For God So Loved the World Pt1

The Lord thy God
in the midst of thee
is mighty,
he will save:
he will rejoice over thee
with gladness,
he will be silent in his love,
he will be joyful over thee
in praise.

​Zephaniah 3-17

The Art

I love the combination of Hovering Kestrel, Orange Tip and Copper butterflies, Dog Rose. The colours, blues and ochres work, well together. 

 The Art
 This is really a frontpage to this gallery. A decorative piece if you  will. The two birds, despite their similarities are different types of the same species. Top to bottom, Great and Coal tits. There are all sorts of fruit, flowers and berries, starting from the bottom left Bramble and Rosebay Willowherb, Wild cherry, Alder (which does get katkins and cones on them at the same time) apple, (a bit obvious but I like painting them) Woody Nightshade, Sloe, Bellbine, Chickory, Lords and Ladies and Celandine. 

The Scripture
It does what it says it does, so to speak. That is my experience. 

“For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”

St. Therese of Lisieux

 The Art
 I don't know if I have a favourite bird but wrens must come close. I have painted quite a few of them over the years. The baby Wren at the bottom of the pic, looking up at the Red Admiral butterfly, is a bit on the cute side. I don't care! And a woodland full of Bluebells!!!!!!!!

The Scripture
There is no more powerful statement made about Jesus Christ as the divine Word who spoke Creation into being, than this Unlike the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, John begins by restating Genesis, "In the beginning"  The old and new Testaments are two parts of one whole, and if you know what to look for you will find Christ in the old testament as well as the new. 

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred,
let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.”

St. Francis

The Art
I do like unusual combinations. In this case, Cherry blossom, House Sparrows and a rusty old water-pump set against the village of Bilbury in Gloucestershire. This is Cider with Rosie country. I used to live near here. The two coins in the capital letter are farthings which used to feature a wren. If you can see the dates on the coins then you can work out how old I am!

Fear not, for I have redeemed thee,
and called thee by thy name:
thou art mine.
When thou shalt pass through the waters, I will be with thee,
and the rivers shall not cover thee:
when thou shalt walk in the fire,
thou shalt not be burnt,
and the flames
shall not burn in thee:

​Isaiah 43 - 1-2

 The Art
Greenfinches on Ash Twigs. I think Ash trees were one of the first trees I leaned to recognise. Those sooty buds are so distinctive. Shire horses! Wonderful. They are really from an age gone by but you still see them at shows. That's why I used the Amish gentlemen. Perhaps I should have given him some braces. Perhaps an English rural farmer in traditional clothes would have been more appropriate. There is a little bit of Yellow Archangel ion the foreground. 

“I have no taste
for corruptible food
nor for the pleasures of this life.
I desire the bread of God,
which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David;
and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible”

St. Ignatius of Antioch

 The Art
The Long Tailed Tit thinks the squirrel is after the contents of its nest....and it might be. More likely though. The squirrel has its eye on the hazelnuts. These birds are tiny. If it wasn't for the tail they would be smaller than a wren. Their nests are built out of lichen and cobwebs and can be home to sixteen young! 

“We always find
that those who walked
closest to Christ
were those
who had to bear the greatest trials.”

St. Teresa of Avila

 The Art
Goldfinches are, without doubt, one of the most beautiful of our native species. See a flock of them, (a charm) rise up into the air, the sun catching the gold in their wings, and it is a magical experience. I have painted them here in a meadow of wildflowers and of course, Teasels, which form part of their diet. The butterflies are Painted Ladies, another beauty, which migrate here for the summer. 

The Scripture
A short extract from the Sermon on the Mount. And how true. We can all learn a thing or two from creation.

 The Art
Another Bird I love to paint. And another opportunity to paint an old tree stump in the process of decay. As if I need an excuse! For an artist, things are never more interesting than when they are falling apart. Owls are more readily seen around twilight, and the same is true for deer. They form quite an abstract background, along with all those Ichthys flowers, but I think it works.

The Scripture
Creation speaks of a Creator. If you ever hear a dawn chorus you will know exactly what I mean. It is a privilege to be in the middle of it. Artists paint the kind of things that they hold dear to their heart. Do you think the God who brought all creation into being, in all its diversity and magnificence, is any different?

 The Art
Volumes have been written about the Amanita Muscaria. Most of it is folklore and myth. The fact is, if you eat enough of them raw you are likely to be very ill or die. The shamans of Siberia feed them to reindeer and then drink the urine after the digestive process has filtered out the harmful elements. I kid you not. For me, they are beautiful. Something to be admired not ingested, whatever the means! The Goldcrest are tiny little birds, perhaps smaller than a Wren. And what boy doesn't know about Conkers. Look at them as they appear fresh out of the outer case and you will not see a more perfect veneer. 

The Scripture
Another well known, and quoted, scripture about Creation and  the Creator. It is in fact, talking about Jesus Christ, the Word who spoke creation into being. And not only the Natural World but also the supernatural World.

 The Art
I know people will say this too cute and that wildlife art should be more realistic. But I have seen this happen, Dormice, when taken from their nest-box, by EXPERT AND LICENSED HANDLERS, will stay asleep! They are cute. No way round it. The Bramble is food for both Dormice and Purple Emperor Butterflies.

The Scripture
For me, this image and Scripture are perfectly matched. Do I really need to add anything to it? This is about the God of the Christian and his relationship to his Maker. It is that simple.

 The Art
Great Crested Grebes and Otters were at one time hunted nearly to extinction and for the same reason, fashion. The skins from the head of the Grebe were worn by Victorian Ladies as hats and mufflers. The Otters provided fur for coats and generally hunted for sport. The stupidity, cruelty and callous indifference of humanity seems to be almost boundless. And maybe there is some truth in that. In addition, the destruction of the environment and exploitation, and the future does not look great for all species who share the same world. We were given responsibility for our World. We have totally mismanaged it. There will be consequences. 

The Scripture
In complete contrast to the above, this scripture points toward a  a right relationship between God, man and nature, being a blessing. We have choices and responsibility. We see this clearly in Israels relationship to God and whether the land itself responded favourably to them. It also points to a new Heaven and Earth that those who put their trust in God will one day enjoy.

 The Art
The Redwing, pretty obvious how it got is name, is one of two Scandinavian thrushes that over-winter in Britain. Typical y, you will see them along hedgerows finishing off the hawthorn berries. I have given it a wintry landscape for a backdrop. Will you see one standing on an old garden tap tied to a post with rusting wire? Probably not, didn't stop me painting it though. Herons, on the other hand, standing as they do by the waters edge, look cold all year round.  

The Scripture
These two scriptures compliment each other. God is ageless, and in a world of uncertainty it is good to know there is at least one constant who has the future in His hands. There are many names for God in this respect, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, He is from Everlasting to Everlasting. God is not bound by time.
 The Art
Unlike the Birds in the previous page, these birds a summer visitors though not as common as Swallows and Martins. They are Bee-eaters. Their name comes from their diet. Those colours! You are not likely to mistake them for anything else, though a lot of people have mistaken them for an escaped exotic. 

The Scripture
We are quite often oblivious to the many blessings around us. If we are more fortunate than others then a little humility and gratitude does not go amiss. It must be obvious to any one looking at my art that I love the natural history of Britain. I have grown up in a green and pleasant land, and that has been a blessing for which i amprofoundly grateful. It has been for me a little glimpse of Eden and Eden to come. We should make the most of it whilst it remains to be seen.

 The Art
Both male and female birds are referred to as Black-caps, which is confusing, since the females have red caps. There you go. It was probably a man who named them. Nevertheless, they are lovely. The church on top of a hill is very British. They do say they built their churches on top of previous pagan sites. It kind of makes sense that they would do that. But there are more churches not on hills, and at one time the entire land was Pagan.

The Scripture
The leaving of the land fallow one year in seven was a command to the ancient Israelites. To give the land rest, a Sabbath for the land. They didn't do it of course and paid a heavy price, one year in exile for every year missed. Despite what some might think, God cares about His creation and is not impressed when we don't take care of it. I am deeply apocalyptic by nature. So when i say that there are people in this world and beyond who would remove every last trace of beauty from the world, i mean it literally. Unfortunately, there are even more who are totally indifferent to its future as long as their own selfish demands are met. This sounds very bleak. But there is hope. And this is the good thing about people who see the future through apocalyptic eyes, for those who put their trust in God, there is hope. There is a God who cares about this world.

 The Art
You catch a glimpse of a bright jewel of a bird flashing along a river or coast and you know immediately what you have just seen. The Kingfisher. Actually, this one is a queen. The difference? A little bit of dull orange on the bottom of the bill! Yeah, I know, you are hardly going to see that with the naked eye. The Banded Damoiselle is more likely encountered flying over a slow stream. Tidal estuaries and harbours are an absolute paradise for artists who like to paint old posts, chains and rope, and things that defy description.

 The Art
The wild ponies in the background were based upon a series of photographs I took from a reserve in Essex! They came from Dartmoor where you are likely to encounter them wandering about the moors. A summer without Swallows is unthinkable. And for that matter so is a pond without Moor-hens.

The Scripture
Another scripture describing the thoughts of God on His Creation. I never tire of them. 
 The Art
A Nuthatch, not a common bird, is always thrilling to see. I saw one in the New Forest once, where we were camping. They are normally quite shy birds but this one clearly quite used to people and came within a few feet of us looking for scraps of food. I have given this one an unusual setting. Just an excuse to paint all the other stuff really. And a bit of White Bryony thrown in for good measure.

The Scripture
A very positive scripture describing Gods love for those who know him. His plans are always in our best interest even when we don't like them. There is an idea today that Christians can claim health and  wealth as if it was a personal right. But Jesus never promised that, and the fact is, the more a Christian gives himself to his saviour, he can expect opposition, even to death in some cases. Ultimately of course, every true believer will see the new Heaven and Earth and all that that means. we really can't imagine how big a deal that is. John Lennon wrote a song exhorting us to try and imagine that there was no Heaven or Hell. He seemed to find that easy. Of course he did.  "The fool has said in his heart there is no God." God holds such people in derision.
 The Art
The Setting is Willie Lotts Cottage at Flatford Mill. It has changed quite a bit since Constables day. Willie Lott. Who was he? Actually, the only reason you know the name is because  Constable painted his house. There is reason to believe that Willie never left the area in his entire life! The two small birds are Sedge warblers, one of those small brown birds you hear but don't see unless they fly up out of the reeds. The other bird is a little Egret which has taken up residence in Britain migrating Northward from North Africa. Global Warming? I don't know.

The Scripture
The scripture refers to salvation in Jesus Christ. It is reiterated in the book of Revelation. Salvation is a serious matter, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and his blood shed for you as a believing individual. It is a one to one personal relationship.  Come, all who thirst and drink. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ and there is no other way. 

 The Art
Some people think using biblical figures as statues is disrespectful. Well, they might be right. I could have used a naked Venus figure. Not! There is a meaning to the choice of birds in this painting. They are all brightly coloured except one. But that plain looking bird with the beautiful eyes is a Nightingale. Unto thee O Lord do I lift up my Soul. 

The Scripture
I don't know what more I could add to the comment above. Let not your voice be silent.


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All the art  in this Gallery was created using various brands of Acrylic paint on 140lb Fabriano Artistico Paper. 22* x 15* (Does not use animal products in the sizing) I used Rosemary & Co Brushes. (Synthetic) The calligraphy was done by hand using a brush and acrylic ink.

If you would like to leave a comment or ask me a question concerning the art or anything I have written on this site I can be contacted at the following address.