of the themes of my Scotland painting series is ‘Bands of Light’. Here’s
the story of how I use a process to create visual symbolic references in
I was taking the ferry out of Oban, West Coast of Scotland, the sun broke
through the clouds and laid a bright band of light across the sea. It was
as though a luminescent cable was dropped into place, and electrified that
horizontal slice of the sea’s surface. I’ve seen this a million times before.
For anyone living by the sea, it’s a familiar sight.
in that moment this image struck me as significant. Of all the views from
the ferry, this band of light on the water caught my attention. I was in
pursuit of answering the question 'what visual symbols capture essence
of the Scottish landscape?'
bands of light are distinctive in Scotland’s seascape, capturing in an
image the variable change of weather, the intensity of the sun as it breaks
through the clouds, the scale of the expansive sea, the interaction of
the heavens and the earth.
this, and carefully observed the nature of that bright line: how the white
line was bounded by a bright coloured line along the edge, and the effect
of the glow on the immediate colour around that band of light.
that day I visited the Abbey on Iona. As I walked through this ancient
and beautifully alive centre of worship and Christian community, I listened
to the audio tour guide. The presentation included a recording of monks
singing plainchant. Deep resonance of a cappella singing, prayers lifted
a few moments that cathedral space was filled with spiritual expression,
heaven and earth co-mingled. In the early days the monks gathered for prayer
8 times a day. As though 8 times a day a shaft of sunlight broke through
the clouds of day and laid a band of luminescent light across the Iona
morning over the previous few days at my residence in Oban I had joined
the community for prayer. We prayed again each evening after dinner. Twice
a day a band of light was laid across the pattern of life and work.
visiting the Abbey I set up my painting materials in its coast side shadow
to paint the view looking towards the Scottish mainland. I noticed the
bands of light and of colour that now emerged in that landscape view. These
bands now had meaning for me, touching on essence and resonating with the
living history of Iona’s story. I accentuated them to highlight their significance
as a symbolic reference in my painting.
image ‘Iona’s View’ is the sketch I painted that afternoon. The bands of
light and colour laid across the scene are symbolic references to those
‘God moments’ when heaven and earth co-mingle, perhaps in a time of prayer
or a moment of revelation through the course of the day.
bands of colour are pure colour and somewhat translucent. Prayer brings
a moment of purity, of transcendence. These moments occur in a pattern
of prayer, or an unexpected moment of revelation. They anchor the
messy reality of daily life in heaven’s light.
To see more of Jamie
Treadwell's works visit www.jamietreadwell.com
Treadwell is a life coach, and a noted
who works in pastels, watercolors and acrylics. He is a member of The
Servants of the Word, an ecumenical lay missionary brotherhood of men
living single for the Lord, and mission leader in the Sword of the Spirit.
He is currently based in London, UK. Visit his art
website to see more of his work.].