Predictable Paths

Sometimes the path is just too straight and predictable, and the goal too clear. We need the surprises of twists and turns and the mysteries of hills and valleys.

From my Sketchbook

The Boabab tree dots the African landscape. To the local peoples, these magnificent trees are seen to be retainers of the memories of the ancestors. There is a sanctity about them. Their branches always remind me of hundreds of fingers reaching out and trying to clutch the sky. I love sketching and drawing them.

From My Sketchbook

A scene I sketched from the Namib desert in Namibia – Southern Africa. A strange and beautiful place. When the wind blows through these ragged trees it creates a peculiar, almost mournful whistling sound.

From My Sketchbook

A scene near our village just longing to be sketched. I had the distinct feeling of this being a restful place in spite of the signs of neglect. So it found its way into my sketchbook.

Deliberateness

To live deliberately is a good thing. Goal-setting and to-do lists etc., certainly get things done. But to be overly deliberate in our living is limiting. It becomes exhausting. Everything has to be gruellingly willed into existence, and the inevitable price we pay is a form of tunnel vision and a loss in natural spontaneity and creativity.

Regent and Carnaby Streets

I visited London and absolutely revelled in the Christmas lights. I watched fascinated as people’s faces were transformed into childlike wonder and joy. I couldn’t see my face, but no doubt it too was transformed. What a wonderful evening we had. Thank you, London.

Regent Street
Carnaby Street

Changing Life

Watching the changes in Nature, my thoughts have also moved on to those changes going on within us.

I think one of the most beautiful processes is the one that secretly goes on in every human life as it gathers, in the flow of time, its experiences and unites them into a unique inner story of memory and ongoing change. What a privilege to be able to observe these unfolding stories in ourselves and in others, and to partake in creating and shaping them throughout the seasons of life.

Nature as Artist

Yesterday I was engrossed in watching the shadow of a cloud slowly move across the slope of a small hill. It was a moment of sheer beauty. It got me thinking of the landscape and the intimate relationship it shares with light.

It has this wonderful gift of being able to receive the light into itself and to immediately begin to shape it in diverse textures of shadow and colour according to all the nooks and crannies and angles of the terrain. It’s as if the landscape becomes an artist using light as the paint to produce a portrait of itself. I’ve often seen what I can only call breathtaking creations flowing out of this sacred and intimate relationship.

The Tools of the Masters (The Tate Britain)

JMW Turner  1775 – 1851        Seascape with Buoy

Staring down at the old brushes and paints in the glass case, I was moved by their time-worn appearance and history. They belonged to the the great English artist J M W Turner, and there I was, actually looking down at them.

There’s something wonderfully magical about standing close to and looking at the tools of a famous artist, writer, or any craftsman for that matter. They hold within themselves something of the mystery of the person’s genius and exquisite talent. To think you’re actually seeing the very objects used by those masterful fingers, guided by a beauty of mind and vision, can be quite overwhelming.