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

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. This journal will be priceless. I can see just how inspired you were over there and to continue to be now. I really don't think you had to kiss the stone although I'm clapping out loud at your accomplishment. I have downloaded the picture and I am making sure that I back it up in two places. I love the look of the castly and the texture is really cool. Hmmmm I think you will inspire many of your readers with such beautiful memories and pics.

  2. Such excitement to have gone to all these wonderful places and seen the sights you saw. The treasures you and Marcie will have for the rest of yours lives recalling this magnificent adventure. The journal you have created is beautiful. And now, back to reality for the both of you. Glad your back! Trish

  3. Welcome back,'ve been missed. The journal is so inspiring! I believe you have created an heirloom, what a treasure :) I can't wait for you to relive your trip for the rest of us...The picture of the Blarney Castle is insane...nothing like that in the states.

  4. Welcome back! Your journal is a treasure!

  5. OMGoodness! I am so in awe of your painting style...the sketchy feel..and sentimental recording of your journey is where it's at! you are so inspirational! thanks so much for your creative expression, for making your artistic visions available to us here in blogland....gorgeous!
    I love the London woman a lot!

    thanks so very much too for coming by to see me!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina


  6. Welcome back home, Cheryl! Oh my goodness! Your paintings are lovely ... what a treasure, heirloom, and book of memories you have already begun to create.

    Blarney Castle looks like something out of a fairytale. I look forward to the images you share with us all!

  7. Welcome home, Cheryl! Your gorgeous journal is an awesome keepsake and treasure of wonderful memories. Loved your description of the Long Room and the Book of Kells. How wonderful to see such a priceless treasure. Can't wait to hear and see more from your trip. You've been missed!!! Hugs, Terri xoxo

  8. Welcome back! What an amazing trip and journal, Cheryl. It is a real treat to read of your adventures. The Blaeney Castle is very inspiring indeed. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I can see your wonderful trip has sparked your muse into beauty and expression. This journal work is symbolic and moving. Welcome back!

  10. I welcome you back too, although I am a newbie. I can hardly wait to see the photo's of your memory making trip. I love that journal and those women are awesome. Have a great Sunday and next week.

  11. Wahey you're back! I can't wait to see what further inspirations and stories my homelands have given you (I've a bit of Irish in me alongside the English!). If these journal pages are anything to go by, we are in for a treat. Can't wait to share your journey as you re-live it through your blog. Did you notice we laid on some truly special weather for you. The rain is back now! Best wishes traveller!

  12. Welcome back! Sounds like you had a wonderful experience, as I knew you would. Reminds me so much of my trips there. There is nothing like it! Your journal will be one of a kind. I know what you mean by bringing back "gifts". I feel that way on each trip I take. I keep travel journals too and it's such a good way to preserve your memories. Your artwork is lovely Cheryl!

  13. Cheryl - I hadn't seen your postings about the journal pages you'd prepared but let me start by saying how they, by themselves are a visual treat. They reflect a feminity to them that speaks to me more about the artist - so gentle and loving. I can't imagine what it would have been like to experience walking down that tunnel of books and feeling the wisdom of the ages.
    Nice to have you back.

  14. What a spectacular journey and journal! Welcome back Cheryl, I look forward to reading and feeling your adventures.

  15. Welcome back, dear friend. You have been missed. I really haven't had time to look over your post, but will once I've got a bit of time. Just wanted to let you know you were missed.

  16. Oh my goodness--I am smiling--such a wonderful way to remember your travels--truly inspiring.
    And yes, I wanted to respond to your comment about Willoughby, Ohio. It's so refreshing to see a small community embrace the arts like they do!

  17. Welcome back Cheryl,
    What an inspiring journey and to be able to capture it in your art is truly special. I imagine you attracted alot of attention when you were creating your lovely art. What an experience of a lifetime.
    My parents went to Ireland many years ago and kissed the blarney stone too. my mom was surprised at how small it was.
    I'm looking forward to seeing more and hearing your wonderful stories of your adventure!
    hugs Lynn

  18. What a lovely story and what gorgeous paintings. I am looking forward to your journey story's. You are a real storyteller!

  19. You have really come into your own with these free & easy & deep pages. They make me feel like dancing and singing a song to the olde Kells days. Fabulous memories you give us, Memory's handmaiden.

  20. I love the way you journal your trips! The women that you've captured are all lovely!

  21. BEAUTIFUL!!! What a wonderful visual keepsake to have from your journey abroad.

  22. Cheryl your journal is a dream - what a family heirloom that will be, I love how you have captured so perfectly each area that you visited with your delight ladies and your words - you are so talented my friend xx


If convenient, please leave a comment. I read every one and thoroughly enjoy hearing your thoughts.