Fragments of Light


Fragments of Light provides a forum where artists and critics from many countries are able to share thoughts, interests and ideas in the area of the arts and spirituality, and the power of creative expression to humanize our culture and to heal and transform lives. The blog includes both excerpts from published essays, and original reflections by artists, writers, musicians, and theatre professionals. By inviting readers to respond to these published texts, we hope to promote conversation, reflection, and discussion on faith and creativity, contemplative prayer and esthetic experience, Christian liturgy and beauty, and related themes.

The momentum of the blog draws its energy from the seasons of the Church year and shared important feasts. If you would like to participate either as a regular or guest contributor, or if you have ideas for topics of conversation, please email Lillian Miao.

Looking Well

Artist Emily Brown’s focused attention and meticulous draftsmanship encompasses the viewer in the light and energy radiating from wild natural spaces.

Emily Brown, On Fernald Point, 2000, ink wash on paper, 44 x 38 inches.

“The challenge and joy of looking well and articulating what comes together is vital to me. Relations between people — tensions, ambiguities, humor, pleasures . . . In examining a place you realize that everything is interconnected. The light source unifies it all, and the nature of the light sets the tone.”

—Emily Brown

Emily Brown, Water Surface with Waves, 2016, ink wash on paper, 19 x 24 inches.

The artist describes her passion for ink wash:

“A close physical relation with the work must go on, quite like a dance as I touch, move afar, look and return, over and over. In their surprising mixtures, the fluids alter plans I may have had. Tensions and harmonies arise through the marks. I guide, add, chase, wipe, and blot while the paper is wet, then wait for the wash to dry. I look anew, respond, envision and revise. It is a slow, nonverbal process, a meditative one. Watch, respond, wait—over and over.”    —Emily Brown

As Brown engages the “tensions and harmonies” of the marks on paper, she adds, “a time to notice and a time to leave marks; breathing in and breathing out. I connect that with the importance of leaving spaces between things—visually, in my case— for a place for the mind to consider, and respond.”

Where do you find those spaces which engender reflection and response?


Emily Brown, At the River’s Edge, 1998, Oil on Canvas

Artist Bio

Growing up in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and spending summers in inland midcoast Maine, Emily Brown is deeply affected by the natural landscape, drawing from textures, surfaces, and surfaces found in the wild for her drawings, paintings and prints. The artist was raised in a family devoted to medicine and mental health. An active member of a Friends meeting, Quaker discipline and practice is part of her daily life and work. Brown’s  paintings, drawings and prints are included in museum collections in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

See more of Brown’s work on her website: