Rainbow quilts

I am just begininng of a range of exciting new wall hangings in rainbow colours and with clean modern lines and shapes.  The quilts above which I did a while back were a springboard for the new rainbow colour scheme, but now I am working using cleaner shapes and designs with more white space.

Watch this space for previews of my new range as I go along…….

I am also turning this page into news of my latest work, art and life (which are all connected), rather than the sort of blog posts I was doing previously, which were more contemplative writings about life and spirituality based on a single work of mine each tme.

Sold a Mountain!

Thrilled to have sold one of my “mountain” series of wall hangings, from my Etsy online shop.  The first of my larger wall hangings to be sold on Etsy (selling on there is really, really hard, by the way, but I am gradually progressing, patience and constant work required).  I was having a nap and my phone went “Kerching!”, the sound it makes when a sale has occurred.  Caught napping by a sale!

I have spent a lot of time living among mountains; for years in Austria, where my family had a chalet for skiing in the winter and walking in the summer.  We used to travel there by train, winding through the high mountain passes.  This quilt above is the view from the train as you come out of the long Arlberg tunnel, in winter.  It feels like the snow and rocks are about to hit into the train windows, they are so close. High snowy peaks, rocky ravines, frozen waterfalls, deep blue shadows in the snow….

I saw the Alps in all seasons, close up.  Years ago now.  But it suddenly came out in my art, decades later.  I unexpectedly did  a series of five quilt wall hangings of mountain landscapes.

Well, that is “Winter”.  I will miss it.  Next mountain quilt, watch this space….

NOT Fifty Shades of Grey!

When we are young we see everything as totally black and white.  Parents, nice teachers, best friends are accepted as perfect.  When later we find ourselves hurt or disappointed by one of them, we suddenly “see through them”, and see them as totally bad, often writing them off altogether. Maybe years later, we can come to terms with both their good and bad parts, accept them more in the round, seeing them more in terms of shades of grey.  Hopefully get back on good terms with them, even if only in memory.

Most of my life I have seen everyone in terms of black or white, baddies or goodies, until about ten years ago, I gradually realised everyone is a mixture.  So I’ve been seeing them as fifty shades of grey….   Hopefully that has made me more tolerant of people’s foibles, less judgemental.

However, now, today, I suddenly realise that people aren’t shades of grey, they are many-coloured, filled with every hue and shade of colour.  Different moods, different facets of them, different sides to them, different phases in their lives, these are all different colours.  Understanding people in colour instead of grey adds vibrancy to my experience of them.

People’s emotions are often described by colours; for example, purple with rage, green with envy, feeling blue, black moods, in the pink, etc etc.

So next time a friend is annoying you, or whatever, think of it in terms of a colour.  Bright orange —  very irritating.  Lime green — interested, enthusiastic.  Pink — up for a cuddle.  Brown — boring on.   Etc etc.  Well at least it will make  relationships with your friends and family a richer more colourful experience!!!

The above quilt by me, made few years back, is called Rainbow Sunset.  But it could be about my new way of seeing life.

Naked Moments

I have had three “Moments of Nakedness” recently.  By this I mean moments when you feel so close to something, a thought, an understanding, a person, a moment of seeing or hearing, that you feel like you are naked within this moment of before it. 

The first one was while watching the commemorations for the First World War battle of Paschendale, on the TV, held at the Menin Gate in Ypres in Belgium, through which hundreds of thousands of British soldiers, mostly very young, marched to their deaths at the front not far away a hundred years ago. One of the worst and most wasteful battles ever.  This ceremony, with a relatively few involved, was grief-stricken, moving, beautiful, tear-jerking, in a way that the larger scale commemorations at a huge battlefield cemetary nearby next day didn’t match.  At the Menin Gate, it was intimate, a “naked moment” for all involved.

The second one was listening to a piece of music composed jointly by Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass, called Passages, performed live for the first time at the Proms in a packed Albert Hall.  The piece is meditative, sad,  uplifting and fun at different times, a merging of Eastern and Western music and thought.  For all the hugeness of the Albert Hall, it was a moment of intimacy, a special moment between all the players, which reached the audience, and even to me watching on catch-up TV….  a Naked Moment.  I’ve sent for the CD of this work, but it won’t be the same as this engaging live performance…..

The third moment was at the end of a tough summer school in New Testament Greek I have just been doing for two weeks at a cathedral near me.  Sweating it out with all that difficult Greek grammar, nearly gave up at times, and was one of the worst in class. Nevertheless, all worth it on the last afternoon, when we slaved away at two short New Testament passages translating the Greek.  One was from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel, and the other was from the Last Supper account, in Luke’s gospel. It took us hours just to work at these short passages.  And yet, it was so real, you felt like you were in the same room while the Last supper was going on, or beside the Sea of Galilee; you could smell the sea, see the large crowd, it was that close and real.  Reading it in translation doesn’t have the same effect as this, and it was quite unexpected!  A real moment of nakedness…..

In the above quilt wall hanging, called “Presence”, I  tried to depict a feeling of closeness, presence, of another person, a spiritual moment of closeness.  No pretenses, no hidden agendas, no formality, no polite conversation, just you and them. What I call a  moment of nakedness.