Category Archives: Celtic interlace
I’m really impressed with my orchids. Each time they flower they put out more and more buds. When I was younger, orchids were specialist plants that you had to coddle. I suppose that’s still true for most of the varieties but the ones that are stocked in the supermarkets these days are relatively robust.
And on to magpies. Some of you may remember that I was working on a magpie logo for a commission. Please visit this website to see the finished version and a very lovely credit to yours truly. I wish “The Celtic Magpie” all the best. It looks like a great place to find beautiful Irish jewellery.
This is the art project I was working on before Windows decided to “improve” my drawing machine with an update. Here’s where I’d got up to:
This version of my Holy Face design has been approved by the person who requested it. I’m happy with it overall but I think that the face itself and the lettering might need tweaking.
Just some spiral patterns left to do, and a bit of tweaking here and there.
(The pencil underdrawing won’t be in the final version.)
Familiar words can have different meanings in Catholicism. “Passion” refers to the sufferings of Jesus after the Last Supper. The passion flower has been taken to symbolise these sufferings. For example, the five anthers are said to represent Christ’s five wounds and the three stigma the nails. I thought I’d try to draw a passion flower halo for my Tree of Life design with the 72 radiating tendrils representing the crown of thorns. Today is the Feast of Christ the King. A king who has thorns for his crown. A king who is not only just, but also merciful. A king who loves us more than we love ourselves.
I’ve also done some more work on the border.
So I got all the lettering done except for the initial “G”; the first draft anyway.
Please don’t ask me what is up with the animal head coming out of the “d”. I don’t know why his tongue has got knotted up with his mane. It’s just one of those things that happens in this kind of art. I guess the monks that spent so many hours of their lives making themselves blind doing this stuff liked to have a bit of fun with it. That, or they drank too much homebrew. Monks were/are pretty good brewers, or so I’m told.
I’ve made a little more progress on my Tree of Life piece. I wanted to take a break from spirals so I decided to start work on the border. I based the border designs on ones I had sketched for an earlier project (which is currently on the back burner). I also tried out some of the Book of Kells font that I created for that project. For those interested in the technicalities, I created the font using Manga Studio but I’m doing this piece in Krita. Sometimes one can export projects from Manga Studio in Photoshop format (.psd) and then open them in Krita. It didn’t work this time though so I had to make do with just the bare image.
Here’s the latest update to my Tree of Life design:
I’ve tidied up the sketch a little, and continued with the illumination on the “G”. I’ve left the bottom spiral in an intermediate state so that you can see how the design evolves. It doesn’t just pop out of my head and onto the screen. I have to keep changing it and tweaking it. I’m still using George Bain’s book for inspiration but now I’m also using Aidan Meehan’s book on illuminated letters.
If you’re wondering why these letters seem to be tipping up to the right, it’s not a mistake. The old manuscripts that I’m trying to emulate, like the Book of Kells, often have the first few letters of a passage illuminated in decreasing order of size. However, the rest of the letters in my sketch in the previous post are tipping up to the right, by mistake. It often happens to my writing if I don’t follow guidelines. I will have to remember to draw guidelines on the sketch before I finalise the rest of the writing.
Today is the day Catholics celebrate the cross with a Feast that used to be called Rood Mass. One reason we celebrate the cross is because it demonstrates God’s great love for us. As Saint Catherine of Siena says:
Nails were not enough to hold the God-Man nailed and fastened on the Cross, had not love held Him there.
Or, as John’s gospel says:
This is the sketch I made for my Tree of Life drawing that I mentioned in an earlier post. The body of Christ is traced from a photo of a crucifix. That’s why it looks better than the rest of the sketch. 🙂