Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ministry Palette

Ministry Palette
Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush
A quick post with a picture I did this evening. It's a response to Bishop John Pritchard's wisdom which he shared with our diocesan clergy and lay ministers today. He talks about ministry being something beautiful for God which is individual to each of us but painted from a common pallete of three colours:
Gold - the Glory of God
Red - the pain of the world
Blue - the renewal of the church

I had several interesting discussion about how this whole metaphor might be expanded and explored and it has rather planted a seed of an idea in my mind which I might well pursue.

In the short term I responded with this picture using just red yellow and blue - actually something of a challenge. I found not using any white very difficult I did manage some green orange and purple from the mix and wonder if those three primary colours lead to the three additional colours. Bihsop John spoke of Green being our own lives - perhaps as I understood it being built from the renewal through the Glory of God, Purple being a specific ministry of service (renewal and pain combined) perhaps a priestly one and orange being healing/ forgiveness (Glory of God and pain of the world combined).

These are certainly just germs of a further thought and the painting is not quite what I usually would end up with because of the restricted pallete (none of my trademark cerulean!!) and wonder what the place of WHITE might be in the palette. One of the vicar's questioned the absence of black as well. hmmm...

A thought in process...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

prayers like incense

I can't quite believe that I haven't blogged about this already but looking back it's not there and it hasn't been that long!

So I went to my artists group a couple of Mondays ago for the appraisal night (my first). The idea is that you bring a painting (or 2 it seems - I wasn't brave enough to take more than one out of the car!!) and then a professional artist appraises it and the group as a whole respond with helpful feedback.

I took along the Are we human or are we dancer canvas

Not unsurprisingly the feedback was almost universally positive for everyone so it was nowhere near as daunting as it might have been. Nonetheless, after about a month long hour my picture still hasn't been put up on the appraisal easel and the lovely mature lady next to me start pestering the man who was in charge of putting the pictures up to put up mine because "this young lady hasn't had her picture viewed yet" and some people were already on their second painting. Now the evening had consisted so far of many landscapes, some of them really superb, others in progress (that WAS brave) and others needing a little something to improve them. There were a few notable exceptions. I was personally struck particularly by the large canvas board with a picture of three HUGE red onions - we're talking the size of basketballs. It was very well done and yet one couldn't help but ask WHY? The same lady also presented a really endearing picture of a live chicken sitting in a basket. Now those of you that know my work from the blog may well have figured by now that, as happy as I am with my work, it certainly doesn't fall in the landscape or onions/chicken category! So I was actually getting increasingly nervous.

When they put my canvas (in reverse) on the easel the man putting it up raised his eyebrows and I squeezed the hand of the lovely lady next to me (who I had only met that evening!) When Giuliano turned the painting around to show to the assembled company there was a chorus of an intake of breath! I was trusting this was "in a good way" and then Giuliano went on to compliment the movement the colours and the composition, the smooth lines of the figure etc. What struck me most were two things he said which Michael keeps repeating to me:

"This is art"
"do some more".

People did seem genuinely positive about it and some were intrigued by the title and I had to try and explain the origin!

prayers like incense
Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush

I was mightily encouraged. Unfortunately it has then been a rather busy time until today when I was able to get back to the canvas I started a while ago and I think I have now finished though I may need to wait til morning to be sure!

This painting falls in with a group of others I'm thinking of pulling together for a collection but that is still a thought in process so more on that in the future.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Inspiration at Work

A friend of mine put up a link to what looks like a VERY cool site for those in work. Workplace Inspired describes itself as:

"a Watford based group which exists to support local Christians at work. With networking events, great speakers, specialised teaching and prayer support we can help you to live out your faith at work. We have regular events, but we are also happy to visit your workplace if you ask us to. We also provide specialist services for Christians in business, including mentoring for any Christian in the business world. And if you have an idea about starting your own business, then check out the Kingdom Business School."

The website itself looks very cool and I think this is probably true of what WPI is going to be able to do for people too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Salt 'n' Light

Just finished making this video (somewhat belatedly due to vet visit with out older dog - we're getting results back from biopsies next week) for the youth event tomorrow.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Calm after the storm

So the whirlwind which is September is in full steam. All sorts of STUFF needing doing NOW and a big event this Saturday. All that with a new puppy in the house is certainly "interesting times". Two rays of sunshine from the LONG NOW that is Greenbelt 09 today though - a thank note from the venue manager of the Performance cafe and a mention of the Performance Cafe and our team on the blog of someone I met at GB this year.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bless you, Bless you

Ok so the song is still whirring round my head in a smiley way (somewhat needed in the frantic whirlwind that is the first day back!) so, for the rest of you here is Jim Moray's own video of the All of You Pretty Girls:

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

What A Performance!?

So this year at Greenbelt, I was volunteering for the first time (last year I did some bits on a stand but only really as a punter who was a bit helpful. This year I was official and fully equipped with volunteer wristband, courtesy showers, free teas, meal vouchers, arriving on Thursday, a GORGEOUS hi-vis jackets for certain times at our venue and the best of times with my team at the Performance Cafe. What more could a volunteer ask for than to be volunteering AND listen to some great live acts in a venue with scrummy food?

It did mean I didn't get to everything I might have done but I did get to Blessed's mass of the trinity (and persuade a few others to witness its special integrity and innovation) and to a youthwork practitioner's session with the beautiful Pip Wilson who was also a regular visitor to the Performance Cafe (clearly a Greenbelt Trustee of discernment!) The Sunday morning service was non-eucharistic but contained some powerful symbolism in the Hebrew/Arabic readings, the olive stones and olive oil and the stories and songs of a people divided in what is called a Holy Land. Made doubly special for me by sharing it with a new friend and a group of strangers. This new friend was part of our little village at the campsite, a friend of a friend drawn together by canvas and bacon butties! We had such a wonderful laughing time together and a little bop to the electronica of Royksopp. It was also a chance to catch up with all sorts of people including some of the young people from the diocese and some other DYOs - all this helped a little, perhaps, by my offer of muffins via facebook.

The Performance Cafe was such a lovely place to be with some great performers and a really lovely crew of volunteers (from our own team and from others drawn to us!) who really worked together well, I think, to make the venue a welcoming place where we got in all the people we could to see the performers. It was a really satisfying feeling to manage to squeeze another 20 people in who were desperate to see their favourite musicians. Highlights for me there were probably Yvonne Lyon (again- she's on itunes) and Gareth Davies-Jones (on itunes) and for a little more chilled out the smooth sounds of Jazzelation (sample here). Another bonus was Roger's (the venue manager) choice of interlude music including Jim Moray's All You Pretty Girls which is just so perky!

Curiously in all of it, a friend and I agreed that for both of us, the most spiritual experience came at the Comedy venue with Barbara Nice's Hiya and Higher. She encouraged us all not to worry about the Credit Munch, not to fall for the consumerist myth but to look to all that we, as human beings have in common. We shouldn't feel low but in meeting each other (and saying HIYA) we can feel HIGHER. The time concluded with the audience selecting a short length of wool to represent how low we felt at the start with all our worries then the audience, through its links, passed around the ball of wool and when many connections had been made, this wool was attached to some helium balloons that were released into the sky. So how low did we feel and how high do we feel now? Through building connections with those people we felt as high as heaven.

It's difficult to convey just how deep an experience this was and at the same time gloriously funny. There was not heavy over-politicised polemic but wonderful and glorious authenticity from a woman with such a big and beautiful heart!