Guest Artist – Kathleen Farago May

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As the interlocutor on the Monty Python’s Flying Circus  used to announce, “And now for something completely different.” I ran across Kathleen Farago May seemingly by accident, as so often happens with social networking. Looking at her work, I was puzzled by the impressions I was experiencing. In the common parlance, the images are “spiritual” in nature. This means, of course, a lot of different things to different people.

I am very curious about the spirituality others. I lived my early years in, to say the least, a spiritually diverse environment. Finally, I had to make up my mind what I believed. For my own spiritual life, I found the “many paths” idea untenable. Nevertheless, I think that one way to become more firmly founded in one’s own beliefs is by trying to understand the beliefs of others. You can take out your ideas one by one and compare them to others. If nothing else, it provides a sort of canvas on which to paint a picture of what you believe. Learning about machines in general can teach you something about how your car works. It will not allow you to fix a faluty engine, but you might figure out how to change a tyre.

This is not a very popular idea among Christians, I know. But, for me, I find validification coming with understanding. I also find opportunities to “compare notes” with others concerning their beliefs. Along this path, I occasionally find those whose confusion or lack of belief can be addressed by quiet discourse and hearing ears.

But, we’re not here to talk about me today. We’ve had enough of that for a little while. I am curious to see if Kathleen’s images speak to others as some of them have spoken to me. Maybe they have different things to say to different people. It would surprise me if they did not. Artistically, the images are an exotic blend of the real and the surreal. It sounds crazy, but Salvador Dali keeps popping into my mind. I don’t know if I can explain that!  Kathleen uses photographic images, art and computer generated patterns for her compositions. Possibly this explains the “old” and “new” mix of impressions that I feel when I view them.

I’m going to present them with Kathleen’s comments. If I have something to say about an image, I’ll put it in after Kathleen’s text.


Gaia’s Song:

Mother Earth is so beautiful, and one of the most lyrical creations is the sea. I feel that this is her song, because like music, the sea moves and changes through time, the beauty being perceived differently, each time one encounters a song or the sea.

Being a sea creature and a lover of bush walking, this combination of ocean and mountain delivers an amusing experience to me. The computer generated interlocking sine waves seem to blend it all together.

Take Me Away:

A painting that is a prayer – seeking reprieve from a particularly difficult passage in my life, I was asking my angels to release me from the difficulty of this part of my journey. Within two months they did.

There are so many concepts of angels that I generally leave them alone. Whether they leave me alone or not is open to question. Life is confusing enough for me without them. However, if one is into angels, this is probably a comforting image. It has a strong Eastern feel to it, which strikes me as a little unusual. It certainly is a very nice bit of work.

Dancing in the Light:

About the joy of two souls sharing the light of life. At this point, when I painted this, I was still only imagining the joy that this could be, within three months, I had found the soul with whom that I am able to share this joy.

Well, I love to dance. Since childhood, dancing has been a part of my life. My mother taught ballet and my father taught tap. Together they taught ballroom, modern and jitterbug. Very naturally, this image strikes a chord in my heart.

Centered in Love:

Love has given me an enhanced perception of the beauty of life and I feel more able to perceive the miracle of each moment.

This one gets me where I live. It is a lovely composition. It’s truly magical. I feel all warm and fuzzy when I spend some time with it.

Bliss is Movement Towards Love:

“When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two.” ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I’m not usually moved by purely geometrical patterns, unless they are grounded somehow in realism. However, having dabbled with computer programs which produce them, I will say that is much more difficult than one might think to come up with patterns which are visually pleasing. Most of them just look like, well, vaguely pretty patterns cranked out by a computer. I think that the reason for my ambiquity is that I am so fixed in reality. Focusing on photography can erase appreciation for other varieties of art if one is not careful. I find this image pleasing, so I’ll credit Kathleen with spending considerable time honing her skills.

Rising Clarity:

In my current state, I feel that my perceptions, both intellectual and emotional, have risen to a new level of clarity – I have emerged from the turbulence of previous passages.

I like this one better, possibly because it is not so utterly symmetrical. There is something else there. I’ll back off here before I am accused of critiquing something which I do not understand.

Hydrothermal Origin of Life:

With gratitude to Jan Messersmith for permission to include his original image. This is one of my fascinations – how life can manifest in such challenging environments as hydrothermal vents. This is not meant to be a scientific depiction, just a visual expression of my wonder and awe.

Well, of course I would like this one much better for a couple of reasons. First off is that it contains one my images of a Magnificent Anemone. Another attraction is that it actually has something grounded in reality in it. Yes, I like this.

Kathleen has revealed to me a few thoughts concerning her life. They are too personal for me to pass on. I can say, however, that she has long persevered and is now blessed. I would guess that she is probably blessed beyond what she ever imagined would be possible for her.

We hope for much. Sometimes we think that hope is, well, hopeless. However, if we stop to think about it with a grateful mind, we might realise that we probably receive many more good things than we really expect. Hope and expectation seldom correlate. Every day is a blessing. Every day has a value beyond purchase. We can’t buy more time.

I need to listen more to my heart. That’s the communications centre. The head is just an accessory.

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15 Responses to “Guest Artist – Kathleen Farago May”

  1. L. Witham Says:

    Re: “This is not a very popular idea among Christians…” I would say, “among SOME Christians.” I’ve studied many beliefs in order to know where the followers are “coming from”. I’ve also been in situations where I know more about various religions than someone who claims “all religions are equal” and yet hasn’t studied them at all. But there are also Christians who know little of either their own faith or others’. I grew up believing in Christ but around me in the East Coast there were a wide variety of beliefs.

  2. Bill Spinks Says:

    Reading your posts often, now…most times at a loss for words to comment. Am grateful for your insights, encouraged by your strength…almost half a world away, praying for your healing.

  3. MadDog Says:

    Lori, I’m glad to get such a supportive comment from one I know to be a very stalwart Christian. I suppose that most of our co-workers here would probably hold similar opinions. How else could we do our work? I was speaking in a very general sense when I used the words “not very popular”. I still have my textbook Man’s Religions by John B. Noss, first published in 1949. I still refer to it occasionally when I need authoritative and unbiased information concerning another faith.

  4. MadDog Says:

    Bill, you expressed one of the most common reactions which I have seen from friends during this episode – “I can’t find the words”. Well, this is understandable. There are some situations in which language fails us. Today I received an email from an old friend who apologised for not writing before and told me that he simply did not know what to say. Tomorrow I’ll write back to him that it is okay; I understand. I have not yet found words to express the way I feel. I can describe symptoms and emotional reactions, but what is in the core of my being now is inexpressible. Wailing woud suit better than words. I’m telling my friends, when those akward silences come upon us, not to worry about the words. Simple aknowledgement of the shared sadness is enough. Thanks for your prayers. Thanks for telling me that I’m appearing to be stong. I wish that I felt stong. Maybe someday . . .

  5. kristy Says:

    I enjoyed these pictures. Part of it may be that she is using color combinations that I lean toward myself. I also noticed that the symmetrical lines overlaying the joyous riot of color was somewhat comforting as well. As to what it means to me? I just enjoyed the art!
    What fun to see one of your photos used as a starting point for another beautiful piece of art!
    Still praying for you and hoping that the paperwork mountains get worn away to little hills!

  6. Ruth Denny Says:

    Jan, The images by Kathleen Farago May are beautiful. Thanks for sharing them.
    As the Creator has given us the ability to be creative, may this be a way of sharing your love of the beautiful things in life with others.
    Have you ever thought of putting your photo’s and comments into a book? They are worth having available for a wider audience.
    Thanks for the comments on spirituality as well. How else can we reach out to others if we aren’t willing to hear what they think and believe. Then we have the right to share with them what we believe.

  7. MadDog Says:

    Kristy, Kathleen does have a sense of colour which appeals to me also. I do enjoy seeing art which contains images which I have captured. Thank you for your continued prayers. I will wear down those mountains!

  8. MadDog Says:

    Ruth, I have gotten much pleasure from sharing my images and thoughts with those who are interested. I would jump at the chance to do a book if I could find someone to publish it.

    I’m glad that my comments concerning understanding the beliefs of others resonated with you. It seems obvious to me. It seems sad that some Christians find it of no interest.

  9. Madcap Maven Says:

    Wow; now there’s a symmetrical word that’s not so symmetrical, either.

    I’ve been privileged to know people from all over the world, and to exchange spiritual views; from Hindi to Islam to Buddhism to Subud to Judaism to some 30-40 different Christian faith expressions, and to discover truths that soften my defensiveness and pull back the curtain of my heart just a smidge more than before, without damaging the Truth I have come to know. And love stands all tests.

  10. MadDog Says:

    Maven, I confess that I don’t get the symmetrical/non-symmetrical remark. Maybe I’m just extra dense this morning. However, the reaminder of your comment is very expressive and sound. I certainly agree about love. I tihnk that Jesus said it best.

  11. Ahna Says:

    Well growing up at a Catholic and Baptist on the weekends with the grandparents sure did put a cramp on how I feel religiously. I believe in God and Jesus as my savior. But to follow the catholic religion leaves me confused and then the baptist can confuse anyone. So I live by what is in my heart and go by what my gutt teaches me as well as reading the bible and meditating on how the scripture can be a part of my life. That to me, reading this confuses me. But oh well. I find alot of comfort in the images I see above. I will have to look more into her art. She is great.

  12. MadDog Says:

    Ahna, you’re a member of a large club if you’re confused. I wonder what Jesus would say if he came back and saw what has happened to the “called out ones” which were supposed to be the church. I don’t think that any church today resembles in any way what Jesus was talking about. How did we get so lost?

  13. Look Through My Kaleidoscope | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] multi-mirror images. Most of them do not please me much. I did get a little inspired by the work of Kathleen Farago May in her guest shot on MPBM, though the images lacked real-world components. I Googled for Photoshop […]

  14. Robert Novaliss Says:

    Her work continues to be magical and mystical and she is able to transport me and others to other realms. Great connections all the way around.

  15. MadDog Says:

    Yes, Robert. I agree. She has grown a lot since I first reviewed her work.