Saturday, July 17, 2010
CELTIC WOMAN RETURNS
Completed journal pages
Whenever I travel to a foreign land, I always return with a gift. The gift is not always apparent at first but after awhile, it makes itself known. This time was no exception. Throughout the next several weeks I will be posting pictures from my visit to the UK and Ireland, and I will be revealing some of those amazing gifts I received from the beautiful people I met while there. When I speak of gifts, I do not mean those of a monetary value but gifts of words, kindness and lessons. There are always lessons to be learned, especially while traveling.
You may remember the Celtic Woman Journal that I created to take with me on my adventure. I want to share with you the way in which the inside pages of the journal turned out. I wasn’t exactly sure of the direction I was going with the pages but after visiting Trinity College in Dublin and viewing the Long Room and the Book of Kells, I became inspired to try to duplicate that look throughout.
The Long Room measures 210 feet and has over 200,000 antiquarian books. It reminds me of a long arched tunnel. I felt very humble as I walked along gazing at these books, as well as the oldest surviving harp in Ireland. The Book of Kells is actually in the Old Library and is the most richly decorated of all the illuminated manuscripts in Ireland. The text is a beautifully rounded script with animal and human forms. I was surprised at how small the script actually is.
I painted and inscribed a woman for each major area in which I traveled. My intention is now to finish the journaling with a Celtic Alphabetical letter for each paragraph of each journal page. I'm not planning on adding animals or figures though. I’m off to a good start but have a long way to go and I am hoping the lettering will improve as I go along. I had to use a calligraphy font to print out the pages since my own handwriting leaves much to be desired.
It was difficult to get the exact look I wanted for each Celtic Woman while traveling because I was trying to juggle a lot of things. I was able to accomplish much of the work while on my trip over the Irish sea to Ireland from St. George’s Channel in England and back over it again to Holyhead, Wales, since it is approximately a four hour journey each way.
Basically, I sketched out each woman and painted them with acrylics, since I knew they would have to dry quickly to keep pace with the trip. I then scribed in the important events that took place for each area.
West Country English Woman
Celtic Woman Journal
Here is a picture I took on one of the landings while I was climbing to the top of Blarney Castle. Yes, I did kiss the Blarney Stone and yes, I’ll probably be even more wordy, if possible, because of it. I was surprised at what a difficult climb it was to get to the top. The turret in which I traveled became narrower with each step and there were even rope pulleys to help. Being a bit claustrophobic and also being afraid of heights, I have to give myself a bit of credit for tackling the climb. I must admit though, someone screamed ”help” very, very loudly when kissing the stone in a semi-horizontal position at the top. I'm sure you already guessed that the someone was me!
Hope you can use this picture in your artwork. I’m amazed at how green everything is in Ireland. Green is so soothing to the eye. I can almost visualize a ghostly woman making her way along the grass.
Midway view from Blarney Castle