“Art is communication.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
There are many people who bless our lives because they have allowed their own spirits freedom to express their inner most self via creativity and the arts. Their messages, born out of love, are shared for those who find delight in their crafts and often like me who see the beauty and find inspiration there as well. Please permit me to share with you some artists I have found who in my opinion epitomizes inner light shining through. It is by no means an exhaustive list, that would have taken a separate and never ending series of its own. These are just a few of my favourites. I believe their art are examples of communication in beauty and need no other words of explanation from me.
The first person which always comes to mind is Canadian Singer/Songwriter/Musician Loreena Mckennitt. I don’t think I have ever seen a talent to equal hers. Before composing, Loreena researches and/or travels to various countries around the globe thus her music is often described as celtic or world music. She has also set some well known poems to music such as The Highwayman and Lady of Shalott and has done it brilliantly! Another thing I love about her music is the variations in instruments that her band uses. Loreena herself plays the piano, accordion and harp. Some songs are Moroccan or Celtic in flavour, some slow paced, some fast. If you go to www.quinlanroad.com, you will find some tasters of her songs to listen to. Below is the first song I heard by Loreena when it was used as a theme song for a short-lived television series.
If the video doesn’t work here, you can find it on youtube: http://youtu.be/qxTpvA-pUG0
The next one is Lady Of Shalott based on the poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson.
or find it at: http://youtu.be/ttv0ljOiPSs
The next person I would like to mention is Madeline L’engle pictured at the top. She was a author of fiction for young adults most notably her Wrinkle In Time series. I have read these books to my children and they to themselves when they were a bit older. My youngest is now reading them. The Wrinkle In Time series are for a timeless age. They never grow old and they’re what makes children’s books great as they can be enjoyed by adults as well. The books are extraordinary in that their themes are science based but also combine with spirituality/religion, poetry and fantasy.
Next I of course have to mention 19th century Scottish author George MacDonald (please don’t confuse with George MacDonald Fraser). He has been my favourite author since I was 8 and read The Princess and The Goblin followed by its sequel The Princess and Curdie. I then re-discovered him in my 20’s when I found out that he had also written adult fiction; some period real life type fiction and some fantasy. He was actually a pioneer in fantasy writing and inspired future writers such as Madeleine L’engle, G.K. Chesterton who said, The Princess and the Goblin “…made a difference to my whole existence” and C.S. Lewis who considered GM his master and said, “I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him.” He was also Lewis Carroll’s mentor. It was because of GM’s encouragement and that of his children which prompted Lewis Carroll to write Alice. The character of Alice is said to have been characterized after one of GM’s children. George Macdonald was a Christian with a huge heart who rejected the doctrine of penal substitutionary but believed rather that Christ came to save people from their sins and not from punishment of their sins. You will see elements of this belief in his fantasy books Phantastes and Lilith. His books are beautifully written that take you so far away it is often difficult to find your way back to the mundane of our ordinary existence. I recommend The Princess and The Goblin for children and then his book Wise Woman and Other Short Stories, The Light Princess and for the real meat of his fantasy works, Phantastes and Lillith.
I would also like to mention a quite remarkable artist/poet by the name of Akiane Kramarik. When she was three years old she heard God speak to her encouraging her to draw and paint her visions. She began drawing at the age of four and then painting at the age of six. She began writing poetry at the age of seven; sometimes writing poems to match her paintings. She felt God speak to her many times, inspiring her what to paint. For instance she tells this story of when she was ten years old: One morning I woke up earlier than usual, and right away I decided to paint, but I could not find any canvas in my studio. My family was still asleep, so quietly, still in my pajamas, I searched my art closets and found one small canvas that I’d worked on a few years ago, but later gessoed it in black.
After my prayer I began painting a young woman’s portrait. next to a branch of fruit. Suddenly I felt God say, blend all the races, because this is Eve, the mother of all mankind.
Right then and there, I understood the meaning: The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is full of forbidden fruit: red for the knowledge of evil, the green for the knowledge of good. It was created to be tempting, fragrant and easy to be picked. Although the fruit resembles the grapes, it was not.
At first, Eve thinks that she will gain wisdom by biting into the fruit of knowledge, but unexpectedly she finds the deception as the red blood of suffering drips from the green fruit. The knowledge of good and evil is simply too much to understand and experience for a human, and now Eve is looking up to God for forgiveness and help…
Yes, she painted this when she was ten years old! Her parents were atheists but through their daughter have now come to believe. You can find a gallery of her art work by age beginning with age four to present here: http://www.akiane.com/store/
. It is really worth looking at.
It has been wonderful being a blogger on wordpress. I had no idea when I joined that I was also joining a community. I have come to ‘meet’ some really gifted bloggers with beautiful spirits. They have allowed themselves to be open and for their light to shine through. They have made me laugh, cry, pray and gape in awe. I can’t mention all of you and I am sure I will meet more gifted people but here are three of my favourites.
First is a lady who has made me fall in love with poetry like I have never before. I haven’t been a huge fan of poetry in the past. I like some but most make me yawn. Sonya (Cubby’s) poems are all unique. Some are sad, some funny (and downright hilarious), some spiritual, some naughty, some deep and some tell a story. An awesomely cool bonus—all her poems rhyme! Here’s an example of one of my favourites:
The rolling seas,
Above the highest
Upon a mountain
Capped with snow,
The Hermit sat
And gazed below.
He saw each creature,
He heard each heartbeat,
And what he saw
Just made him sad,
And what he heard
Just made him mad.
“Why is the earth
So full of hate?
Why do the tears
Where is the joy
To be alive?
Where is the hope
They need to thrive?”
The Hermit turned
Back to his cave
He would have strayed,
But as he got
Up to his feet,
His ears tuned in
To something sweet;
Faint peals of laughter,
Pure and bold,
With waves of giggling
The sound of playing
In the rain
And silly songs
Untouched by pain.
So Hermit searched
And found the source,
He twitched a smile
And said, “Of course,
Where children live
Hope will survive,
And for as long
As they’re alive,
The earth is not
When children can
Redeem the cost.”
You can find her blog on http://reowr.wordpress.com/
Another light-filled blog poster is Colleen Briggs and her blog Fragments of Light. http://colleenbriggs.com/
Colleen’s blog comprises of beautiful, poignant stories of her past travels as “…an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff-worker (1995-2002), and then as Hope’s Promise’s Director of Orphan Care (2006-2012)…”, during which she adopted two children. Her writing style is pure, from the heart and eloquent. Not something you want to read in a rush. Fragments of Light is a blog you want to read slowly and savour. You will also see find on there Colleen’s beautiful art work of mixed media depicting spiritual truths and her moving photography. Below are two of my favourites:
The final blogger I want to share is an amazing fiction writer. Elizabeth Yon’s writing style reminds me often of writing from the 18-19th century. The stories are fantasy with a mixture of mysterious eeriness. Not for the very young but not too scary that a 12 year old couldn’t handle. Her stories lend themselves to reading aloud because the words are so beautifully crafted. These are stories full of magic, dark but beautiful. Here is an excerpt from her story The House Of Sleep which you can find on her blog: http://elizabethyon.wordpress.com/
Outside, the luminous depths of the woods spoke with a thousand voices –tree frogs chanting their paean to the drizzle and chill as the light trembled toward gloaming. From her position on the bed, she could see the tops of the trees, their black bones aflame with tender leaves, their verdure magnified and made radiant by the rain.
Elizabeth has also published a book entitled, Wilderness: A Collection of Dark Tales available on Amazon both UK and US. You can read my review here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wilderness-A-Collection-Dark-Tales/dp/1470191857/ref=cm_cr-mr-title
So now I want to say a big Thank You to all of you: my community, my friends. Thanks to my followers who must find it strange to read postings on Interiors one day and on spirituality or health another. Thank you Sonya, Colleen, and Elizabeth for giving me permission to write about you on my blog. Know that it is an honour for me and that I see your beauty. Namaste everyone!