Keith English began painting professionally in 1963. He moved to St. Ives when personal crisis created a seemingly random chain of events. In a cloudy mixture of despair and acceptance, realising that he was at a great crossroads in his life and had nothing to lose, Keith went to the nearest station and asked where the next train was going. When he was told that it was travelling to Penzance, Cornwall he asked for a ticket to St. Ives. That was in 1966. He has been based in St. Ives ever since!
In those early years Keith painted anything and everything, learning and perfecting his art. He made a good living and lived a bohemian lifestyle.
Then tragedy struck again and due to a series of events beyond his control his fortune changed. This time he turned to spirit to help him. He began working with a Master Teacher called Khutumi, a being that he met with in the spirit realm while meditating. Khutumi was a wonderful teacher and guided Keith through a world that he had not known existed – a world of wonder and metaphysics. Several years passed. His life had returned to normal. He lived for his painting and his meditations and was content. He thought of himself as The Divine Fool, following his heart and inspiration but not really knowing what it was all about! His path seemed to be one of trust and faith.
In 1988 Khutumi told him that he would no longer be teaching him. New teachers would be given. He also said that Keith’s twin soul would be arriving in that year.
In anticipation Keith moved into a nice flat to welcome her, and told his friends of her arrival. When they asked who she was, he said that he didn’t know!
Seven months later a series of magical events took place:
Jodieanne (then called Jodie) was an American living in New Mexico. They had met briefly through a mutual friend in 1987 but the time was not yet, as there was no recognition of their future special relationship. Keith had returned from that visit to Britain. Jodie was yet to have had her spiritual awakening but events moved quickly for her, culminating in an explosion of spirit after a minor surgery in which she had undergone anaesthetic. When drifting off she had said to the nurse, “When you wake me, call me Jodieanne.” This the nurse did and she has used this name ever since. The mutual friend that had introduced Keith to her initially asked if Jodieanne wanted to spend a night at her house, rather than recovering from the operation on her own, an offer which was gratefully accepted. The following day, Keith telephoned his friend. He had been having longings and actual aches in his heart for about a month. It had now become unbearable. “I’m in love with someone but I don’t know who!” he told her. This friend, who was a very intuitive lady, said, “I think you should speak to Jodieanne!” She passed the telephone receiver over. Not even knowing who was on the other line, Jodieanne said, “Hello?” Keith then blurted, “I think you are my twin soul!” Jodieanne answered, “I am.” There was a stunned silence as the enormity of what had transpired hit them! After Keith’s telephone bill was £700 that quarter, they decided that Jodieanne would fly to Britain so that they could see if these feelings were real. Thus, Jodieanne arrived in Keith’s life and neither of them has ever looked back!
They knew that they had come together for a purpose but had no idea what that might be. We are guided into our highest places by all levels of light. This was to be no different for Keith. A vague feeling of discontent with his painting gradually grew to great physical discomfort in the form of neck and backache whenever he picked up his brushes. Jodieanne tried to help using various techniques of healing and massage but nothing worked for long. Finally, in exasperation, Jodieanne asked Keith what exactly it was that he wanted to paint. The silence that followed that question was deafening! Then Keith said that he longed to paint his own and other’s spiritual journeys. They decided between them that, indeed, he must!
This began a new era of paintings for Keith. The ideas flowed from spirit and he began painting with a new excitement and joy. Jodieanne, a writer and poet since the age of twelve, was also inspired by this beautiful work and began to write poetry that complimented the paintings. When Keith first read her poems he said that she had said in a few words exactly what he had been thinking while the paintings were being created! Together they began their art card company, Oakapple, which has since expanded to include posters, limited editions and other printed products. This way the images that Keith painted would be affordable to all and could be shared by many.
The gallery became a place of peace where people gathered to appreciate the images in their original form. People shared aspects of their own spiritual quests, further inspiring Keith to create more of the beautiful work. A lovely circle of energy was created. Over fifteen years later Jodieanne and Keith are more in love than ever and more focused on their path of light.
In closing Keith says, “In this planet of duality there is light and there is darkness. Each of us has the decision, as human beings, of where to present our focus; of where our energies will be concentrated. I believe inner man is basically good at the core being. Life, with its tests, fears and disappointments sometimes moulds a different animal. But the core “you” is goodness that vibrates at a higher rate than energies that may be dedicated to harm or self-interest.
Beautiful things nurture the goodness within us. I hope that the colours, technique and subjects that I have chosen for my paintings will lead one to find the highest source within the viewer.
I often haven’t a clue of what my painting is about at the onset. As the painting evolves, so does my own understanding. I would like this to occur to the viewer also, as the action of the painting opens up your own inner world to greater scrutiny from your consciousness.”