Tuesday, September 7, 2010
CELTIC ANGEL WITH IRISH BODHRAN DRUM
I love drums of all kinds but I honestly had never heard of a Bodhran before I got to Ireland this summer. It is pronounced Bow-rawn. I noticed it being played at the Irish folk show we attended as well as at the castle and pubs. It is not played like a regular drum but rather it looks like the musician is using his drum stick, which is called a cipin, like a paint brush and “painting” the drum.
There is a lot of speculation as to the origins of the Bodhran. It is believed to have originally come from Africa, via Spain and then to Ireland. Wikipedia says it means “skin tray” and suggests the Irish used it to carry peat. Wherever it did originate, I can tell you that it definitely is the heartbeat of Irish music.
Bodrhan drum I brought back from Ireland
After being asked by a musician to play the drum (just for fun) at a pub one afternoon, I was hooked. I had to have one. I did purchase one in Ireland and believe me there is a long story about how I finally got the huge drum home. I’ll leave that to your imagination. I have a drumming ceremony once a year here at Woodloft, my home. I’ve been remiss in scheduling one for this summer because I was so busy with the UK trip but I am planning on having one around Halloween. Of course, I will have to learn how to play it by then and it doesn’t look easy. Maybe this will give me an excuse to visit our local Irish pub here in Roanoke, called Flannigans. I understand people with Bodhrans drop in and are happy to teach.
If you’d like to hear what they sound like, I found this very cute video of 2 fellows playing their bodhrans. They are typically Irish~
In the meantime, I decided to paint an Irish maiden with a Bodhran. She is a Celtic Angel and I have named her Megan, after my tour guide for the Grand Britain tour that my granddaughter, Marcy, and I took this summer. Megan truly was an angel to us. She is a high spirited woman who gives from her heart and soul. She danced, sang and absolutely threw herself into making our trip one we would remember forever.
There are all kinds of ways to travel abroad and I like every one of them. You can travel for adventure and live in a rugged setting in, let’s say, Africa. You can take a class in something useful, like a cooking class or in my case sculpture classes. You can drive a private motor car and travel at leisure, which has it’s place as well or you can take one of the escorted tours like I do with my grandchildren. The life of a tour director on one of these tours is a very difficult one.
Megan was up at the crack of dawn planning our day, making calls to be sure all was in order. She didn’t retire until very late at night, making sure we were all safe and sound in the many hotels in which we stayed for the 21 day excursion. She made sure all day tours were lined up, all rooms were appropriate, seating arrangements at dinner were proper and the list goes on. When our trip was over, she had to leave for her next journey-another long 22 day tour. Stamina must be her middle name. She made us laugh constantly and she wasn’t afraid to tell on herself. I asked her if she ever forgot anyone at the many stops that are made during these trips. She told me the only person she ever forgot was ….her mother! She said she had a hard time living that one down. She also told of the time she got out of the coach and climbed over the rock wall to show her group one of the bogs. She sunk waist deep, which actually was a great demonstration.
Close-up of halo
View from the bottom of painting
Close-up of texture
Megan made the remark while on the tour, “In another fairy tale life, I will one day have thick hair like Cheryl’s” So, I decided to be sure to give my Megan Celtic Angel a full head of hair. I’m sure Megan would never have guessed that her story would one day be posted on my blog, depicting her with thick hair and a halo. Maybe this is the fairytale she spoke of.
You can find my Celtic Angel for sale in my etsy shop by clicking here
I painted her with acrylic and used a technique I learned in Italy for the halo. I used Magic Texture Paste for the background celtic imprints.
Last but not least. Here is the real Megan. Can you see the halo over her head? I can.
Ted our driver, and Megan