A Challenge and a Question

The raven is getting put on hold for a bit, as I now have a more pressing deadline. Thirty pieces of art in thirty days and I am one of thirty artists taking on this crazy challenge at Avanti Gallery. And it is a challenge. Just creating one piece of art can be problematic. Multiply that by thirty.

At least these are small pieces, 4″ x 4″, in whatever medium we prefer, which for me is watercolor. But the concept? Phew. There’s the challenge. If you have seen my recent posts, you’ll know that I have been on a bit of theme lately. So I thought, why not stick to it? What could be better than filling out part of my portfolio with thirty lovely little pieces of Celtic art.


I decided (and not for the first time) to seek my inspiration from the Book of Kells. (If you are unfamiliar with this manuscript, follow the link. Many hundreds of years ago, someone declared it was “not the work of men, but of angels”.) But somehow I got to thinking about the images, their meaning to the artists who painted them, and to the monks who viewed them. What do we have today that could possibly compare? In this age of Google image searches and internet memes, does the art we look at hold any meaning? I hope it does. This pondering led me to images that will be familiar to many, but rendered in a unique way. Yes, that is a rubber duckie you see in the picture below, as well as a British Police Box used as a prop in a certain long running TV show, all done in Celtic knot work. And there are images that may be unfamiliar to you in their original form, but altered, they show something of the common world around us.


So the question is, does seeing these images in a new way change their meaning for you? Good art should open itself up to the viewer; allow itself to be given meaning by the viewer. I have no idea if my thirty bits of Celtic inspired nonsense achieve this. But at the very least, I had to ask the question.

The artwork isn’t done yet. What you see above are the pencil layouts and one inked in piece. They are in the process of being painted and I hope to show some of them here before the show comes down. Then, back to the raven. Oh yes, and here’s the Facebook invite to the opening night party.


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