Friday, July 30, 2010



Gypsy Moon
Sold. Thank you Jennifer!

You may remember from a previous post, that I am captivated by gypsies. I am not sure where or when I first became fascinated with them but the music created by Emuziki and other artists wielding violins motivate me to want to dance, paint and sculpt gypsies.

I didn’t expect to meet up with a prince last month on my whirlwind almost month long trip to the UK and Ireland, nor did I ever imagine that I would encounter gypsies on the outskirts of an English town. What a bonus for me!

In the picture below, you can only see one caravan because I could only take a quick photo. There were actually several more caravans in a circle.

Gypsy Caravan

The caravans looked like the Connestoga Wagons of the old wild west, only maybe a bit smaller. The tops were covered with what looked like green canvas. The group was sitting around a campfire looking pretty peaceful. I was told by my tour guide, Megan, that the gypsies were allowed to camp on the outskirts of any town in England. There were no laws prohibiting them. She said that last year residents of one town were pretty upset. The King of one particular group of gypsies had died. Whenever a king dies, the body is cremated in his wagon. It was quite an ordeal.

I did a web and UTube search on gypsies and found that they do not like to be referred to as gypsies at all. The preferred name is Romas or Romani. Even though most of us think of them coming from Romania, many sources say that they originated in Punjab, India.

I posted several gypsy women paintings a few months ago to go along with my Gypsy in my Soul post. After actually seeing them in person, I was inspired to create a few more paintings.

Side view of Gypsy Moon

“Gypsy Moon” was not an easy collage for me to complete. I sketched and painted one of my women on hardwood and then used a technique I invented. I don’t have a name for it yet. I should probably call it, “Make sure you do things the hard way, technique” I wanted the skirt to look like it was cloth and wood that was pieced together. I thought of using a pyrography tool to burn around each piece of cloth like I read in a book called Collage Fusion, by Alma de la Melena Cox. I couldn’t find my pyrography tool so I drew a design on the wood, then cut each individual piece of cloth to fit I surrounded the mosaic with a dark marker. I might have attained the same effect by cutting one whole segment of the cloth and marking around each piece instead of cutting and fitting each individual piece. I would really have saved a lot of time. Oh well.

Close-up of garment

I had completed “Tess” several months ago and she seems to fit into my new image of a modern day gypsy, especially with her tattoos.


Both Tess and Gypsy Moon are for sale on Etsy in case you’d like more information about them.

Also, while I was doing my research, I found this video of pictures of many different kinds of caravans. I was thinking of what fun it would be to create a caravan and then I remembered..I’ve already got one. My shining B-dazle car!

My art car, B-Dazle 23,000 beads and bangles attached (by me!)

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Sunday, July 25, 2010



“She Who Knows the Secret of the Book of Kells”

While in Dublin, I had the extreme privilege of viewing the Book of Kells at Trinity College. The book was written in the eighth century by monks on the isle of Iona, Scotland, in honor of Saint Columba. These monks, however, left no trace as to their identity. Because of the intricacy of the page, “Chi Ro, folio 34r, (the most famous) it was a medieval notion that the Book of Kells must have been created by angels.

Close-up, you can just tell she 'knows'

There are 339 pages and the Chi Ro folio 34r shows in a single area measuring approximately a quarter inch square, 158 interlacements.—some of which are distinguishable only with the aid of a magnifying glass. The book was produced on vellum or calf-skin and the most expensive inks in the world were brought in from Afghanistan and used in the illuminated text.

Close-up of my humble scribing

I have become passionate about creating artwork that corresponds to my journey last month to the UK and Ireland. My Lady of the Kells seems to be harboring a secret. Perhaps she is one of the angels who created the text.

View from the bottom

It took me the better part of the week to complete “She Who Knows…” and I was almost reluctant to place her for sale. I decided I could part with her only if I copied her image to fabric and paper and stitched and used encaustic wax to create journals of her. You can find these journals and the original on Etsy.

"She Who Knows..." with my Celtic Woman journal pages

I’m always amazed to see the way in which my art tousles me around. It was not my plan to spend my jet-lag week, which was over 95 degrees every single day, creating “She Who Knows…” but it certainly was my destiny. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Since I planned to post a picture of my journey to share for each posting, I am presenting this one. I happened upon this interesting looking man, obviously an intellectual, while in Dublin. He had perched himself in front of the oldest pub in Ireland. Perhaps he is hoping to be the first customer of the day and have a mental joust with another Irish gent. Hope you can use it in your artwork in some way.

Oldest Pub in Ireland-definitely worth a double click to enlarge

Since no pictures were allowed at the Museum of the Book of Kells or the Old Library which houses the Long Room, I found this informative video on UTube that I thought you might like to view. It is only a few minutes long and sets the atmosphere for the Book of Kells museum at Trinity.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Oceana Sculpture and Prince Charles

Oceana Wall Sculpture

Sold. Thank you Francie!

Just before crossing the Irish Sea last month while on my UK journey, our tour group stopped at Tenby Wales for a scheduled lunch and pictures. Tenby is a quaint fishing village with dozens of seafood restaurants and a port with all the fishing boats you would expect to see. What a delightful surprise was in store for us. It seems that Prince Charles was visiting his principalities in Wales and was scheduled to arrive at the square at exactly the time we were!

Price Charles

We were so excited! It’s not every day that you get to see a prince! We lined up with the crowd, which consisted of school children waving banners. It was not a large crowd. I was surprised at the lack of security that day. There only appeared to be a few body guards around Prince Charles. We snapped our pictures as he made his way past us. There was a lovely Welsh lady standing in front of me and I rudely, but unknowingly, had my camera over her head to get the best shot. My camera handle was hanging down right in her face keeping her from seeing the Prince. She was too kind to say a word. When I noticed what I had been doing, I quickly moved my camera and apologized to her. She said it was ok, that she knew I was a visitor to her village and she wanted me to be happy.

Prince Charles and Camilla

Prince Charles with school boys

Tenby, Wales
Please feel free to use this picture in your artwork

I was so impressed with the behavior of the entire crowd. Everyone was very considerate. I met another lady named Kathleen while having lunch. She was actually from Ireland but lived in Tenby. She told me that she didn’t even know that the Prince was there and was disappointed that she missed him. We got to talking and before long, she brought over her niece and nephew and introduced them to my granddaughter, Marcy, and I. She wanted to know all about our tour and hoped that we were enjoying being in Wales. What a great impression the delightful people of Tenby left me with. It’s so important to remember that when we visit other countries, we are ambassadors of a sort. Our behavior represents our country. The same is true when people from other countries visit us. I was left with warm feelings about the people in Wales and hoped that I had left them with the same feelings about the United States.


I decided to post a sculpture of one of my Ocean pieces in memory of Tenby. Her name is Oceana. She is stoneware clay and measures 9"Hx7"Wx3"Deep. I have just placed her for sale on Etsy. If you would like more information about her, just click here

I have given her the story I wrote years ago about the ocean. It is the same story I always use since it seems to apply to all my ocean pieces. Hope you like her.

Oceana story:


As she was standing at the edge of the ocean she
could hear the waves chanting
their familiar song.

“Come to me, I am geater than you, I am wiser than
you..I am the one.”

She resisted once again. How long could she
continue to resist…How much longer before she
embraced her larger self,
her destiny,
her soul…
..the sea….

~ Cheryl Dolby

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Saturday, July 17, 2010



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.

Cardiff Woman

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.

York Woman

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.

Celtic text

Killarney Woman

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.

Anglesey Woman

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.

Glasgow Woman

West Country English Woman

Limerick Woman

Dublin Woman

London 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

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