks knows that not everything is food. If only humans had that perception.


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John Cleese on Creativity and Changing Light Bulbs

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Warm Weather to Walk

At last, some warmer, sunnier weather. Here’s a view from Ide Hill, Kent, where we walked a part of the Greensand Way today, after stopping off for a nice strong pot of tea at the Cock Inn.




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Drawing-in the Withdrawn – Drawing in Meta-Meaning Mode

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”  Anais Nin (Goodreads)

“The arts … a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”  Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country (Goodreads)

“This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I [create]? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose…” Rainer Maria Rilke (Goodreads)




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Eco Print on Silk – Oak Flowers and Leaves

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Threnody: More Eco Prints on Silk

Threnody: Goldmund

“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of
interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better:
that we can become oak trees.”    
E F Schumacher

Threnody was a new word for me. It means lament.

I wrote recently about some eco prints on silk I made from windfall oak flowers and young oak leaves from a park I often walk through.

How the park will soon become housing and the trees felled, so they may never see another Spring.

So my eco prints will become epitaphs for this park, its trees and the birds and other creatures who live there.

Then I found this beautiful music Threnody by Goldmund – composer and sound designer Keith Kenniff. He is also Helios and Mint Julep.

A new composer to me. A new word and a new composer.

Here are more of the eco prints on silk I made from the windfall oak flowers and young oak leaves I collected from this park.

Enjoy the haunting and apt music.






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Eco Print on Silk: Oak Flowers

Oak Leaf Flowers: Eco Print on Silk

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Oak Flowers on Silk – an Epitaph

I pass through this park regularly on my way to the allotment. There’s a path that runs between the railway line and a row of mixed trees, shrubs and brambles. I’ve got to know this path well and the greenery has furnished me with bountiful material for eco printing purposes.

I am on nodding terms with chimes of wrens, quarrels of sparrows, murders of magpies, pandemonia of parakeets, kits of wood pigeons and flotillas of gulls. Then there are the skulks of foxes.

I am greeted with enthusiasm by a good number of dogs regularly exercised in the park. There’s Jerry the springer (and his venerable and jokey master, two black labs in jaunty red harnesses and there are deceits of dogs of every pedigree under the authority of their professional dog walkers.

Oak Flowers

Little did I know that my eco prints would become epitaphs for this park, for it is to be developed into housing. Where there is birdsong will soon be a shrill of scaffolding, a grumble of machines.

I pray all this won’t begin until this year’s fledgings.

I recently posted a blog Soil Soul Society in which Satish Kumar gave a talk about being the change in urban areas, of finding ways of planting and growing – by creating and maintaining personal gardens (so often concreted over these days for parking space for a second, third or even fourth car), by taking up plots in allotments, or instigating community gardens.

There’s a shortage of houses, they say. We also need green spaces around houses, so we can get away from each other, chill out, think, get some air. Feed ourselves, for which we need soil, the fertile soil that is being more and more, buried beneath new houses.

Eco Print: Oak Flowers on Silk

There may not be another Spring in this park, so here is a bouquet in tribute, of flowers of oak, on silk.

There may never be another flowering of the oaks from which these flowers blossomed and fell almost into my hands as I walked beneath them.







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