Holy Spirit Symbol

holyspiritKells sketches without dotsI’m still making gradual progress on my annunciation project.

Here on the left is what I hope will be a component of the final image.  It represents the Holy Spirit entering Mary at the time of the annunciation.

The red dots around the circle are a common decorative device used in manuscripts like the Book of Kells (see image below for an example from the Book of Durrow).  They are supposed to act like a kind of highlighter, lifting the image from the paper, or so I’ve read.   Do you think it works?

Update: I’ve added the same image on the right but without the red dots so that you can compare them.  Thanks go to Hariod for that idea.
BookDurrowInitMark86r

Advertisements

Posted on January 31, 2015, in Art and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. The dots outside works and accentuates the Holy Spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love symbols and symbolism – I have written a lot of fantasy fiction in the past and just looking at or creating that kind of imagery can be really inspiring. I look forward to seeing some more

    Like

    • Yes, I find symbolism very interesting. There is so much of it in the old manuscripts and we probably miss most of it. I’ve been learning a lot, just for this one annunciation image. For example, there is often a sleeping cat depicted in the images. Rather than being a random piece of domestic life, it represents the continuation of the mundane and the obliviousness of the rest of the world while the miraculous happens to Mary. Something like that anyway. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very cool… Apart from the sheer power of the imagery Interpretation is the most interesting aspect for me. Over time new meanings can be found. A sleeping cat in something so old also says everything and nothing changes.

        Like

      • It’s fascinating, isn’t it? I love to see glimpses of the familiar in the ancient.
        Nowadays, people find the meanings they need to find, I think. As someone who tries to produce art, I’ve found that people interpret it in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Nowadays I try (emphasis on “try”) to present my art without offering too much of an interpretation so that people are free to read the images as they want.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A look forward to seeing some of that philosophy unfold.

        Like

      • Thanks Pete. See you later. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I do think it works and beautifully!. Years ago I learned another thing about red dots when I was working in theatre make up…and being an artist, you probably already know this…to put one small red dot on both sides of the nose even with the tear duct. It serves to “separate the eyes, to make them more individual as seen from a distance. You can’t see them but your brain picks them up…..these do serve the same purpose, to as you said, lift it up from the paper….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. How fascinating, I’d never heard that before. Did you ever do any Noh style makeup?

      Like

      • No, I did not. I have done some butoh dancing but that makeup is all stark white. The noh is quite amazing visually. I can just see some of that creeping into some of your work. I love the “book of Kells” art you are doing. I had the privilege years ago of seeing a page from the real one. We were kept back a distance and could only view the one displayed but I have seen photos. breathtaking.

        Like

      • You lucky thing. 🙂 I’ve seen lots of reproductions of the pages but I’ve never seen the original. It’s on my bucket list.
        I love the drama of the Noh makeup. Fabulous.
        Butoh dancing? Tell me more, please…

        Like

  4. Kanzensakura appears to have the low down on this Sarah, and I tend to agree that it works. However, without there being a comparison image which is minus the dots, then it’s difficult to gauge the effect.

    Like

  5. a special symbol!
    seems artistic & meaningful 🙂

    Like

  6. Sarah, your work is amazing. The detail and creativity is incredible. Congratulations.

    Like

  7. I think your creation is absolutely beautiful. I love them both and can’t really decide if I prefer dots to no dots (great idea to include both, btw). I think I have been trained by conventions of illustration to interpret dots or dashes as “glowing,” and so when I look at the image on the left it seems like it’s glowing. Which…may be an effect that works perfectly for your project. 🙂

    Like

    • Interesting, thank you Crystal. I can see what you mean about the glowing. I will have to see how it works with the rest of the elements of the design (when I eventually get round to them 😉 ).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. For me the red dots have kind of halo effect, like you see in Byzantine Art (Though done differently there). It seems fitting for Mary, Especially at this time.

    Like

    • Thank you, that’s interesting. The dove has it’s own little halo but the outer circle could be read as a halo as well. Mary, Gabriel and the Holy Spirit will each have a halo and it would make sense for me to use similar effects on them all. I hadn’t planned on putting red dots around Mary’s but I will have to try it now. Thanks for the idea.

      Like

  9. I like your response to a comment where you said: Nowadays I try… to present my art without offering too much of an interpretation. Yes, in my little opinion this is the way art should be presented, it is very subjective. Even something obvious can be subject to interpretation by the viewer. I once had somebody ask about one of my abstract pieces, But what is it supposed to represent? as if it should be dismissed because there was no back story! Anyway, for whatever it’s worth, I like the dots…

    Like

    • Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂 I agree, even something which seems obvious can be interpreted in different ways. The viewer takes what they need from an image. If they viewed it on another day they might see something different.
      I tried to visit your blog but it seems to have been deleted…

      Like

  10. The red dots remind me of adding spice to a good but plain food. I must be hungry 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: