England’s Heritage in Photos: Corby Glen Church, Lincolnshire – Medieval Wall Paintings

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Lincolnshire in the east of England has some wonderful, often underrated medieval churches.

One such is in the south west of the county, in the lovely village of Corby Glen. Here on many of the walls of the church you can see paintings and illustrations of religious and spiritual imagery, representing stories from the Bible and the faith and beliefs in general of the later medieval period.

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If you look carefully, you can make out several layers of art, where older ones have been superseded with new work.

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During the Reformation in the 1500s, all of this art was whitewashed over, part of the process of removing all imagery, which also meant stripping out idols and even rood screens which separated the nave from the chancel.

It was only in more recent times that this treasure trove of art was rediscovered through church restoration.

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Today this art represents some of the most important medieval imagery not only in the county of Lincolnshire, but also in the whole of England.

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Devil in the detail.

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Explanation of the imagery inside the church.

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The beautiful setting of the church of Saint John the Evangelist, Corby Glen, Lincolnshire.

copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

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Poem: Pablo

lines on whiteboard

Photo by Martin Péchy on Pexels.com

Black eyes of the deep south
simmer through cigarette smoke,
windows on the tortuous corridors
where the minotaur lurks.
There can be no control:
He is the crucible of all possibility;
the raging bull and the wild horse.
And the bearer of light.
His mesmeric stare fixes
on the stigmata of raised hands.
Goya-like, he senses life’s transitory
spell, this bridge of tragedy,
the lifeblood of creativity.
He paints in a trance, in full
knowledge that there is no
thread for Theseus to find.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Original Oil Painting: ‘Dark Landscape No 1’

Link to painting in my portfolio

This one was a bit of a departure for me. I haven’t done much abstract style painting but I will certainly try to do more.

This one is of a dark, brooding landscape straight from the imagination.

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copyright Francis Barker 2019

Original Oil Painting: ‘Lilies and Light’

Link to ‘Lilies and Light’ in my portfolio

Another Monet inspired work, oils on stretched canvas. I love the way many of the impressionists played with light and shade and the various techniques they employed to achieve it.

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copyright Francis Barker 2019

‘Summer Picnic’, A Completed Painting – Inspired by Monet

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see link: portfolio

Here is one of my completed paintings, inspired by French artist Monet, probably my favourite impressionist.

As they say about art and creation in general, it is about 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration… certainly the case with this example.

This original oil painting is on stretched canvas, see above link for details.

Other paintings will appear in my portfolio in due course.

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copyright Francis Barker 2019

Pablo Picasso, Creative Tour de Force – Astrology Musings

abstract painting

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

It’s easily overlooked that Picasso was not merely a painter.

You can include sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, writer, poet and playwright to his considerable repertoire.

Even what he is best known for, Cubism, is like an attempt to solidify a two dimensional form.

With a Leo ascendant, there is a powerfully creative approach to life.

His ruler, the Sun, in Scorpio in house 4, anchors him deeply in the fathoms of psychology and in the ancestry, symbols and mythology of his and the collective genetic past.

Appreciation of beauty

So much has of course, rightly, been made of this. But he also has Venus in Libra in house 3.

Here is an appreciation of beauty (and women) and a need to express it verbally and through written form: writing and poetry.

This Venus is in a loose sextile to a house 5 Moon in Sagittarius, giving him wider creative expression for this trait.

Then there’s Mars, his sun ruler, in Cancer in house 12. Here is the emotive energy which can erupt from the subconscious through creativity, aided by the sextile to inspirational Neptune in Taurus in house 10.

Constructive transformation

But it’s his Taurus house 10 which is most interesting.

Here we have Saturn and Neptune in a loose conjunction, with Jupiter and Pluto doing the same later in the sign, opposed to Mercury in house 4.

Here is the purpose of strong physicality, the constructive approach, the need to transcend it, expand it and ultimately transform it into something else, the latter examined and inspected deeply, with great intensity.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Astrology Bites: Vincent Van Gogh

person holding van gogh book beside sunflowers

Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

We are inspired by many things. What makes someone pick up a guitar and try to play it? Why are some of us artistic and others not?

And what made an artist like Van Gogh paint with such compulsive passion and intensity?

A look at his birth chart may cast a little light on this.

Spiritual impulses

The part of his chart that particularly stands out for me is the 9th/10th house around his midheaven.

Here we have Venus conjunct Mars in Pisces, along with Neptune in the earlier part of the Fish.

We know he initially wanted to be a priest, and certainly, one interpretation of this aspect, close to the midheaven, could be that he was very much inclined to religious feelings and impulses and would want to use them outwardly, in a career.

Uniting with the numinous

In Pisces, though, it’s often difficult to know where these feelings come from, there’s a lot of subconscious, unfathomable energy here, a deep impulsive need to unite with the numinous, strongly and intensely.

So, in other words, the love principle is very deep here and emotionally supercharged by nearby Mars square to Jupiter.

But although he clearly had a strong spiritual impulse, it never quite seemed to suit or satisfy him being involved in a conventionally religious way, like training for the priesthood.

Expression in the world

The process of painting, using strong imagery and colours, however, eventually gave this deep intensity greater expression in the world.

Painting brought all of this out into the open in a most wondrous flowering of creativity over a relatively short period of time, bequeathing to us an incredible legacy.

His Sun and Mercury in Aries would only heighten this energy and impatience, giving him great verbosity (trine Jupiter) too, plus a tendency towards impatience and anger.

Wanderlust

Van Gogh was always likely to travel too. Cancer rising gave him an emotional, caring approach to life but his ruler, the Moon, is in far ranging Sagittarius and close to the Archer’s ruler Jupiter in his 6th house of work. And Jupiter also rules the sign on the midheaven, doubling up.

This in itself, is an indicator of travelling long distances for work, but also has religious and philosophical connotations, if not the deeper, more spiritual impulses.

Creative outpouring

Although born in Holland, he spent time in London and northern France, before settling in the south of France for those last, few, incredibly intense years of his short life, which produced, arguably, one of the most brilliant outpourings of artistic creativity ever.

It’s as if painting was the only medium which allowed him to express what he felt subconsciously.

However, in the end, even painting failed to keep him long in this world. I’m sure, however, that we are eternally grateful that he stayed long enough to leave us so many paintings to enjoy.

A fish out of water

He sought the eternal numinous in his short life but was never quite satisfied. Ironically, his struggle did achieve eternal fame for him posthumously. He only sold one painting while he was alive.

Looking at his chart as a whole, it is largely top heavy. Van Gogh poured out his soul to the world which could not sustain him.

He was very much a fish out of water.