The Saint John's Bible December 2009, Vol. 1, Issue 10Forward to a Friend
It is with great thanks and joy that we wish you a beautiful and meaningful holiday season. We consider it a treasured gift to have your support and companionship as we enter a new year rich with possibilities. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the best is yet to come


Christmas Greetings from
The Scriptorium

Christmas Greetings from all of us in the beautiful surroundings of the studio in Wales.

Donald Jackson showing off  the 2009 Scriptorium Christmas Card designs done by Sarah Harris.  The letter designs were taken from the
Historical Books Volume Chapter Capitals.

The Acer bushes are still on fire in the copses and outside my window the fuchsias still unblemished by autumn frosts, peep in at me as I work. The lowering winter sun casts a raking light across the pages on my board, and the shortening days make me wonder, as I often do, how the scribes and illuminators in past centuries managed to survive in this season. The cold must have crept bitingly around the cloisters stiffening their fingers and their ink and their aching backs. They had their deadlines too, but surely they weren’t expected to create by candlelight. Even though the more fortunate did have eye glasses, (we know because they painted self portraits of themselves wearing them).

Although the past year has been more physically testing than usual the work is a continual source of spiritual energy. I’m constantly surprised by the forms and images which take their shape under my hand alongside the columns of text on the vellum pages.  On a visit to the HMML exhibit at the end of September I was literally stopped in my tracks at the entrance, taken aback by the power of the beautifully arranged Bible pages which I had not seen for two years or more. As the pages on display caught the carefully focused lights I felt as if I was being welcomed into a private conversation taking place between the pages, murmuring to each other across the room. At this distance, if ever, I don’t experience a sense of "ownership." I saw things in them I had never seen before and I have to say I felt as if the gilded pages were inviting me to follow the word-paths, leading from illumination towards enlightenment. They truly now have a life unto themselves.

Today I am working on The Book of Joshua which leads into Judges. The Children of Israel cross the Jordan below the far off City of Adam to scale the walls of Jericho and take occupation of the Promised Land. Stories of triumph, hope and liberation constantly intermingle with darker tales of intrigue, violent death and enslavement. Failure to observe God’s covenants eventually leads to tribal strife and fragmentation. Challenging themes, they still thread through our experience of the world every day. This volume has challenged us all.

The work of the other contributing artists in this volume is now complete. The remaining white gaps reproach me alone. The next deadline is fast approaching but thanks to electric light, central heating, ophthalmologists and cardiologists I can still work when it’s dark and cold outside.

Back to the board now – headless bodies floating down the River Jordan as the Ark of the Covenant is hauled across to the opposite bank. Happy Christmas!

Donald & Mabel

In This Issue

• Christmas Greetings from
  The Scriptorium

• Upcoming Exhibitions & Events

See the Bible

Print Exhibitions

Trinity Lutheran Church
October 31 - December 20, 2009
Stillwater, MN

Blacksburg Presbyterian Church

January 9 - February 21, 2010
Blacksburg, VA

Find a gallery near you >

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