Crazy Monks

My blog has been quiet recently because I’ve been doing research for my next project (which I mentioned in my previous post).  I’ve been looking at a lot of images on the Internet and reading about the use of symbolism in Christian art.  There’s not much to show for it except a head full of ideas.  Here is one of the ideas that made it as far as my sketchbook.


One of the styles I was considering was to make the image like an old stained glass window.  At the moment though I’m thinking about using the style of the old Celtic manuscripts.  Here are some cats and a peacock that I copied from a book about the Book of Kells.catspeacockSketch

As you can see, the monks who illustrated the Book of Kells weren’t going for realism.  I love the colours on the first cat.

I borrowed a book from the library that had a black and white photo of a page from “Cormac’s Psalter”.  Here is a copy I tried to make of it in my sketchbook.  (I guessed the colours.)


Unless you look closely (try clicking on the photo) it’s easy to miss the craziness of this piece.  For example, the mouthless heads at the top right are particularly baffling.  I love the interwoven laces in the background.  I tried to use this kind of random lacing in my “Deep Peace” drawing (behind the words “PEACE” and “TO YOU”).


Posted on February 6, 2014, in Art, Celtic interlace and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. It was worth the wait. Thanks. I love the shading in the peace sketch and as always I’m amazed at the intricate detail. Love the cats too. 😀


  2. Wow! Good luck:) Looking forward to see what you end up making.


  3. I adore following along with your creative outlets Sarah. I really enjoy posts like this as you show us your works in progress. I can imagine there is so much to study! All your posts with examples of beautiful creativity help foster my own creativity. You get me going! Thank you so much for all you share. Cheers, Gina


    • Oh, I’m so pleased to hear that Gina. The most rewarding thing about blogging for me is hearing that people are getting something out of my posts. I’m delighted to hear that they are encouraging your creativity. 😀


  4. findingmyinnercourage

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with – exciting!


  5. I’m very much looking forward to this project!


  6. I can see what You mean. Those monks must have allowed their freedom of expression to run free indeed! So many heads, (did I count 6?), and at least 2 dog like creatures, if We can accept the extra long tongues! …And, in between, at the bottom, what is that ‘Wrong?’

    I see You keep Yourself busy indeed. Good for You. …Love and Regards, my Dear. 🙂


    • Yes, the monks really “went to town” when it came to decoration. 🙂 I suppose it was one of the few times when they could let their imagination run away with them.
      The ‘Wrong?’ means that I wasn’t happy with the way that part of the drawing turned out. I wanted to make a note to myself for future reference that that part didn’t match up with the original.

      Liked by 1 person

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