Monday, 17 December 2007

The Jesse Tree is the retelling of the Christmas Story ... right from the Dawn of Creation in the Bible ... from the first page of the Bible.
Each day onto a bare branch of a tree, symbols are hung to remind everyone of the story and to aid memory of the bigger Bible theme.

(The symbols are only suggestions)
December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth
December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman
December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite
December 4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 Symbols: ark, animals, dove, rainbow
December 5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 Symbols: torch, sword, mountain
December 6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush
December 7 Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: kettle, ladder
December 8 Joseph: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: bucket, well, silver coins, tunic
December 9 Moses: Ex. 2:1-10 Symbols: baby in basket, river and rushes
December 10 Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18 Symbols: lamp, temple
December 11Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13 Symbols: crimson robe, shepherd's staff
December 12 David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51 Symbols: slingshot, 6-pointed star
December 13 Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbols: scales of justice, temple, two babies and sword
December 14 Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25 Symbols: hammer, saw, chisel, angle
December 15 Mary: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38 Symbols: lily, crown of stars, pierced heart
December 16 John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8 Symbols: shell with water, river

On December 17, the Church begins to intensify the preparation for Christmas with the use of the "O" Antiphons during the Liturgy of the Hours. The symbols for the Jesse Tree from December 17 to 23 are based on the "O" Antiphons.

As early as the 8th century, the seven "Great Antiphons," or "Great O's" were sung in the monasteries during Advent vespers before and after the "Magnificat." Each antiphon (a verse sung responsively between two groups) began with the letter "O" followed by a salutation with one of the biblical names for Christ.
These salutations were O Sapientia (Wisdom), O Adonai (Lord), O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (Key of David), O Oriens (Orient), O Rex Gentium (King of the Gentiles), and O Emmanuel (God with us).

December 17 Jesus is Wisdom: (Ecclesiasticus in old Bibles) 24:2; Wisdom 8:1 Symbols: oil lamp, open book
December 18 Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1 Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets
December 19 Jesus is Flower of Jesse: Isaiah 11:1-3 Symbols: flower, plant with flower
December 20 Jesus is Key of David: Isaiah 22:22 Symbols: key, broken chains
December 21 Jesus is the Radiant Dawn: Psalm 19:6-7 (in older Bibles this will be Psalm 18) Symbols: sun rising or high in sky
December 22 Jesus is King of the Gentiles: Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20 Symbols: crown, scepter
December 23Jesus is Emmanuel: Isaiah 7:14; 33:22 Symbols: tablets of stone, chalice and host
December 24 Jesus is Light of the World: John 1:1-14 Symbols: candle, flame, sun


Blue homespun and the bend of my breast keep warm this small hot naked star fallen to my arms.
( who have had so far to come.)
Now nearness satisfies the body of God sweetly.
Quiet he lies whose vigor hurled a universe.
He sleeps whose eyelids have not closed before.His breath (so light it seems no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps to sprout a world.
Charmed by doves' voices,the whisper of straw, he dreams,hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eye she is curtailed who overflowed all skies,all years.
Older than eternity, now he is new.
Now native to earth as I am, nailed to my poor planet, caught that I might be free, blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,brought to this birth for me to be new-born,and for him to see me mended I must see him torn.


Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Nant Gwynant valley - acrylic on canvas

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The valley of Nant Gwynant above the town of Beddgelert in North Wales.
I took his image from a photograph and then changed the weather to reflect the exciting changes that can happen so quickly in this area of Wales. I have also added in flooded fields which is a common thing in many parts of Wales at this time of year.
This area is great for a quick walk or a tougher trek. Last time we went into this area they were having trouble tackling an invasion of rhododendron taking over every hillside.

Monday, 26 November 2007

DOLFOR - acrylic on canvas

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Recently I was asked to join (on a temporary basis) the choir of the Dolfor Young Farmers. This was their first time as a choir ... making remarkable progress over just a few practices.
The choir was taking part in its first Eisteddfod. I had no idea what I was going to meet on the day of the concert. First of all - it started at 8.00am in the morning and secondly we didn't get on till ten to eleven at night. Last year they finished judging the competitions at 2.30am the next morning. Whoa - what an amazing event! ... and this was not the final but only the starting round.
Dolfor (DollVorr in Saesneg) is probably 900 feet above sea level and will therefore catch any snow and frost long before Newtown in its sheltered valley. It would have been very close to the Drover route that crosses the Ceri Ridgeway, all of which is 1000 feet above sea level.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

BEDDGELERT - acrylic on canvas - SOLD

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Beddgelert (B-airth-gel-ert) is a wonderful Welsh town, popular with the Victorians. Perhaps its biggest call to fame is the wonderful story of the dog who ..... well I won't tell you. Find out for yourself and weep! There are plenty of websites for you to enjoy.
Sadly the story is a complete invention ... but enjoy it while you can. Most of all - visit the area and be amazed!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

ABEREIDDY - acrylic on canvas - SOLD

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These are probably the most painted cottages in West Wales. Once you are made aware of them you see them in many guises, book covers and jackets, calendars, paintings realistic and abstracted.

Friday, 9 November 2007

MY PALETTE - a feast of colour

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One thing that gives me great pleasure is the paint left over on the palette after the completion of a painting. Sometimes it seems better than the work itself! In fact it is, I suppose a record of possibilities. Each blend, each combination becomes a choice. Each choice, a decision to use a colour or not to use a colour at a precise moment in time. But in between these deliberate choices are the unexpected colours, the suprises, the unknown colours, the miracles and joys.
Even if you don't paint - get yourself a palette or some torn up magazines, a collection of autumn leaves and enjoy the feast that is COLOUR.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

ABERAERON - cropped

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ABERAERON - acrylic on canvas - SOLD

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The town has a long history as a fishing port with many local people supplementing their meagre living from the land by fishing for herring during the season
In 1805 plans were laid to construct the harbour at the mouth of the Aeron River. This resulted in the town being greatly expanded with many fine houses being built. The great classic architect John Nash who built the near by Llanerchaeron mansion was reputedly involved in the planning of the new town.
Shipbuilding also flourished with over 60 sailing vessels being built including 35 schooners “the greyhound of the ocean” Aberaeron became a thriving and prosperous town.

Friday, 2 November 2007


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A MEDIEVAL church in Wales that was dismantled and then rebuilt 50 miles away to avoid the threat of flooding and subsidence, was reopened by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St Fagan's after nine years of work.
St Teilo’s, which served Llandeilo Tal-y-bont, in West Wales, has been reconstructed to look as it might have done in its medieval form.
The original St Teilo’s was built 800 years ago. It ceased to be a parish church in 1852, when a new church, also named St Teilo’s, was built in nearby Pontarddulais. The old church fell into disrepair, and in 1998 it was offered to St Fagans National History Museum, which has a 100-acre open-air site.
Masons and carpenters from St Fagans, who were re-erecting the church, discovered a set of rare wall-paintings dating from the 1520s. A statement from the museum said that all surviving original materials had been used, to make the church look as authentic as possible.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

LLANLLWCHAIARN - acrylic on canvas - SOLD

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St Llwchaiarn's church on the northern side of the River Severn, less than one mile from Newtown, is a red brick structure which was built in 1815 and enlarged in 1864. Inside there are a few 18thC monuments and a carved effigy of 1630, but relatively little has survived from the predecessor of the present building. The large churchyard encapsulates two earlier phases of enclosure, but little in the way of early gravemarkers.
Red brick church built in 1815 in Georgian style on the site of an earlier church; there were further renovations and an eastern chancel and vestry were added in 1864 in Gothic style.
Parts of the following description are quoted from the 1979 publication The Buildings of Wales: Powys by Richard Haslam
The dedication, the form of the churchyard and its proximity to the river indicate beyond reasonable doubt that this is an early medieval foundation.
The church is recorded in the Norwich Taxation of 1254 as 'Ecc'a de Llanlocharen' with a value of œ1 6s 8d. In 1263 part of it was appropriated to the Cistercian nunnery at Llanllugan, and in 1291 the combined value was oe 1 6s 8d.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


We were invited to a mini 80th birthday celebration the other day, and for the first time ever we saw our house from 'another point of view'. We were able to see it as others see it not as we see things. From their viewpoint they are able to see the setting, the fields and sheep all around. It was quite an eye opener.
How many other things are we only seeing from our point of view? A short walk round the corner can make a big difference.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


What amazing skills this guy has, each day spending time with chalks and quickly drawing on the pavements in town centres. The rain comes and his work is gone. Now - that is dedication. What you are seeing is not real, but an image on a pavement, when viewed from one direction only, becomes a perfect 3D image.

Friday, 28 September 2007


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This comes from a collection of work by an artist who uses Sellotape to wrap around the human form. After many layers it can be cut and reformed around the seams and then, in this case dressed. The guy is able to do amazing things by putting people in impossible places and positions. I think it's wonderful that people can see things that have always been there and use them in a new way.
I suppose you could say this form of art is a bit 'STUCK UP' though!

Sunday, 9 September 2007


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A thing that gives me great pleasure is to see the variety of stiles with their opening and closing mechanisms.
I thought it would be easy to find endless galleries of photos on the Internet - but no.
There seems to be a never ending supply of ways of getting over or under if you are a dog, between, around or through hedge, fields, gaps and walls. They are such a display of creativity.
Next time you are out for a walk why not enjoy the 'stile', offering great service to the walker and now buggy pusher and cyclist.

Friday, 7 September 2007


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For me the year is once again becoming exciting. I enjoy a few summer days but can't wait for that first smell of autumn. It is already in the air. It is a deep, rich, orange smell of beech leaves and the first hints of the air feeling cold when you take a deep breathe. It's like having a good friend return. Soon the ground will rustle and crunch as leaves carpet the new year and I will feel creative again, looking at the world afresh.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


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Here is one of the brave & courageous wonder-fish swimming up river sometime in late October early November depending on how much water is available for them.

Forgotten Things are Worth Looking At

This beautiful image comes from a few hundred feet below the top of the Llyn Clewedog dam seated above the lovely town of Llanidloes.
The image (amended for emphasis) is part of an old water powered Lead Mine set in stunning countryside.
I am uncertain, but think it may coincide with the end of the journey for the salmon that each year make their journey all the way from Canada.

Monday, 3 September 2007


I have just come back from an amazing Welsh family reunion. Just imagine it - a family tree stretching over 28 sheets of A4 in the smallest of printing.

Thursday, 23 August 2007


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Welcome to our new 'potential garden'.
This has so far taken many hours hanging out of bedroom windows, 3D mapping and using freebie Corel Draw once again.
We are so pleased to be able to get rid of the plain rectangle of lawn.
So, once the very solid clay is broken down we can slowly release the garden. Leonardo Divinci used to talk about finding the figure in the block of granite. Somewhere hidden in the dark spaces lie swathes of colour, texture, fruit, height, depth and insect pulling power. Watch this space for further exciting adventures.


The Passion Flower symbolism
as originally perceived, and then augmented, includes:

The spiraled tendrils - the lash of Christ's scourging
The central flower column - the pillar of the Scourging
The 72 radial filaments - the Crown of Thorns
The top 3 stigma - the 3 Nails
The lower 5 anthers
- the 5 wounds
The Style - the Sponge used to moisten Christ's Lips with Vinegar
The leaves (some species) - the head of the Centurion's Spear
The red stains - Christ's Blood Drops
The Round Fruit - The World Christ came to save
The Fragrance - The Spices prepared by the Holy Women

This form of teaching was common in the early days when the majority of people were unable to read. Sometimes, churches such as the Catholic Church had to use this form of teaching in secret as they forbidden to practice their religion openly. One wonderful example of this is the Christmas rhyme, 'The 12 Days of Christmas' .... but that's another blog for another time.
For now just enjoy the beauty of the Passion Flower.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Ceri Ridgeway is a route that was used by Drovers to drove sheep from central Wales through to London, Smithfields. The drovers got a bad name for being rough and drunkards and yet the situation might suggest otherwise. These tough men collected sheep along the way without payment or computerised records and took them all the way to Smithfield market and returned with the payment for the families.
We can see the ridgeway from our front door and hope one day to walk each section of this seventeen mile ridge (all above 1000 feet).


Once again we visited Aberystwyth and found we had made a brilliant choice. The sun had decided to station itself there for the day. This time along with a friend we walked along the sea front and then climbed (Sian went on the funicular railway) to the top of Constitution Hill. There we went into the Camera Obscura and looked over 1000 miles of land and sea in 'living picture form'. From there we walked over the cliffs to Clarach and had a good top up of vitamin D.


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We visited Oswestry for the first time on Saturday 11 August. We both thought it was a delightful place. We shall certainly be going again. The tourist information centre by the church reminded us of Minworth Greaves and Selly Manor in Bournville. The open art exhibition was being judged so we were unable to see the pictures. We came across a new store called M&Co which is a Scottish chain. Welsh is heard here even though it is in England. Many of the statues and plaques together with gravestones have Welsh names.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


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One of the special joys of living in a market town is that people get to know each other. This is especially true in Wales. Going to the town is rarely a quick affair because you will most likely meet someone and chat. This is certainly the case with the older locals who treat these occasions as a catch up time ... their local newspaper!
Sadly the big cities have lost the personal touch. It is unlikely that the person behind the counter will hold a conversation with you let alone smile.
The holiday season brings with it an immediate change of tone. Different voices, often tense and more aggressive in an otherwise gentle place. But the shops need all the custom they can get at this time of course ... they keep smiling ... who wouldn't with so many sales on offer.

Saturday, 28 July 2007


Glad that I live am I
That the sky is blue
Glad for the country lanes
And the fall of dew

After the sun the rain
After the rain the sun
This is the way of life
Till the work be done

All that we need to do

Be we low or high
Is to see that I live
Nearer the sky

Lizette Woodworth Reese.

What a profound piece of writing ... yet used as a song for children!

The sun has also brought out the creatures of the wild. So far we have seen one very clean mouse, one clean rat (both pets I suspect), one frog, one hedgehog and now a wild rabbit ... to say nothing of buzzards and a red kite. This is the place to be.

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